Customer Reviews


128 Reviews
5 star:
 (91)
4 star:
 (30)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most unforgettable books you will ever read!
This is the first time I am writing a review on a book. I love to read, but often, I feel that other reviewers have already done such a good job with their writings about the particular book, that I just read the book and move on.

"I shall not hate" is not a book that one could ever just "read and move on" afterwards.

This book has so deeply impacted...
Published on August 19, 2011 by Frugal Astorian Mama

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I shall not hate
Good book but nothing to write home about,it is not a book I would recommend!read it after the son of Hamas which was great
Published 16 months ago by Sol


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most unforgettable books you will ever read!, August 19, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
This is the first time I am writing a review on a book. I love to read, but often, I feel that other reviewers have already done such a good job with their writings about the particular book, that I just read the book and move on.

"I shall not hate" is not a book that one could ever just "read and move on" afterwards.

This book has so deeply impacted and moved me, I had to take a couple days just to be able to collect my thoughts enough to offer this humble review.

I admit that most of what I will say is simply echoing what the other reviewers have said, but I just had to salute and honor Dr. Abuelaish for offering each and every one of us an insight into the limitless possibilities that are borne of hope and faith.

I am an Egyptian-American. I have traveled to Egypt and the Middle East many times in my life. I thought I was already well-informed about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. I thought I would be prepared and familiar with what I was about to read.

I was not.

Nothing could have prepared me for the explicit depictions of heart-breaking, abject poverty and soul-crushing, desperate living conditions that Dr. Abuelaish describes from memories of his childhood to the present situation in the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, nothing could have prepared me for the breath-taking acts of courage, faith, determination, and love that the Dr. writes of from his personal life experiences. His responses to challenges and hardships that would easily leave most others permanently scarred with hatred and thoughts of revenge, have touched me (and so many others) profoundly.

I have been committed to supporting a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict all of my life, but the constant set-backs in the peace process often leave me feeling despair and frustration.

This book leaves us all vowing to never give up hope that Palestinians (and all people) will someday be afforded the same dignity and respect we are ALL entitled to as children of God. We can and must support this basic right for all people.

Thank you Dr. Abuelaish for sharing your unforgettable story with the world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbling and inspiring read, April 16, 2011
By 
Caroline Lim (Lexington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
This is an amazingly inspirational memoir by a Palestinian doctor, born in a refugee camp in Gaza, and who, after his wife died, then lost 3 of his daughters when the Israelis fired into his home in the Gaza strip. His daughters died simply because they had been sleeping against "the wrong wall" that evening.

Although angry and deeply grieving the death of his 3 daughters, Dr Abuelaish felt no hatred towards the Israelis who had conducted the unprovoked attacks. His live interview on Israeli television just hours after their deaths captured world attention not just on the plight of the Palestinians living in the Gaza but also astonished by the absence of calls for revenge, a call which many would have expected. Instead, he called for peace and cooperation between the 2 sides, for an understanding and acceptance of each other as individuals deserving of respect.

His memoir doesn't shy away from the tough moments in his life. The hardship and starvation he went through as a child in a poor refugee village, an eldest son having to care for his family because of his father's illness, and because, as a second family, his father's first wife and their relations made sure that his family were despised and shunned in their village. His determination and the mentoring by some teachers allowed him to do well enough to earn scholarships to the University of Cairo to study medicine.

Despite the continual humiliations he was forced to endure as a Palestinian living on what Israel believed to be their land, he was fortunate at one point in his young life, to work for a kind Israeli farming family who treated him as any other young child, who offered him kindness and more importantly, respect as a human being. He said it was this moment that he started to question why Palestinians were treated differently and why they were not afforded the same living conditions as the Israelis over the border.

As a doctor, he continued to excel in his work and among doctors he found the equality he sought as a child. He was the first Palestinian to work in an Israeli hospital. He never lost his objective in treating all patients equally and respectfully regardless of nationality and race, and while he was angry that Palestinian hospitals continued to be poorly equipped because of lack of funding and also because of embargoes by the Israelis, his anger was already directed at unfair policies.

As a reader, I am appalled at what he's had to go through in his life's journey, and at the same time, I am inspired and humbled by this amazing man. If we had more individuals like him in governments around the world, I do believe we'd have a better and safer world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wept and couldn't stop turning the pages., January 9, 2011
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
I couldn't put the book down!

I feel the other book reviews have done an excellent job so I will not repeat their poignant knowledge expressed. I have tried to keep myself educated with the conflicts in the Middle East. Yet, this book was very different experience for me. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. The book is a personal journey of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish that I wept in grief, sorrow, hope, and joy for. I also was educated in a very different way in what the psychodynamic/ analytic community calls "Mentaizing"- putting oneself in one's shoes. I did not have judgment politically against any side of the conflicts during his story. I did find myself having empathy and sadness for everyone in this conflict.

There is an a good interview by Steve Palkin on YouTube and another video of Dr. Abuelaish's tragedy as it happened live. Palkin questioned/states Abuelaish's ideas of peace are "very dangerous ideas from the lunic fridge on both sides." I think Palkin asks some very real questions that might have overly optimistic answers from Dr. Abuelaish's. I hope I'm wrong. The book has a few themes that are repetitive. I would recommend to YouTube after reading the book since I do not feel the story and messages is captured well in the videos, but is a good adjunct to the book.

All said- I have felt inspired and found so much humanity from both sides and worldwide. Dr. Abuelaish's journey out of rubble and how he has beaten the odds to successes.... I would of thought impossible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parallels to My Parents, August 29, 2011
By 
Alan R Rockville "Alan" (Rockville, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
We call a person who loses his parents an "orphan".

We call a person who loses a spouse a "widow" or "widower".

But what do we call someone who loses a child? Let alone three?

I met Dr. Abuelaish in April 2009, less than three months after his childrens' tragic death, when he spoke at Busboys and Poets in Washington DC. His message of accepting humanity in order to have peace, as well as his promotion of women to positions of influence and authority, were both moving and convincing. We spoke briefly and I got his business card (he was still living in Gaza).

I then did the research. Found the Youtube link that showed the raw footage of his indescribable conversation with the Israeli journalist when his house was bombed. I updated my blog with his story. This link has raw footage:
[...]

Just recently, Dr. Abuelaish mailed me a copy of his book (I donated to his foundation). I wasn't sure what to expect. The best word I can find to describe what I read is "astounding".

Since I already knew the story of his children, the most moving chapter for me was the one on his wife's illness and death, I could not hold back the tears.

I am the child of parents who were displaced from Poland. People of my religion have been displaced for centuries. I am convinced that it is not enough to merely give statistics to show injustices - you need the personal stories. Dr. Abuelaish not only tells it remarkably, he retains an uncanny optimism about what can and should be done to remedy the current stalemate between Israel and Palestine. I'll let you, the reader, see this for yourself, but in brief I can say that he says what I have been blogging all along: That it is only the leadership that is stopping peace - most of the people of that region are accepting the coexistence of the 2 peoples in 2 states.

I agree with other reviews that say that this book needs to be in schools, translated into many languages, discussed, whatever. I hope his message supercedes the ones we hear out of the Middle East today, from both sides. We need to build trust by individual example, one person at a time, and the 2-state solution will resolve itself. If you think this is naive, ask yourself: "Are the current ways working?"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read, March 15, 2011
By 
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
This is a powerful and important book. Abuelaish tells a story of optimism against all odds: he grew up in the Gaza Strip, where it was struggle just to survive, but managed to succeed in school and become a doctor despite all the obstacles he faced. Rather than developing a deep hatred against the country that had caused him so much suffering, he retained a firm belief in Israelis as people and remained convinced that it was possible for Israelis and Palestinians to live in harmony. Even more amazingly, he maintained this belief and optimism even after three of his daughters were killed in an Israeli assault on Gaza. He of all people might be expected to turn to despair and hate, and yet he manages to look forward to a better future. This is an honest story that certainly isn't short on horror, but the underlying sense of hope makes all the difference. It's a very refreshing read, and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the Middle East.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflective!, April 16, 2011
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
First, I have had the opportunity to read several memoirs in this past month. Most have been excellent..a couple, not so! Abuelaish's, though, is the most poignant. This book is up-lifting and heart-wrenching at the same time. In looking at the Isreal-Palestine(Gaza Strip) issue, we are always informed and/or taught the history of the yet,at least for me, I have never seen it personalized. I think another part that totally blew me away was Abuelaish's ability to not point fingers or place blame...He held both countries (and certain citizens) accountable. That was a real concern for me going into the book. I think the other thing that this book "taught" me is perspective. What I think is horrible in regards to bad things going in my life, I need to keep in perspective for there are others who have had to survive much bigger losses, such as the loss of 3 beautiful daughters, in there own. Simply an amazing, amazing man! DO NOT SKIP OVER THE fOREWARD (as I usually do)..it is a critical part to the book and understanding the character of Dr. Abuelaish.

Second, this book is a short read..literarally it is 258 pages, I believe. I read it in one sitting. But totally engrossing.

Finally, thank you to Dr. Abuelaish and to Bloomsbury books for allowing me to win this book. This was either my second or third try to win it and I was getting ready to order it from the library. This book is def. one for pause for thought.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essay in Forgiveness, March 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
I first saw Dr. Abuelaish on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. The sound of his voice coming over the airwaves, live, on Israeli TV, speaking to his friend the journalist immediately after having had his house shelled by the IDF in which his daughters and niece died is unforgettable. Then, after seeing him more recently on DN, I decided to get his book. The book starts with the period of time immediately before Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 12/2008-01/2009. Dr. Abuelaish's wife has just died of leukemia and his extended family has gone to the beach to be together. The book then goes back in time and briefly details his childhood growing up in a refugee camp and the hardships thereof, with his trying to work as a child to help support his family and also do well in school, which he excelled at/loved. He mentions where his family came from (an area now in southern Israel) and his grandfather's farm, land which was confiscated in the '48 War and which his family still has the deed to--and now beongs to Ariel Sharon. Then after the '67 War, the IDF came into his camp in Gaza with their bulldozers and started flattening houses, and the Israeli occupation began. During his teen years, Dr. Abuelaish worked as a teenager in Israel for a Jewish family who treated him well, went to college, got married, and to medical school in Egypt. Eventually he returned to Gaza, worked as a physician in Gaza, did several studies/internships abroad in OB-GYN (and later in public health), and became, I believe, the first Palestinian physician to work in an Israeli Hospital, clearly well respected by his Israeli colleagues and making close friendships there along the way. The book is only somewhat political, thougth he does speak some of the hardships imposed by the occupation, and now blockade, of Gaza, the endless hours of trying to manuever the checkpoints and get from point A to B, spending one's life at the mercy of Israeli soldiers who can and do jerk Palestinians around, just because, being the occupiers, they can, and Israeli bureaucracy. He also talks much of his children, especially his daughters, and their studies and dreams for when they grow up. Then comes the day that the family finds Israeli tanks parked in front of the residence where Dr. Abuelaish and his brothers live with their families, causing great fear and concern. Dr. Abuelaish calls someone in Israel, and a higher-up in the IDF is contacted, and the tanks eventually leave. Soon they are back--I believe the next day--and that is when they decide to shell his home, killing his 3 daughters and a niece and seriously wounding other family members, changing the lives of him and his surviving children forever. The response by Israel to this brutal act was the usual response given by Israel when it commits war crimes: they said there were snipers on the roof or in the area, that shrapnel taken from the wound of either his niece or daughter was from a Qassam (Hamas) rocket, etc., all lies of course, all in keeping with the "most moral army in the world" claim that Israel repeatedly makes. Eventually the IDF says it was a "mistake." Dr Abuelaish does question in his book why the tanks were stationed in front of his house, but he never really asks the question or comments on whether he thinks the IDF purposely targeted his family, which I found frustrating. Perhaps he knows and just doesn't want to go there, for whatever reason. I can understand that he didn't want this book to be overtly political but, instead, more of a tribute to his beautiful daughters and an essay in forgiveness and bringing the two sides together. But I found that somewhat frustrating in light of all the usual voices of self-serving propaganda coming from American mainstream media and American politicians who will not even acknowledge or give a voice to the findings of all the human rights orgs--Amnesty International, HRW, and Israel's B'Tselem, as well as the Goldstone Report that documented the war crimes that took place during this assault, including Israel's use of the chemical white phosphorus, firing it on Palestinian hospitals, schools--civilians. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Abuelaish. First he lost his wife to leukemia. Then 4 months later he loses 3 of his daughters and a niece to Israeli aggression. To not be full of bitterness and to be able to forgive--or choose not to hate those repsonsible for his daughters' death is monumental generosity. And I agree with him--which is a recurring theme throughout this book--that Israelis/Jews and Palestinians need to get to know one another better, that programs such as the one he sent his daughters to in New Mexico and others like it are a good way for the children of both sides of this conflict to learn about one another's lives and the dreams, goals, etc. they share, and find a common humanity. He has clearly taught his children well. But the Israelis who support the brutal policies of occupation of the West Bank and the seige on Gaza--the land confiscations the demolition of Palestinian homes and destruction of their fruit trees/crops, and preventing the entrance and exit of basic necessities like food and medicine, and fuel to stay warm, are not a minority in Israel, and that is why they elect the governments they do, who continue these decades'-long policies of occupation. How exactly do you talk to people who believe that their right to live free and without oppression is more important than yours is?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking, July 29, 2012
By 
Rachel (Columbus, OH) - See all my reviews
In this heartbreaking (yet strangely uplifting) memoir, Abuelaish relates his life--growing up in poverty in a Palestinian refugee camp, slaving so that he could raise enough money to go to medical school, and his rising career coincident with his growing family. Despite losing 3 daughters and a niece to an Israeli military action, Abuelaish preaches that love, not hate, is required to bring peace. Abuelaish's story is engrossing and tragic, yet I couldn't help but think about all of the suffering Palestinians who don't have a voice. If life is so hard for someone who has powerful connections, what must it be like for those who have no one to help them? This is a must-read for people who think Palestinians are all about terrorism and throwing rocks--people who likely wouldn't touch the book with a 10-foot pole. It's also a fantastic read for someone who is sympathetic to both sides of the conflict, but who wants to hear a personal story. I DO wish I could read the story of someone who isn't highly connected, but this is a fantastic start. And Abuelaish's enduring message of love make a monumental memoir.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking tale of forgiveness, May 8, 2012
What would you do if your whole world came crashing to your feet in a matter of minutes? Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish experienced this when three of his daughters were killed in an attack from the Israeli military. The book "I Shall Not Hate" is the true story of how Dr. Abuelaish, a palestinian doctor who worked in Israel, found forgiveness in the ruins of his life. At a very young age, he became a successful doctor and married a woman who he cared for deeply. But, once she passed away from a horrible disease, he assumed the roles of being both parents to his children. When the Israeli military launched an attack on the Gaza strip, he and his children were forced to hide inside their small apartment for a matter of weeks. When the military eventually atacked his shelter, his daughters Mayar, Besso and Aya were killed immediately. In a world of inequality and prejudice, Dr. Abuelaish found the strength to forgive the Israeli people for taking his daughters' lives, and continued to move forward with his other children and family. Written from his point of view, "I Shall Not Hate" is a book I recommend to anyone who has problems with forgiving others for the small mistakes they may make. Dr. Abuelaish is a compassionate, intelligent man who writes directly from his heart. I would give this book a 9 out of 10, and I strongly suggest this book to high school and college students to want to have more knowledge on what life is like in other countries rather than America.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much needed attitude, June 25, 2011
By 
Robert L. Pattison (Adealide, South Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (Hardcover)
I heard Izzeldin Abuelaish speak at the writers' conference at the Sydney Opera House and was so impressed that I ordered his book, "I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity" straight away. I was even more impressed reading the book. Being a Brit whose nation misled the Arab nations in the 1920s I've pondered the situation in the Middle East for many years. Sympathy was with the Jews after the 2ndWW but we seem to have forgotten the Palestinians who now have suffered as much as the Jews did.
Izzeldin Abuelaish's approach; that through medicine and healing can come dialog obviously works. His passion "not to hate" but to be constructive needs multiplying a million fold - and one way to do this is to read and recommend this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
$24.00 $16.77
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.