ABC News' Christiane Amanpour in conversation with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of I Shall Not Hate
The New York Times has called Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish "a rarity: a Gazan at home among Israelis." But after Israeli shells recklessly killed three of his daughters and his niece in January 2009, Abuelaish's faith in the peace process could have died with them.
Yet, as he lays out in I SHALL NOT HATE: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (January 11, 2011; Walker & Company hardcover; ISBN 978-0-8027-7917-5; $24.00; 224 pages), Abuelaish's resolve to fight for reconciliation only strengthened in the wake of his family's tragedy. Already well known in Israel as a television commentator and physician, he has startled everyone by not reacting to the tragedy by demanding revenge. His plea for understanding on both sides has thrust him on to the world stage as a unique voice of humanitarianism. It's only fitting that an infertility expert would embrace life so dramatically.
7 March 2011, 7:00 PM
The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
I SHALL NOT HATE recounts in stark detail Abuelaish's upbringing in the refugee camps of Gaza, a breeding ground for distrust and anger and violence, where punishment can be arbitrary and pleasure fleeting. He found a way up and out through education-a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo set him on his path to be a doctor in service to his community and the region. But despite winning the recognition of his peers and the privilege of practicing at some of Israel's best hospitals, Abuelaish lived with the daily indignities of being a Gazan commuting across the militarized border-a border that he has worked to break down ever since.
When the Israeli army shelled his home on January 16, 2009, Abuelaish's daughters were still recovering from the grief of their mother's recent death. In the hours following Abuelaish would make international news for his astonishing public reaction, broadcast live on Israeli television, in which he emotionally described to Israeli audiences what such a loss meant. I SHALL NOT HATE demands that we honor the memories of Abuelaish's daughters with something more productive than violence and destruction.
IZZELDIN ABEULAISH, 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 hospital in Israel, followed by a subspecialty in fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium. He then undertook a masters in public health at Harvard University. Before his three daughters were killed in January 2009, Dr. Abuelaish worked as a senior 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. His website and foundation can be found at www.daughtersforlife.com.