Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Gazan physician who is a passionate and eloquent proponent of peace between Palestinians and Israelis. He has devoted his life to medicine and the search for reconciliation in the Middle East. For years, Dr. Abuelaish has been an important figure in Palestinian-Israeli relations. He has treated Palestinian and Israeli patients and worked in Israeli hospitals, and is a committed advocate of forgiveness and healing as engines in the peace journey.
Tragically, on January 16th, Dr. Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and a niece when Israeli tank shells shattered his house in the Jabalia camp. The calamity was broadcast live on Israeli television, capturing for the first time the lethal toll that the battle was taking on Gaza’s civilian population and conveying it right into the living rooms of Israelis and others around the world. For a moving tribute by Dr. Abuelaish to his daughters, see www.daughtersforlife.com.
In the face of this horrific personal tragedy, Dr. Abuelaish has continued to advocate for peace and harmonious coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis. Dr. Abuelaish continues to live up to the description bestowed upon him by an Israeli colleague: a magical, secret bridge between Israelis and Palestinians.
An international foundation, inspired by Dr. Abuelaish’s vision and commitment to peace and reconciliation, is being created, with headquarters in Toronto and the Gaza Strip. The Foundation, with an international mandate, is being established to nurture leadership among women and girls in Gaza and the Middle East in the fields of education and health. Inspired by Dr. Abuelaish's values and lifetime commitment to working across challenging situations, the foundation will honour the memory of his daughters and serve as a living legacy.
Educated at Harvard (Master’s of Public Health), Dr. Abuelaish is currently associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Abuelaish is a finalist for the European Union’s 2009 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and a nominee for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
-- Bio of Dr. Abuelaish as published on the 2009 Sol Kanee Poster
The 2009 Sol Kanee Lecture for Peace and Justice took place Monday, November 2, 2009.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish presented on the topic of "Forgiveness as a Pathway in the Journey of Peace."
The transcript of the lecture can be found here: 2009 Sol Kanee Lecture transcript