‘Tear gas and tea’: Rifqa by Mohammed El-Kurd

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Paying powerful homage to his Palestinian people’s lives and struggles, while elegantly educating the reader, Mohammed El-Kurd’s debut poetry collection, Rifqa is a symbolic masterpiece. In the book’s afterword, the 23-year-old Palestinian activist and artist from occupied East Jerusalem’s expulsion-threatened Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood describes his work as a “didactic [teaching] tool.” Crafted in the English language and with a USA-based publisher, puts Rifqa’s ‘students’ as primarily overseas readers. El-Kurd’s criticism of “humanization”, as he dubs it – the insistence on Palestinians’ in…

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