‘The Antidote to Hate Is Success’: An Interview With Izzeldin Abuelaish

Izzeldin Abuelaish, Joanie Eppinga

Abstract


Izzeldin Abuelaish, often referred to as “the Gaza doctor,” grew up in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He overcame poverty and many other obstacles, and was accepted to medical school in Cairo. He became an internationally recognized expert on issues of fertility and worked in an Israeli hospital. Dr. Abuelaish married and had eight children. Shortly after his wife died from leukemia, he was with seven of his eight children in their home in Gaza on January 16, 2009 when their home was hit by a mortar during Israeli shelling. Three of Dr. Abuelaish’s daughters and his niece were killed instantly, and another daughter was profoundly wounded. Despite his great pain, he held to the belief that hate is not an appropriate response to war. Today Dr. Abuelaish, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, has started a foundation called Daughters for Life (www.daughtersforlife.com), which works to educate young women from the Middle East in an attempt to promote peace. In addition, he has written a book entitled I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Random House Canada, 2010), in which he recounts his life story and his philosophy. Journal editor Joanie Eppinga spoke with Dr. Abuelaish at the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies’ Conference on Hate Studies in Spokane, Washington, on April 7, 2011.

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