Time Magazine names Muna, Mohammed al-Kurd [Sheikh Jarrah] as among 100 most influential

Activists Muna and Mohammed al-Kurd were arrested and later released by Israeli authorities in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood (Ahmad Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  September 16, 2021

Time magazine has named Palestinian twins and activists, Muna and Mohammed al-Kurd of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The magazine said Muna and her twin brother Muhammad have become symbols of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evict Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Mohammed and Muna al-Kurd provided the world with a window into living under occupation in East Jerusalem this spring—helping to prompt an international shift in rhetoric in regard to Israel and Palestine,” the magazine wrote.

“Charismatic and bold, they became the most recognizable voices of those threatened with losing their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.”

“For more than a decade, the Al-Kurd family, along with dozens of their neighbors in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, has been fighting against the possibility of forced removal from their homes by Israeli settlers,” it added.

In response to the announcement, Mohammed al-Kurd wrote: “My sister and I’s selection as part of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ may be a positive indicator of the centralization of the Palestinian cause in the global public sphere. However, the creation of symbols – which reduces the struggle of a whole people to a single face – is not enough.” And: “What we are demanding is a tangible, radical change in the media system to end its Zionist bias.”

The list also includes current US President Joe Biden, his predecessor Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Nafatali Bennett. Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who is of Palestinian origin, was also named.