Palestinian Doctor Preaches Peace For the Middle East

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The Kennedy Lecture Series at Ohio University is bringing peace advocate Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish to campus, Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 in the Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium to talk about possibility of peace in the Middle East.

Dr. Abuelaish is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, an author, and a Palestinian physician who practiced medicine in Israel.

In 2010, he wrote an autobiography I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey.  In the book, he talks about his loss and his transformation.

Dr. Abuelaish had three daughters killed in January 2009 by Israeli shelling. He writes about forgiveness as the solution to conflict and as a catalyst for peace.

This week, he talked with WOUB and described how he views hatred as a “poison” and that people must purge themselves of hate to promote peace.

Dr. Abuelaish is a firm believer that individuals, one-by-one, can make a major contribution toward peace.  He said he learned that lesson from one of his daughters prior to her death.  His non-violent campaign for peace is, in part, to honor his daughters killed by the violence of war.

He says that he refuses to see himself as a victim and to do so would be to dishonor his daughters.  Instead, he has turned his grief into a positive message for peace.

Dr. Abuelaish states that “hate is not a response to war.”  He claims that “open communication, understanding, hope and compassion are the tools to bridge the divide between Israeli and Palestinian interests.”

He is currently an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.  He also spreads this message of peace around the world by giving multiple speeches each year to enhance understanding.

For the past three years, Dr. Abeulaish has been named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan and was the first recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize.