Talk Nation Radio for April 14, 2011
I Shall Not Hate, A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
Doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish at Central Connecticut State University
Lecture in memory of his daughters Bissan, Mayar, and Aya, who died in 2009 during Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza. An Israeli rocket hit the Abuelaish home in Gaza, killing three of the doctor's daughters. His niece, Noor, also died. He discusses his best selling book, “I Shall Not Hate” (Random House). It recounts his medical journey and efforts towards reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. See Globe and Mail review here.
Produced by Dori Smith, Storrs, CT, Recorded March 15, 2011 in New Britain, CT
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here or at Archive.org and Radio4all.net
Before his audience of students, professors, and community members, Dr. Abuelaish stood tall, sometimes walking a step forward, or back, occasional tears rolling down his face, as he told the heart breaking but inspirational story of his loss, and his commitment. In addition to working as a physician, and peace activist, he memorializes his daughters through a foundation set up to help other Gazan children achieve their dreams for education in health and other fields.
This week's show features a talk that was part of the well established, Middle East Studies Lecture Series, at CCSU, Central Connecticut State University, in New Britain, Connecticut. Their March 15, 2011 event featured a talk by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish from Gaza.
A Palestinian physician, Dr. Abuelaish trained in Cairo, London and Cambridge, MA (Harvard). He talks about his life and his work of reaching a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians with dignity. His conversation is also highly personal, and he speaks about the loss of his wife to cancer, then the horror of losing his children to artillery fire from the Israeli IDF as they bombed Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
Immediately after their deaths, Dr. Abuelaish spoke on Israeli TV to a shocked audience who watched the tragedy unfold. He was scheduled to be interviewed, but viewers saw first hand the shock and pain he experienced at losing three of his children. In this inspirational talk he discusses the kids, the three girls who died and his remaining daughter and son who have rallied bravely to meet the challenge of life without their siblings. The family has thrown themselves into peace making, and working to help other people's children in Gaza. They have set up a foundation called, Daughters For Life. The web page serves as both a memorial to Dr. Abuelaish's daughters and a foundation site for fundraising for their program that provides university scholarships and scholarships for health and other education programs for young women in the Middle East.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish grew up in poverty and has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. While Israel has confined 1.5 million Gazans into a few square miles, Dr. Abuelaish treats patients on both sides of the border. He is a humanitarian who sees the need for improved health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East. His response to the killing of his daughters and niece made international news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Dr. Abuelaish has been interviewed by many media outlets, including CNN with Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper.
His most recent awards have been:
2010: Uncommon Courage Award; Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding; Queens College, NY, and
2010: Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada
He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Co-sponsors for this event include: Center for International Education, Department of Political Science and Peace Studies at CCSU