Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd

Palestinian activist siblings make Time's list of 100 most influential people in 2021

Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd

Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd

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TIME magazine has chosen prominent Palestinian activists and twins Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd among the world's 100 most influential people for 2021.

 

TIME revealed its annual list on Wednesday, including Britney Spears, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Elon Musk and Tim Cook, with the sibling activists hailed for providing the world with a view into life under Israeli rule in East Jerusalem.

 

They became the face of a movement to stop Palestinians from being evicted from a tense East Jerusalem neighborhood, and they helped to influence international perceptions of Israel and Palestine.

The El-Kurd family, along with scores of their neighbors in the Sheikh Jarrah area, has been struggling for more than a decade to prevent Israeli settlers from forcibly removing them from their houses.

 

Tensions in Sheikh Jarrah erupted in the surrounding Old City in May, when Israeli forces attacked worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque, prompting Hamas terrorists in Gaza to fire rockets into Israel. Through viral posts and interviews, Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd, who were briefly detained by Israeli authorities this summer, challenged existing narratives about Palestinian resistance, humanizing the experiences of their neighbors and pushing back against claims that Palestinians were the primary perpetrators of violence.

 

They became the most prominent voices of people threatened with losing their houses in Sheikh Jarrah, according to TIME.

“Their grassroots organization inspired the Palestinian diaspora to renew protests all around the world. And polls in the United States, which has long been Israel's closest backer, indicate increased sympathy for Palestinians, which has so far come at little cost to public support for Israel.”

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