Palestinian activist Muna El Kurd in Fenton Road, Salt River yesterday during her tour of the area followed by District 6 and the Bo-Kaap. She also met retired Judge Siraj Desai. See Page 2. Picture: LEON LESTRADE. Africa News Agency.
Palestinian activist Muna El Kurd in Fenton Road, Salt River yesterday during her tour of the area followed by District 6 and the Bo-Kaap. She also met retired Judge Siraj Desai. See Page 2. Picture: LEON LESTRADE. Africa News Agency.

Muna El Kurd visits historic Cape neighbourhoods

By Keshia Africa Time of article published Oct 24, 2021

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PALESTINE activists Muna El Kurd and her twin brother Mohammed met retired Judge Siraj Desai in Salt River yesterday where he was recently honoured for his contribution in the Struggle and support for the freedom of the Palestinian people.

The young activists were recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 for using their voices on social media and media appearance to share the stories of the plight of people in Sheikh Jarrah and helping to prompt an international shift in rhetoric in regard to Israel and Palestine.

For more than a decade, the El Kurd family, along with dozens of their neighbours in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, has been fighting against the forced removal from their homes by Israeli settlers.

This is El Kurd’s second visit to South Africa.

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.

She shared their experience with residents during a tour of Salt River, District Six and the Bo-Kaap.

El Kurd said she was encouraged to see how young people in South Africa where aware of what was happening in Palestine.

Retired Judge Siraj Desai took Muna El Kurd on a tour of historic neighbourhoods in Cape Town. Picture: LEON LESTRADE/ African News Agency/ANA

“I feel at home because I can see that South Africans have also faced apartheid, in the same way we have in Palestine. We have ethnic cleansing, demolitions, forced removals and arresting,” she said.

She added: "The people of South Africa and Palestine share a history. I see the Palestinian flag here and I can feel that they share our sentiments."

El Kurd said she was grateful to the South African people for their support.

“I always tell the South African people, in my speeches here, that it is important to love Palestine. It should be with knowledge, reading and understanding of the situation.”

She added: “Support is important but we need more action.”

“The people should put pressure on the South African government to stop its relationships with Israel, boycott Israel and the brands that support it.”

Desai said he was delighted to take the El Kurds on a tour of Salt River where he grew up.

Desai said: “The slogan of ’we exist to resist’ is a chilling slogan. It is important that her visit adds impotence to the South African support and struggle of the Palestinian people."

On Friday the twins where also hosted by a Palestinian society at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to discuss, "Decolonisation and the role that the youth plays in the struggle".

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