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Muna El-Kurd delivers hard-hitting graduation speech

Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah activist Muna El-Kurd delivers hard-hitting graduation speech
2 min read
The Sheikh Jarrah campaigner urged people to speak out against oppression and politically-motivated detentions and to 'always document attacks'.
Muna El-Kurd is well known in the Sheikh Jarrah anti-expulsions campaign [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty]

Prominent Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah resident and campaigner Muna El-Kurd has delivered a hard-hitting speech while graduating from the West Bank's Birzeit University.

Thanking her teachers and fellow students, she also gave the crowd, dressed in black gowns and caps, a powerful political message.

The activist from occupied East Jerusalem, who is fighting ongoing Israeli expulsion efforts in her neighbourhood, urged people to speak out against oppression and politically-motivated detentions.

She also urged students to "always document and publish" such injustices, in a video of her speech posted to Facebook by Arabic-language outlet Roya TV.

She also decried the violations occurring in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, two neighbourhoods in and around occupied East Jerusalem where Israeli settlers are attempting to expel Palestinian families from their homes

El-Kurd celebrated the Palestinian people's recent unity during protests against Israeli occupation.

She said this show of "true national unity" was occurring for "the first time in many years".

El-Kurd said her reason for studying media was to amplify the situation in "my house, my neighbourhood, my city and my homeland".

"Today, we want to receive our certificates, which are not just a piece of paper. They are weapons that we use to defend our homes, our land, and our trees."

Israeli settlers often damage or destroy Palestinians' culturally and economically vital olive trees.

El-Kurd added: "Every voice must speak the truth in this country that we support.

"In conclusion, it's time that the Nakba does not continue."

Many on Twitter felt inspired by her message.

One user with the handle @enjyyamgadd said: "[S]he gives me so much power [I] love her".

Another referenced Muna's twin, Mohammed.

"Somebody, somewhere needs to start making a children's show and base the [El-Kurd] siblings as the main two superheroes. This is outstanding."

Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem: A history of dispossession
Click here to enlarge image (May 2021)

One person wrote: "Waiting for [E]nglish subtitles to cheer [on] the speech".

It was not immediately clear when exactly the graduation took place, although videos posted on social media, including by Palestinian sites, were uploaded on Wednesday.

Last month, Muna and her twin, 23, were detained by Israel during a raid at her home by forces who left a summons for Mohammed, who later turned himself in.

Both were later released and returned home.