By turns inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s account of his extraordinary life. A Harvard-educated Palestinian doctor, he was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and “has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians” (New York Times). On January 16, 2009, Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and his niece when Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, he has called for the people of the region to come together so that his daughters will be “the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
About the Author
Izzeldin Abuelaish, often referred to as “the Gaza Doctor” in the media, is a Palestinian medical doctor and infertility specialist who has dedicated his life to peace in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abuelaish has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty and violence. Dr. Abuelaish received his elementary, preparatory and secondary educations in the refugee camp school system in Jabalia, Gaza.
From a young age, Dr. Abuelaish set his sights on becoming a doctor, and he eventually garnered a scholarship to attend medical school at the University of Cairo. Following this, he obtained a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of London. He later completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Saroka Hospital in Israel, followed by further study in fetal medicine and genetics at V. Buzzi Hospital in Milan, Italy and Erasme Hospital in Brussels, Belgium. He then went on to earn his Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Policy and Management at Harvard University. Dr. Abuelaish was the first Palestinian doctor to receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital. For many years, he worked as a senior researcher at the Gertner Institute in Sheba hospital in Israel.
On January 16, 2009, tragedy struck when an Israeli tank shelled his home in Gaza and killed three of his daughters, Bessan, 21, Mayar, 15 and Aya, 13, and his niece Noor, 17. This hearbreaking loss came only four months after losing his wife to cancer. Rather than retreat into despair, he deepened his resolve to become a beacon of hope for peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. In 2010 his memoir I Shall Not Hate: a Gaza Doctor’s Journey became an instant best seller and has been translated into 16 languages. Currently, Dr. Abuelaish is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Book Club Information
Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 6:15 pm
Location: Multnomah County Library Central Library, U.S. Bank Room, 810 SW 10th Avenue
Speaker: Laura Robson, Portland State University Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History