Gala Dinner 2012
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian medical doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp. Dr Abuelaish is a passionate proponent of peace between Palestinians and Israelis. He has received his early education in the Palestinian refugee camp schools, prior to receiving a scholarship to initial study medicine in Cairo followed by a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: University of London.
From 1997-2002 completed a residency in OB/Gyn at the Soroka University hospital in Beer Sheva-Israel followed by a subspecialty in foetal medicine in Italy and Belgium. Dr Abuelaish then completed his Masters in Public Health (Health Policy and Management) from Harvard University.
Dr Abuelaish has been an important figure in Palestinian-Israeli relations, working in Israeli hospitals, treating both Israeli and Palestinian patients indiscriminately and fully believes that health is an engine in the journey to peace.
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Dr Abuelaish’s three daughters were killed in January 2009 during an Israeli incursion into Gaza, however even this horrific tragedy did not harden Abuelaish’s heart; and neither did it weaken his resolve to act for humanity. He continues to live up the description bestowed upon him by an Israeli colleague, “a magical, secret bridge between Israelis and Palestinians.”
The Doctor’s commitment to forgiveness following the personal tragedy has led to international humanitarian awards and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and he has written about the two years since the dreadful events in a new book called "I Shall Not Hate". Dr Abuelaish has also set up his own foundation as a result of his experiences called Daughters for Life – the foundation offers scholarships to young women of diverse backgrounds who have experienced and overcome great hardship in order to provide them with the opportunity to study in Middle Eastern or Western institutions of their choice. Daughters for Life believes that by allowing these women to earn degrees and garner experience through education, they can partake in the creation of a better world and, most importantly, hope again.
CNN: Christiane Amanpour, Anderson Cooper, Hala Gorani, Aljazeera International with Riz Khan, BBC, CBC, ABC
Abuelaish has established The Daughters for Life Foundation in memory of his three daughters established for the leadership development, health and education for girls and women in the Middle East. http://www.daughtersforlife.com/
2011 Lombardy Region Peace Prize, Milano, Italy
2011 Finalist, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, European Parliament’s award
for human rights and democracy campaigners
2010 L’Olivier d’Or, by Association Pax Medicalis, Monaco
2010 Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada, by Mahatma Gandhi Centre of
Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba
2010 Uncommon Courage Award, Centre for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious
Understanding, Queen’s College, New York, USA
2010 Nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize by the Belgian Parliament
(also nominated in 2009)
2010 Named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic
Strategic Studies Centre, Amman, Jordan (also named in 2009)
2009 One of three finalists for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
2009 Middle East Institute Award, Washington D.C.
2009 Search for Common Ground Award, Washington D.C.
2009 Stavros Niarchos Prize for Survivorship, by Survivor Corps, Washington, D.C.
2011 Honarary Doctorate (Laws), Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
2011 Honorary Doctorate (Laws) University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba
I SHALL NOT HATE
The Gaza Doctor’s journey
It’s the best seller in Canada and is being translated into 15 languages including: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spain, Holland, Turkish, Portuguese, Finnish, Hebrew and Indonesian