Poet from Jerusalem performs during Palestinian Culture Night


Mohammed El-Kurd performs a poetry piece about Palestine in Oscar Ritchie Hall. April 4, 2019.

Katia Rodriguez

Palestinian Culture Night featured poet Mohammed El-Kurd, of Jerusalem, April 4 in Oscar Ritchie Hall. The event was hosted by the organization Students for Justice in Palestine.

“Our biggest performance was Mohammed El-Kurd, who is a poet born in Palestine whose family was raided when he was very young,” said sophomore accounting major Laith Tabbaa.

Mohammed El-Kurd is an international student who studies writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. He has performed on different campuses around the United States. His “poetry is predominantly focused around Palestine and ties into issues of patriarchy, gender norms, religion, ethno statehood and stuff like that,” El-Kurd said.

“It has been really inspirational, very eye-opening to connect with people who care about Palestine,” El-Kurd said. “It has been very interesting seeing the different approaches every community has.”

Even though the experience has been inspiring, it’s hard for El-Kurd to juggle doing what he loves while being a full-time student and having a job.

“Very troubling and taxing and very hard to be a full-time student and have a job while doing this. However, it is very rewarding coming here to do what I wanted to do,” El-Kurd said.

Being Palestinian, El-Kurd said he feels that “the Palestinian people are a community that is incredibly misrepresented and people are incredibly misinformed about the Palestinians.”

Palestinian Culture Night was one of Students for Justice in Palestine’s “…many events during Israeli Apartheid Week. This is our biggest one where we show off our authentic food, our authentic culture and ethnicity,” Tabbaa said.

Tabbaa said the event is important “because Palestine is still under regime right now and do not fully have their land. So, to educate the students of Kent State is very important. It is the number one goal of our organization as well as celebrating culture, livelihood and the people we still have today in Palestine.”

Organizations like Black United Students and Spanish and Latino Student Association came to the event. Tabbaa said that “any student was allowed to attend this free event.”

“We had a lot of people from diverse backgrounds that attend this event, and we have to appreciate that,” Tabbaa said.

Katia Rodriguez covers international students. Contact her at [email protected].