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Palestinian activist arrives in Cape Town

Palestinian activist Muna El-Kurd arrives at Cape Town Town International Airport on Wednesday. Muna El-Kurd will be speaking at several events this week. The 23-year-old Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, resident and her brother recently received the status of 100 most Influential People of 2021. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Palestinian activist Muna El-Kurd arrives at Cape Town Town International Airport on Wednesday. Muna El-Kurd will be speaking at several events this week. The 23-year-old Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, resident and her brother recently received the status of 100 most Influential People of 2021. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 21, 2021

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Cape Town - Called a symbol of resolute resistance, Palestinian activist Muna El Kurd arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday.

El Kurd, recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 along with her brother Mohammed, arrived at the Cape Town International Airport after the completion of the Johannesburg leg of her South Africa visit.

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El Kurd is being hosted by the Friends of Meezan, and her visit is supported by the Muslim Judicial Council, Youth for Al Quds SA, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Palestinian Solidarity Alliance, and the Palestinian Student Front.

The 23-year-old resident of Sheikh Jarrah and her brother were detained by the Israeli Defence Force for taking part in protests against possible evictions in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

El Kurd was scheduled to meet the public and media at the Sea Point Promenade at 10am today.

Co-ordinating committee and PSC member Professor Usuf Chikte said the purpose of the visit was to highlight the plight and repression of Palestinians, particularly in Sheikh Jarrah.

“The readers will recall how Jewish settlers simply take over the homes of Palestinians and how the Israeli police and the military protect them. She is going to highlight the daily struggles against forced removals, something which we are familiar with in District Six and Sophiatown; evictions, apartheid, settler-colonialism and ethnic cleansing.”

In video footage widely shared, El Kurd could be seen standing up to a Jewish settler who attempted to take her family home. The settler could be heard saying, “If I don’t steal it, somebody else is gonna steal it.”

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On the visit, Chikte said, “What it is already doing is harnessing the youth. It is cultivating a new generation of social activists in highlighting the plight in which we are living in the 21st century: poverty, unemployment, inequality in SA, evictions, homelessness, and she’s highlighting that we have agency, the youth has agency.”

Youth activist Aaminah Domingo described Muna as a role model.

“In a world where women are told to not raise their voices and stand up against oppression, Muna challenges the status quo.”

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“From District Six to Sheikh Jarrah” will be live-streamed on Voice of the Cape and Radio 786 as well as the organiser’s social media platforms from 7pm to 9.30pm tonight, and “Women in Struggle” from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Saturday.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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