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2 teosta 561 jäsentä 59 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

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Tekijän teokset

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Abuelaish, Izzeldin
Virallinen nimi
Abuelaish, Izzeldin
Palestine (birth)
Jabalia Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
University of London (diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Harvard University (M.A.)
Medical Doctor
University of Toronto
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Calgary Peace Prize (2012)
Lombardy Region Peace Prize (2011)
Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada (2010)
Order of Ontario
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian medical doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp. He is a proponent of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.



Given the extreme horrors that are going on in Gaza at the moment, it felt only right to read something this year relating to Gaza, and I appreciate the couple of CRers who recommended this to be through their fine reviews. It's a difficult book to both read and to review, especially given that the horrors which the doctor who wrote this book describes back in 2009 were but the tip of the iceberg of what was to come in Gaza.

Izzeldin Abuelaish, who would go on to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, writes with eloquence about the modern day hell that is life in Gaza. Whatever your politics, it's hard to think of many other places in the world where such a large body people are hemmed into such a relatively small space with so little freedom of movement, their land borders, sea and airspace blockaded by Israel with the Palestinians having next to no control over the transportation of basic necessities such as food and medicine into their land. Complex geopolitical wrangling has existed for a very long time in this part of the world and there is fault on both sides, but Abuelaish tries to put his own politics aside and to instead put a human face to the real victims of this ongoing struggle.

The futility of guns and rockets in achieving any type of peaceful resolution to the conflict is core to Abuelaish's message in this book. As an eminent fertility specialist, he spent a considerable amount of his career working in a hospital in Israel, endeavouring to help couples regardless of their faith or nationality and building firm friendships with many Israelis. This, he believes, is a rare privilege in this part of the world, where Palestinians and Israelis have little opportunity to engage with each other, where they only know the 'other side' as faceless enemies, which makes peace all the more difficult. As such, he endeavoured to ensure his own children made the most of opportunities to attend peace camps with Israeli young people, and instilled a strong sense of love and humanity in his children's upbringing. Incredibly sadly, three of his daughters and a niece were killed when an Israeli tank opened fire from the street on the bedroom they were in, and Abuelaish works hard, not just in this novel but in the numerous talks he has given over the years, to prevent them from being faceless statistics - he wants us to see their faces, to know something of their individual personalities, the career dreams they had. He also wants us to know, however hard it is to read, the reality of this type of warfare, his daughters limbs scattered around the wreckage of their bedroom, one daughter decapitated. It's utterly harrowing, but I think it's important not to look the other way to the reality of other people's sufferings.

Coming as I do from Northern Ireland, I appreciate how what Abuelaish says about dialogue being the only route to peace is so true, and also how peace will never be established whilst two peoples are kept largely separated from each other. Peace requires getting to know each other, to stop demonising the other side as something less than human, to look for what we have in common rather than what divides us.

Peace seems further away than ever for Palestinians and Israelis at this point, but we must live in hope. At one point in his career, Abuelaish works with some Israeli doctors on the impact of conflict trauma on Palestinian children living in Gaza and Israeli children living near the border with Gaza. Fifteen years ago PTSD was already becoming endemic amongst these children - it's so difficult to think about what the future holds for the children of today in these areas.

4 stars - a true lesson in compassion but so very hard to read given current events.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
AlisonY | Mar 26, 2024 |
The sheer amount of adversity Abuelaish has had to overcome is astounding, only surpassed by the incredible amount of humanity he somehow still possesses.

Abuelaish takes the time to humanise the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of the effect it has had on people on both sides - in particular in giving firsthand accounts of what daily life in Gaza entails, to grow up in poverty and insecurity, to be constantly denied basic rights, and to be treated as subhuman -, making it a fairly accessible introduction into this ongoing complicated quagmire.

Seeing as his main message is for peaceful coexistence, for both sides to come together through their shared humanity, he is extremely careful to attribute blame to both. As a result, the tone is almost too measured, perhaps intentionally (so as to avoid criticisms of politicising agendas via emotional manipulation) depriving what would have otherwise been intensely devastating scenes of their potency.

Thankfully, the inclusions of third person accounts of Abuelaish painted a more human portrait of him: someone who has had to hide every bit of dissatisfaction and frustration at the unfairness and inequality he is subjected to daily in order to go about his professional and personal life, to be beyond reproach by the Israelis so as to be in a position of power to effect change for Palestinians, but then perhaps then setting an impossible standard for future Palestinians?

I would love an update from Abuelaish (the book included one from 2011) about his thoughts on the current situation and his life since the book was published.

Extra: The Guardian's review is also well worth a read.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
kitzyl | 57 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 25, 2019 |
Average writing. Abuelaish wrote the book with an obvious agenda, an admirable one—but probably because I was already 100% sympathetic with it, I didn't find it challenging or particularly interesting. I also have a hard time identifying with the author. He's a politician and sometimes he writes like one. (And how can he have eight children, and leave them for six months at a time?)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
breic | 57 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 31, 2019 |
What an incredible story. I'd like to thank the author so much for sharing it. I'd also like to thank him for not giving up on humanity as he lived through it.

I won't provide a complete summary of the book, you can read that elsewhere, but this is the true-life story of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish who tells of his life in Gaza. His life of love and loss from his struggle to educate himself as a child, to gaining his degree in medicine, into fatherhood, to where his life is now. All of this while calling home a country whose borders are controlled by a government who hates him, just because he was born on the wrong side of that border.

Whether or not you share his faith, or agree with his lifestyle, I hope we can all learn a lesson or two from Dr. Abuelaish, and perhaps also put into perspective some of our own struggles, frustrations, and anxieties.

This is a First-Reads review of an ARC edition.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
snotbottom | 57 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 19, 2018 |



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