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Jerusalem activists and social media influencers Muna and Mohammed el-Kurd holding up a victory sign


Ahmed Gharbali, AFP

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Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd Make the TIME100 List as “Icons”

Twins Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, Jerusalemites from the imperiled Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, were today named on Time magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential People of 2021. They were included in the most influential subset of the list, icons. Others in the icons list include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Naomi Osaka, Alexei Navaly, and Britney Spears. 

Twins Muna and Mohammed, 23, became the face of Palestinian resistance in 2021 during efforts by the state to expel them and their family from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. They sparked a worldwide protest and became its most well-known faces and spokespeople.

In June 2021, they were arrested for a brief time in an attempt to intimidate them and stop them from speaking out. It did not succeed.

“It’s clear that these are policies to silence people, policies to pressure and scare people,” Muna El-Kurd said in a statement on the Sheikh Jarrah Instagram page after her release.

The magazine explained, “At TIME, we see the TIME100 as far more than a list. It is a community of leaders whose energy and commitment we hope inspires others to spring into action as well.”

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said the top-100 list features “extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future” who “in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray.”

“Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Mohammed and Muna El-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 about the two.

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