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Mohammed El-Kurd

The Legend of Resistance in Sheikh Jarrah

By Huda Imam

Mohammed El-Kurd, the twin brother of Muna, was born on May 15, 1998 in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. The internationally touring and award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine, is best known for his role as a co-founder of the #SaveSheikhJarrah movement.

Mohammed gained international attention following the forced expulsion of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. In 2021, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. He has been featured in numerous international outlets such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, and the New York Times, and appeared repeatedly as a commentator on major TV networks such as CNN and BBC.

Mohammed with his sister Muna.

The first-ever Palestine correspondent who served for The Nation, Mohammad’s first published essay in this role, “A Night with Palestine’s Defenders of the Mountain,” was shortlisted for the 2022 One World Media Print Award. Rifqa (the name of Mohammed’s grandmother), his debut collection of poetry, was published by Haymarket Books in October 2021 and later released in Italian by Fandango Libre. Rifqa was called “a masterpiece” by The New Arab and a “remarkable debut” by the Los Angeles Review of Books. It was one of Middle East Eye’s Best Books of 2021 and shortlisted for the 2022 Forward Prize as “Best First Collection.”

Mohammed holds an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College (CUNY) and a BFA in writing from Atlanta’s Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Calgary Peace Prize (2023), the Arab American Civil Council’s “Truth in Media” Award (2022), and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from Lannan Foundation (2023).

Currently, Mohammad is a Civic Media Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. He has lectured and performed around the world, including as the keynote for the 18th Annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Princeton University, at Harvard Law School, Columbia University, the Internazionale literary festival in Ferrara, Italy, and most recently at Adelaide Writers’ Week in Australia. He is followed by over a million people on Instagram and Twitter.

  • Huda Fareed Imam was born in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. She is the founder of Al-Quds University Centre for Jerusalem Studies and serves as a trustee in a number of institutions that include the Jerusalem Quarterly, VIP Project, and Hands Up Project. An engaged activist and occasional actress, Huda contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage and Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.

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