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"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.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on Apr 27, 2010
ISBN: 9780307358905
List price: $21.00
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Whether or not you have a particular interest in Palestine and Israel, I beg you, read this book. Dr. Abuelaish is a true inspiration in the struggle for peace in the area, a believer in education and health care and the value of women in society. I am devastated by his loss and amazed by his compassion.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was hard to read and hard to review. Hard to read because it is so grim in the story. It is so full of violence, so full of sadness, that it was overwhelming at times. I could only read about 10 pages before I had to set the book down. It made it very difficult to finish. It's hard to review because so many others have already said what I felt - that despite the emotion, this is an important book and an inspiration. I'm glad I had a chance to read it. I learned so much about Palestine and the Gaza strip. I'm so grateful for people like Dr. Abuelaish, who keep working, who keep trying to find a solution when hatred seems the easiest way out.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This heartbreaking yet optimistic and remarkable memoir by a Palestinian OB/GYN who lost three daughters in an accidental bombing attack by Israeli Defense Forces in 2008 begins with the author's birth in a camp in the Gaza Strip, seven years after his father's family fled for their lives and abandoned their home during the 1948 Palestinian exodus (Nakba). Abuelaish overcame crushing poverty and difficult odds through hard work, studying at night by the light of a lamp, and won a scholarship to study medicine at Cairo University. Despite the deplorable living conditions in the Gaza Strip, he decided to return there after he completed his training, to serve the people who nurtured and supported him. Abuelaish was befriended by Israeli citizens in childhood, when he worked and lived with a Jewish family for several months as a teenager, and during the early years of his medical career, when he referred difficult cases to doctors in Israel who were impressed by his knowledge and good will. He became one of the first Palestinian physicians to complete a residency program and serve on the medical staff at an Israeli hospital, where he continued to earn the respect and devotion of his colleagues and patients. Through these interactions he realized that many Israelis did not hate Palestinians and wished to live in peace alongside them, despite repeated wars and the extremist positions of leaders and politicians on both sides.Abuelaish worked tirelessly in support of the Palestinian people, realizing that medicine could serve as a bridge to connect well meaning Israelis and Palestinians to overcome the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, the escalation of the battles between Palestinian insurgents and the Israeli Defense Forces made his goals more impossible to achieve, particularly after the crackdown and bombing campaign that occurred after Hamas took control of the Palestinian Parliament in 2006. After his wife's death in 2008, Abuelaish decided to emigrate with his children, to provide better lives and opportunities for them and to ensure their safety from the escalating violence in Gaza. Unfortunately, just before they were able to leave, an Israeli bomb ripped through the apartment building that he had built for his family, killing three of his daughters and a beloved niece. The tragedy was broadcast live on Israeli television, as he described the aftermath to a reporter by phone just after the bomb struck. Despite the personal tragedy, Abuelaish, who now lives with his remaining children in Toronto, remains optimistic about the prospects for peace in his homeland, due largely to the many friends he has made in Israel and Gaza. In his opinion, peace will come when leaders and politicians act in the broad interests of Israelis and Palestinians, rather than pursuing narrow goals or listening to the voices of extremists on both sides. He strongly supports an increased role for women in Palestinian society, as he believes that they are more likely to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis than their often belligerent male counterparts. In honor of his three deceased daughters he has set up a foundation, Daughters for Life, which will provide scholarships for Palestinian women to attend high school and university, and create or support programs aimed to improve the lives of women in Gaza and the West Bank.The book ends with a touching tribute to his late daughters and beloved wife, a list of lessons that he has learned, and a call to action to ensure that the crisis can be resolved once and forever.I Shall Not Hate is an amazing story, and Dr. Abuelaish's celebration of life and belief in his fellow man in the face of personal tragedy should provide inspiration to everyone that we can solve the world's problems, if we care about our fellow men and women as brothers and sisters and take the time to listen to each other.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Whether or not you have a particular interest in Palestine and Israel, I beg you, read this book. Dr. Abuelaish is a true inspiration in the struggle for peace in the area, a believer in education and health care and the value of women in society. I am devastated by his loss and amazed by his compassion.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was hard to read and hard to review. Hard to read because it is so grim in the story. It is so full of violence, so full of sadness, that it was overwhelming at times. I could only read about 10 pages before I had to set the book down. It made it very difficult to finish. It's hard to review because so many others have already said what I felt - that despite the emotion, this is an important book and an inspiration. I'm glad I had a chance to read it. I learned so much about Palestine and the Gaza strip. I'm so grateful for people like Dr. Abuelaish, who keep working, who keep trying to find a solution when hatred seems the easiest way out.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This heartbreaking yet optimistic and remarkable memoir by a Palestinian OB/GYN who lost three daughters in an accidental bombing attack by Israeli Defense Forces in 2008 begins with the author's birth in a camp in the Gaza Strip, seven years after his father's family fled for their lives and abandoned their home during the 1948 Palestinian exodus (Nakba). Abuelaish overcame crushing poverty and difficult odds through hard work, studying at night by the light of a lamp, and won a scholarship to study medicine at Cairo University. Despite the deplorable living conditions in the Gaza Strip, he decided to return there after he completed his training, to serve the people who nurtured and supported him. Abuelaish was befriended by Israeli citizens in childhood, when he worked and lived with a Jewish family for several months as a teenager, and during the early years of his medical career, when he referred difficult cases to doctors in Israel who were impressed by his knowledge and good will. He became one of the first Palestinian physicians to complete a residency program and serve on the medical staff at an Israeli hospital, where he continued to earn the respect and devotion of his colleagues and patients. Through these interactions he realized that many Israelis did not hate Palestinians and wished to live in peace alongside them, despite repeated wars and the extremist positions of leaders and politicians on both sides.Abuelaish worked tirelessly in support of the Palestinian people, realizing that medicine could serve as a bridge to connect well meaning Israelis and Palestinians to overcome the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, the escalation of the battles between Palestinian insurgents and the Israeli Defense Forces made his goals more impossible to achieve, particularly after the crackdown and bombing campaign that occurred after Hamas took control of the Palestinian Parliament in 2006. After his wife's death in 2008, Abuelaish decided to emigrate with his children, to provide better lives and opportunities for them and to ensure their safety from the escalating violence in Gaza. Unfortunately, just before they were able to leave, an Israeli bomb ripped through the apartment building that he had built for his family, killing three of his daughters and a beloved niece. The tragedy was broadcast live on Israeli television, as he described the aftermath to a reporter by phone just after the bomb struck. Despite the personal tragedy, Abuelaish, who now lives with his remaining children in Toronto, remains optimistic about the prospects for peace in his homeland, due largely to the many friends he has made in Israel and Gaza. In his opinion, peace will come when leaders and politicians act in the broad interests of Israelis and Palestinians, rather than pursuing narrow goals or listening to the voices of extremists on both sides. He strongly supports an increased role for women in Palestinian society, as he believes that they are more likely to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis than their often belligerent male counterparts. In honor of his three deceased daughters he has set up a foundation, Daughters for Life, which will provide scholarships for Palestinian women to attend high school and university, and create or support programs aimed to improve the lives of women in Gaza and the West Bank.The book ends with a touching tribute to his late daughters and beloved wife, a list of lessons that he has learned, and a call to action to ensure that the crisis can be resolved once and forever.I Shall Not Hate is an amazing story, and Dr. Abuelaish's celebration of life and belief in his fellow man in the face of personal tragedy should provide inspiration to everyone that we can solve the world's problems, if we care about our fellow men and women as brothers and sisters and take the time to listen to each other.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An incredible story of courage, integrity and humanity in the presence of severe poverty, suffering, and the most extreme losses. A single man's ability to seek peace through his own actions one person to one person.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What an inspiring and emotional story of this man who lost his 3 daughters in a Gaza attack on his Palestinian home! I have started reading this book not knowing much about the long term conflict in the Gaza strip, and I am glad I did so with a beginner's mind; Dr. Abuelaish' recount and amazingly neutral position in this history of conflict only helped me look at this sad and long overdue political argument through his eyes, free of preconceived ideas, stereotyping and generalizations. As a health care professional, I agree with his view on seeing medicine as a link between people, a bridge that can unite us all. Although his loss is inconceivably sad and unnecessary, it brought to life a book that should be read by anyone. This book reminds us all that truth is always in the middle, and that humanity is about what we all have in common, and not what sets us apart. A brilliant lesson in how to live and love despite all challenges.
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This is a powerful and important book. Abuelaish tells a story of optimism against all odds: he grew up in the Gaza Strip, where it was struggle just to survive, but managed to succeed in school and become a doctor despite all the obstacles he faced. Rather than developing a deep hatred against the country that had caused him so much suffering, he retained a firm belief in Israelis as people and remained convinced that it was possible for Israelis and Palestinians to live in harmony. Even more amazingly, he maintained this belief and optimism even after three of his daughters were killed in an Israeli assault on Gaza. He of all people might be expected to turn to despair and hate, and yet he manages to look forward to a better future. This is an honest story that certainly isn't short on horror, but the underlying sense of hope makes all the difference. It's a very refreshing read, and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the Middle East.
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