Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish
Thursday, April 26th, 2012

International award winning humanitarian and author, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, will bring his message of compassion in the face of unimaginable pain and personal suffering. Dr. Abuelaish is a Palestinian physician, raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, who overcame the odds and became the first Arabic medical doctor holding a staff position in an Israeli hospital, serving both Arab and Israeli patients.

In October 2008, his wife of 21 years, Nadia, died suddenly of leukemia. Then, on January 18, 2009, while at home in his Gaza apartment, a missile burst into his apartment, killing three of his daughters and a niece instantly. His story is the subject of his book “I Shall Not Hate”.

Heather Reisman, of Chapters Books, reviewed it saying: “Every once in a long while you come across a book that touches your heart so deeply you will always remember where you were when you read it. And well after you turn the last page, the story will remain with you […] Few people in the world today have a better, more richly etched perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian situation than Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Few could have as much reason to be angry, disillusioned or combative. But such is not his story. I Shall Not Hate is his story.”

Advancing the roles of women

Within 15 months, he established a foundation “Daughters for Life” to create a credible voice throughout the Middle East on societal issues that affect the lives of girls and women. Abuelaish believes that when female values are better represented through leadership at all levels of society, overall values will change and life will improve in the Gaza Strip, in Palestine as a whole, in Israel, and throughout the Middle East. The Foundation funds scholarships for women and girls to pursue studies in the fields of interest of his daughters and niece: medicine (medical doctor and/or nursing), law, business administration and journalism. It also has plans to undertake curriculum development and programme assessment of programmes that advance the skills and abilities of Israeli and Palestinian girls and women to impact the peace process and the societies in which they live.

This event is sponsored by the Community Justice Centre and the Comox Valley Immigrant Support Society and is funded by the Department of Justice as part of Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Our partners in this project are:

School District #71 (Comox Valley)
ValleyLinks – Home of Volunteer Comox Valley
The Comox Valley Record
Seeds Food Market
Laughing Oyster Books
Comox Videos ‘n More