Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Shall Not Hate by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

When I saw this book I knew right away I had to read it. It's one thing to say 'We Need Peace' but another entirely to actually practice it in the face of aggression and the unimaginable loss of one's children. I so admire people like Dr. Abuelaish, for keeping their focus on the inherent goodness of people, and helping their fellow human beings with the same respect as one would wish for oneself.

I Shall Not Hate is an enlightening, inspiring and hopeful book. Dr. Abuelaish is the embodiment of the principle that one should think globally and act locally.

I have long felt that medicine can bridge the divide between people and that doctors can be messengers of peace. pg6

Education was the only way out of the circumstances we were in. pg38

I love my work because a hospital is a place where humanity can be discovered, where people are treated without racism and as equals. pg78

Certainly I cannot speak for everyone, but in my experience the Israelis I worked with see the patient, not the nationality or the ethnicity. pg78

But there is also a silent camp of people in every country who believe like I do that we can bring two communities together by listening to each other's points of view and concerns. It's that simple. I know it is. pg 86

Some say I am wearing rose-coloured glasses, that I refuse to see the hopelessness of a situation. Maybe they're right. I never see anything as hopeless -- not when I'm delivering a baby that's in distress, not when I'm staunching the blood flow from a woman who is hemorrhaging, not when I'm treating a dozen other ills that have been diagnosed as untreatable. So why would I see the quarrel between two people as hopeless? I care about people. I'm no different than anyone else. We're created like that, to be social, to live with other people. Segregation is unnatural. pg107

Wise words indeed. But it's what I read on page 118 and 119 that held the key to what I truly believe to be the answer for peace for all people everywhere:

One of the ways to alter the status quo is to look to the women and girls. It's easy to find a thousand men in favour of war; it's difficult to find five women who are inclined that way. I feel it's time to empower Palestinian women and girls, to give them respect and independence and let them take the lead. 

A healthy society needs wise and educated women. An educated and healthy woman will raise an educated and healthy family. We need to link education with health care, and the most effective way to do that is to make sure that education and health care are available to women. It's an investment that can shift not only the thinking but the power in the Middle East. Removing the barriers that confront our women and girls could very well lead us to peaceful coexistence.

For more information visit his website

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