The sun was setting on the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, where the streets are lined with olive trees and the air is filled with the aroma of spices from the local market. But beneath the tranquil exterior, a struggle is brewing.
Gathered in their living room, the el-Kurd family were hastily discussing their options. They had just received an eviction notice from the Israeli authorities, stating that they had to vacate their home within a week. The family had lived in the house for generations, and the thought of losing it was devastating. Yet the el-Kurd family knew that their situation was not unique. Many Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah were facing the same threat of eviction by illegal settlers who claimed ownership of the properties. Determined to fight for their home, they sought legal representation and appealed the eviction order in court. In time, they also began to document their story to bring attention to their plight.
Siblings Mohammed el-Kurd and Muna el-Kurd gained international attention as their valiant efforts to keep their home became a symbol of the wider Palestinian human rights effort. Mohammed el-Kurd, a Palestinian human rights activist and writer, continues to document his family’s struggle and has been a strong voice in the campaign to stop the eviction of Palestinian families from neighbourhoods across Jerusalem. Muna el-Kurd, a young Palestinian woman, also made headlines when she stood in front of an Israeli court to argue against the eviction of her family, and organised her community to peacefully protest and defend their homes. Through determination and resilience, they protect their community, culture, and their way of life.
The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are in a struggle that has captured the world’s attention and inspired millions of others to join the Palestinian effort for justice and peace. The story of Sheikh Jarrah is a reminder of the ongoing plight and inequality of Palestinian life, and the brave efforts made by individuals to ensure that Palestinian people’s rights are protected, and respected.