on June 6, 2010
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.
on October 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.
on 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.
on December 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.
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.
on October 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.
on November 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.
on December 27, 2010
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 serve both Palestinians and Israeli patients equally despite ongoing violence between the two adversaries. He nobly worked to spread a message of peace in the region. Then, in one dramatic, drastic and tragic event during an Israeli incursion into Gaza this Palestinian doctor, father, and promoter of peace, suffered an immense personal loss. A loss too great to consider and seemingly impossible to bear. Yet, he continues to pursue his goal of peace and spread the message of building communication and eschewing violence. This book is not a 'story'. It's a true rendering of suffering, success and challenges told from a very personal perspective. This perspective makes the message and facts very accessible to the most casual reader. You don't need to have knowledge of the Middle East conflict to appreciate this book: you just need to have an open heart.
on March 19, 2016
Well written, and enlightening as to the personal impact of living as a Palestinian in the region (I struggled with a way to put that which doesn't favour one side or the other). It's a story of remarkable tragedy and personal loss, and as such, it's unsurprising that in moments the author does allow emotion to take over his otherwise 'through peace and understanding we overcome' message.
At the end of the day, very proud that this man has made my country his home, and very much in hope that he is right, and that through the connection and understanding of our common humanity bred by discourse and exposure to other cultures, we can indeed solve what seem to be such intractable issues.
on January 1, 2012
My sister sent this from my wish list. I had heard Dr. Abuelaish interviewed on CBC radio & knew I had to read his book. That anyone could have led so gruelling a life, suffered so much at the hands of others and still stand firm in his plea for peace, co-operation and mutual respect is amazing in a world so riddled with hatred. Dr. Abuelaish, Palestinian and friend to his people and Israeli alike, tells a story that must be read. In a world incited to hatred, in spite of profound personal loss, he continues to preach love and peace. Amazing man, amazing book.