Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lynn is "blown away" by Abeulaish's book

By turns inspiring and heart-breaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Izzeldin Abuelaish's account of an extraordinary life. A Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and "who has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians" (New York Times), Abuelaish 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. His response to this tragedy made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, Abuelaish 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."

Lynn says:

"I didn't expect to be blown away by Abuelaish's new book, I SHALL NOT HATE, but (especially the latter half) I found it impossible to put down and was profoundly humbled and inspired by this man (as well as his family/community) who lost 3 daughters and a niece in 'Operation Cast Lead' and yet managed to keep his spiritual fortitude, compassion and sanity intact. A Palestinian doctor whose dedication to healing reaches beyond bodily well-being, his riveting story of never giving up even in the face of unthinkable horrors, injustices and adversities is a moving and uplifting story that strengthens the reader's resolve to choose reconciliation and connection over revenge or harsh judgement or other-izing. The 3 daughters killed in the shelling of their family home are pictured on the book's cover and their vital steadfast adherence to nonviolence and peacemaking shines through in what ultimately is a beautiful testament to human decency and compassion that one can only hope will be contagious."

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