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I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey [Paperback]

Izzeldin Abuelaish
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 29 2011

A Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Izzeldin Abuelaish is an infertility specialist who lives in Gaza but works in Israel. The Gaza doctor has been crossing the lines in the sand that
divide Israelis and Palestinians for most of his life--as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the line, as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East. And, most recently, as the father whose daughters were killed by Israeli soldiers on January 16, 2009, during Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip.

It was Izzeldin's response to this tragedy that made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, he called for the people in the region 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."

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A Globe and Mail Best Book
Heather’s Pick

"In this book, Doctor Abuelaish has expressed a remarkable commitment to forgiveness and reconciliation that describes the foundation for a permanent peace in the Holy Land."
 — President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

"It is impossible to read this book without feeling deep compassion for Abuelaish and his surviving children, and profound respect for his determination to turn tragedy into triumph."
 — Winnipeg Free Press

“A passionate human cry for peace and understanding.”
 — Jonathan Garfinkel, The Globe and Mail (Best Book)

“This story is a necessary lesson against hatred and revenge.”
 — Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
“Powerful. . . . Moving. . . . Abuelaish does not attempt to set out a political solution to the conflict. He simply tells his own story, with clarity and a humanity of vision.”
 — The Gazette
“A vivid, haunting and all but heartbreaking account. . . . Fast-paced, skillfully organized and highly evocative.”
 — Toronto Star
“Unshakeable courage, optimism and belief in the healing power of love is [Abuelaish’s] story. . . . This book, penned from the heart, with grace and insight, is his way of engaging us all in this quest [to create peace between Israelis and Palestinians].”
 — Heather Reisman, Heather’s Pick

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian physician and infertility expert who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He received a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, and then received a diploma from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of London. He completed a residency in the same discipline at Soroka University Hospital in Israel, followed by a subspecialty in fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium. He then undertook a masters in public health (health policy and management) at Harvard University. Before his three daughters were killed in January 2009 during the Israeli incursion into Gaza, Dr. Abuelaish worked as a researcher at the Gertner Institute at the Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv. He now lives with his family in Toronto, where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A life worth emulating June 6 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dr. Abuelaish's harrowing journey from his birth in a Gaza refugee camp to becoming an eminent OB-GYN, with all the typically terrible tragedy that befalls Gazan Palestinians, makes for engaging reading. That Dr. Abuelaish has refused to give into despair and hatred proves once again the resilience of the human spirit as well as what is possible when a person who has been raised to value what is truly valuable then goes on to act accordingly. Dr. Abuelaish's life, and that of his remaining family, is a triumph amidst tragedy. If you want your faith in what is possible restored, read this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to weep Oct. 26 2010
My review draws on an review article by Harriet Sherwood (guardian.co.uk) - Sunday 15 August 2010

This is a deeply moving book, chronicling a devout Muslim's experience of almost unbearable suffering and his remarkable response to it. To summarize, One December day in Gaza, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish took his eight children to the beach. Two months earlier, the children's mother had died from acute leukaemia, and Abuelaish was comforted to see his older daughters laughing and chatting as they wrote their names in the sand: Bessan, Maya, Aya.

But within five weeks the Abuelaishs were to suffer a second tragedy: those three girls, aged 13, 15 and 21, were killed, and another daughter, Noor, 17, seriously injured, when an Israeli shell was fired at the family home during the brief but bloody war in Gaza in 2008-9. One of Abuelaish's nieces also died; a fifth girl, another niece, suffered terrible injuries.

The title, "I Shall Not Hate" describes the book's message. "I'm against any violence," says Abuelaish. "Violence and the military approach proved its failings decades ago and that will never, ever change.As Palestinians and Israelis we have failed to change course. We just continue with the same approach which aggravates, escalates and widens the gap of hatred and bloodshed. It's easy to destroy life but very difficult to build it."

Faced with such violence, many would seek revenge. Abuelaish does not.""There is a difference between anger and hate. Anger is acute but transient; hate is a poison, a fire which burns you from the inside. We need to be angry, but direct it in a positive way."

I commend this book to persons of all faiths and none.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration Personified Dec 4 2010
While trying to avoid cliche's, I cannot avoid recording that this is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It needs to be a compulsory text book in every school, even more so for schools in the Middle East which is so torn apart by hatred, anger and frustration. The lack of bitterness of Izzeldin is more than a breath of fresh air - it is the breath of Life. If only there were provision for 10 stars, this book would get it from me. More than ever this book illustrates the terrible truth that much of the cost of war and hatred in the world is engineered by minorities and political leaders with self righteous sadistic tendencies, who have lost the common touch and whose motives are disproportionate revenge rather than reconciliation.

The situation in Israel and Palestine is particularly brutal as it has lasted so long and traversed so many, now embittered, generations. I share with Izzeldin the conviction that the vast majority in the Middle East (and in other trouble spots in the world) want no more than harmony and peaceful co-existence, despite cultural and religious differences. I have now purchased 2 copies of this book just to be used as gifts and to spread the message of peace and reconciliation so exceptionally portrayed in this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! June 15 2010
The story of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish's life is inspiring! A must read for anyone who wishes to see an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not only did this book provide me with a better understanding of the situation facing the people in Gaza, this book made me believe in peace.

Dr. Abuelaish is the Ghandi of the Palestinian people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balancing the literature. Oct. 31 2010
I read "Kite Runner", "A Thousand Splendid Sons" and "Infidel". I read "I Shall Not Hate" looking for a balance to these books. I found "I Shall Not Hate" a very interesting read with a lesson that we all should incorporate in our lives. To have experienced what Ezzeldin experienced and to still be able to move forward with the belief that change can be achieved by virtue is very honourable. The question I have is, How do we teach the masses that hatred is not a solution? Not an easy question to answer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pure source of enlightenment Nov. 5 2010
It is not surprising that the Gaza Doctor won the acclaimed Olivier D'or trophy in part for the inspiration he provides in this book. The trophy, sculpted by Anna Chromy, Sculptress of the Cloak of Conscience, has been awarded by Association Pax Medicalis, Cote d'Azur, France for remarkable achievements in the cause for humanity and regeneration.(Laureate 2008 Sister Emmanuelle, the 'French Mother Theresa').

This is a book which can change your outlook on life and make you at peace with the world and everything in it. A remarkable story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look at Real Life in the Middle East! Jan. 1 2011
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Such horrific tragedy has been bestowed upon this family living in the Gaza Strip. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish lost his wife to leukemia, three of his daughters and a neice in a bombing of his home and suffered irreparable grief.

The story is heartbreaking is asad and full of struggle and pain. However, it is Dr. Abuelaish's response to the loss of his children that made news and headlines around the world as well as winning him humanitarian awards. Most people would seek revenge in this instance but not Dr. Abuelaish, instead he called for the people of the Middle East to begin talking to each other, to learn to settle things and treat each other as they are, brothers in humanity. Palestinian, Israeli, Egyptian, Jewish or whatever does not matter, we are all human with the same feelings and emotions.

Dr. Abuelaish's biggest wish is that his daughters will be the LAST sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

This is a book that we can ALL learn something from. If YOU think YOU have a hard life, read this book and see how deeply ashamed you feel for complaining. My wish is for Dr. Abuelaish's wishes to come true, that peace will be restored in the Middle East and with that the knowledge that his daughter's did not die in vain.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 19 days ago by Liz Duchene
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend it.
This was a heart renting book, didn't want it to end, what a strong man losing his wife and 3 daughters. Highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Norma Linton
5.0 out of 5 stars Important read
This book is touching and real and helps to understand the Palestinian-Isreali conflict in a way no news reports can - through the eyes of one man's experience. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Colette
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I was impressed how forgiving and loving the doctor is. We could all learn from him to " love our neighbour as one self"
Published 21 months ago by Hildegarde Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
This book has taken me on an emotional rollercoaster! Dr Abuelaish is a completely unique human being,who despite all the hardships in his life continues to fight for rights and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Leep73
5.0 out of 5 stars If only everyone would read this...
Amazingly inspiring story of a remarkable man in a nightmare situation. If after reading this your view on the Israel-Palestine issue isn't affected then there may be no hope for... Read more
Published on May 25 2012 by C. Kalangis
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, heart-rending, beautiful
My sister sent this from my wish list. I had heard Dr. Abuelaish interviewed on CBC radio & knew I had to read his book. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2012 by annemack
5.0 out of 5 stars Important message and lesson
This is a well written book that presents the facts of Mr. Abuelaish's life with a straight forward message. Read more
Published on June 5 2011 by Revans
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read.
The story of Izzelding shook my world, it made me cry. I could not stop reading the book. What a man he is. He has inspired to make the world a better place.
Published on Feb. 1 2011 by beatriz
5.0 out of 5 stars An Education
I Shall Not Hate is a touching personal account of a Palestinian refugee, who despite unfathomable obstacles, persevered to become a medical doctor, a specialist and then chose to... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2010 by Judy
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