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Mohammed El-Kurd

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Mohammed El-Kurd
محمد الكرد
Mohammed El-Kurd
محمد الكرد

(1998-05-15) May 15, 1998 (age 24)
OccupationWriter, poet
Known forActivism
RelativesMuna El Kurd (twin sister)

Mohammed El-Kurd (محمد الكرد‎, born May 15, 1998) is a Palestinian writer and poet from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.[1] He was pursuing a Master's in the United States before returning to Sheikh Jarrah to protest the forced evictions there, including his family's.[2][1] He has gained prominence for his description of Israeli occupation, often referring to the evictions as a form of ethnic cleansing,[3] and the occupation as a whole as apartheid and settler colonialism.[4][5]

Early life

Mohammed El-Kurd was born in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In 2009, when he was 11 years old, Israeli settlers took over part of his family's home in Sheikh Jarrah.[6] El-Kurd was the main subject of the 2013 documentary film My Neighbourhood by Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert-Jab.[7]

Campaigning for Sheikh Jarrah

El-Kurd has been documenting and speaking out against Palestinians being forced out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.[8][9][10] Mohammed and his twin sister Muna started campaigning to raise awareness of the forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah through social media channels.[11][12] In combination, the twins have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and millions of followers on Instagram. Unlike his sister, Mohammed often posts in English for a Western audience.[13]

Mohammed and Muna were both detained by the Israeli police on June 6, 2021.[14][15] They were later released on the same day after being detained for several hours.[16] During the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, El-Kurd appeared on American TV channels CNN, MSNBC, and CBSN.[13]

In 2021, Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd were named to TIME magazine’s annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world.[17][18]

Published works

Since 2021, El-Kurd has been the Palestine Correspondent for The Nation.[19]

El-Kurd writes his poetry and articles in English. He writes on the themes of dispossession, ethnic cleansing, systemic and structural violence, settler colonialism, Islamophobia and gender roles. Notable examples include:

  • Dear President Obama … I hope you won't remain silent, The Guardian, 2013.[20]
  • Palestinian women: An untold history of leadership and resistance, Al Jazeera, 2018.[21]
  • My Grandmother, Icon of Palestinian Resilience, The Nation, 2020.[22]
  • Tomorrow My Family and Neighbors May Be Forced From Our Homes by Israeli Settlers, The Nation, 2020.[23]
  • Why are Palestinians being forced to prove their humanity?, +972 Magazine, 2020.[12]
  • If they steal Sheikh Jarrah, Mada Masr, 2021.[24]
  • The Israeli Military Shot My Cousin—and the US Bears Part of the Blame, The Nation, 2021.[25]
  • Rifqa, Haymarket Books, 2021.[26]


  1. ^ a b "This Palestinian Writer Is Going Viral For Challenging US Coverage of Israel-Palestine". Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "Mohammed El-Kurd | Al Jazeera News | Today's latest from Al Jazeera". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Poet Mohammed El-Kurd Detained in Sheikh Jarrah After Condemning Israeli Apartheid on U.S. TV". Democracy Now!. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  4. ^ Hatuqa, Dalia (May 15, 2021). "Settlement Push in East Jerusalem Neighborhood Shows Israeli "Apartheid"". The Intercept. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  5. ^ "It's not a 'conflict': how to talk about Palestine". Dazed. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  6. ^ Alfred, Charlotte (January 29, 2016). "Young Palestinian Poet Brings To Life The Troubles Of Jerusalem". HuffPost. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  7. ^ Wingert-Jabi, Rebekah; Bacha, Julia; Smith, Emily (March 17, 2013). "My Neighbourhood: a Palestinian boy's view of Israeli settlements – video". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "A new generation of Palestinians will not abandon Sheikh Jarrah". Mondoweiss. May 9, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "'We're not leaving our rightful homes': Mohammed el-Kurd speaks to MEE on Sheikh Jarrah". Middle East Eye. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  10. ^ "Palestinian poet and writer Mohammed El-Kurd on being forced out of his Sheikh Jarrah home by Israeli forces". Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  11. ^ "How East Jerusalem flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah got its own hashtag". SWI Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  12. ^ a b El-Kurd, Mohammed (December 3, 2020). "Why are Palestinians being forced to prove their humanity?". +972 Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Saba, Claudia (2021). "Mainstreaming Anti-colonial Discourse on Palestine: Mohammed El-Kurd's Discursive Interventions". Tripodos (51): 49–67. doi:10.51698/tripodos.2021.51p49-67. ISSN 2340-5007.
  14. ^ "Israel arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd in East Jerusalem". BBC News. June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  15. ^ "Israeli police detain Palestinian activist twins from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah". BBC News. June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  16. ^ "Israel releases Sheikh Jarrah activists after hours-long arrests". Al Jazeera News. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  17. ^ "Sheikh Jarrah's El-Kurd twins make TIME top 100 list". Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  18. ^ "Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd: The 100 Most Influential People of 2021". Time. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  19. ^ Mohammed El-Kurd
  20. ^ Kurd, Mohammed El (March 17, 2013). "Dear President Obama … I hope you won't remain silent". the Guardian. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  21. ^ El-Kurd, Mohammed. "Palestinian women: An untold history of leadership and resistance". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  22. ^ El-Kurd, Mohammed (July 1, 2020). "My Grandmother, Icon of Palestinian Resilience". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  23. ^ El-Kurd, Mohammed (November 20, 2020). "Tomorrow My Family and Neighbors May Be Forced From Our Homes by Israeli Settlers". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  24. ^ "If they steal Sheikh Jarrah". Mada Masr. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  25. ^ Aqel, Ryah; El-Kurd, Mohammed (March 2, 2021). "The Israeli Military Shot My Cousin—and the US Bears Part of the Blame". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  26. ^ El-Kurd, Mohammed (2021). RIFQA. [S.l.]: Haymarket Books. ISBN 978-1-64259-586-4. OCLC 1243968289.

External links