February 25, 2011

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey

Izzeldin Abuelaish MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Global Health
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
155 College Street, Room 578
Toronto, ON M5T 3M7

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey

Product Description

"What can you do? You can do a lot. You can support justice for all by speaking out loudly to your family, friends, community, politicians and religious leaders. You can support foundations that do good work. You can volunteer for humanitarian organizations. You can vote regressive politicians out of office. You can do many things to move the world toward greater harmony…

"I know that what I have lost, what was taken from me, will never come back. But as a physician and a Muslim of deep faith, I need to move forward to the light, motivated by the spirits of those I lost. I need to bring them justice… I will keep moving but I need you to join me in this long journey."
-from I Shall Not Hate

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish - now known simply as "the Gaza doctor" captured hearts and headlines around the world in the aftermath of horrific tragedy: on January 16, 2009, Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip, killing three of his daughters and a niece.

By turns inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and horrifying, this is Abuelaish's account of a Gazan life in all its struggle and pain. A Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Abuelaish is an infertility specialist who lived in Gaza but plied his specialty in Israeli hospitals. From the strip of land he calls home (a place where 1.5 million refugees are crammed into 360 square kilometres of land), the Gaza doctor has been crossing the lines that divide the region for most of his life, as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the border and as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved public health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East.

But it was Abuelaish's response to the loss of his children that made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, in this personal account of his life, Izzeldin Abuelaish is calling for the people of the Middle East to start talking to each other. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
I couldn't put the book down!

I feel the other book reviews have done an excellent job so I will not repeat their poignant knowledge expressed. I have tried to keep myself educated with the conflicts in the Middle East. Yet, this book was very different experience for me. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. The book is a personal journey of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish that I wept in grief, sorrow, hope, and joy for. I also was educated in a very different way in what the psychodynamic/ analytic community calls "Mentaizing"- putting oneself in one's shoes. I did not have judgment politically against any side of the conflicts during his story. I did find myself having empathy and sadness for everyone in this conflict.

There is an a good interview by Steve Palkin on YouTube and another video of Dr. Abuelaish's tragedy as it happened live. Palkin questioned/states Abuelaish's ideas of peace are "very dangerous ideas from the lunic fridge on both sides." I think Palkin asks some very real questions that might have overly optimistic answers from Dr. Abuelaish's. I hope I'm wrong. The book has a few themes that are repetitive. I would recommend to YouTube after reading the book since I do not feel the story and messages is captured well in the videos, but is a good adjunct to the book.

All said- I have felt inspired and found so much humanity from both sides and worldwide. Dr. Abuelaish's journey out of rubble and how he has beaten the odds to successes.... I would of thought impossible.

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