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I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity Hardcover – January 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Born in a refugee camp in 1955, Palestinian physician Abuelaish suffers a catastrophic loss when three of his daughters are killed in their home by Israeli fire in 2009. An Israeli television journalist's live broadcast of his call for help captures Israeli public and world press attention. "Most of the world has heard of the Gaza Strip," as Abuelaish says, "ut few know what it's like to live here, blockaded, impoverished, year after year, decade after decade." Abuelaish portrays everyday life in Gaza and tells the remarkable story of how he came to be "the first Palestinian doctor to be on staff at an Israeli hospital." The "tortured politics of Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East" are rendered graphic by his personal accounts of "the humiliation, the fear, the physical difficulty" of border checkpoints and bulldozed homes. Abuelaish tells of the "satisfying, even wonderful" moments, "the good chapter of a bad story," as well; an infertility specialist, he is as "thoroughly smitten" with his research as he is appalled that "Gaza hospitals are rundown and can't be repaired because of an embargo is preposterous." Abuelaish knows anger, but in this impassioned, committed attempt to show the reader life on the sliver of land that is Gaza, he demonstrates that "nger is not the same as hate." (Jan.)
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Review

“WHAT is said in this impressive book is less remarkable than who says it…. Anger is fine, he says, but we must all find the inner strength not to hate. He himself has done so quite magnificently.” ―The Economist

“Scrupulously honest… heartfelt, moving and beautifully written in a distinctive voice…. what is most remarkable is that [Abuelaish] is able to convey not only a baseline faith in the human spirit, but hope for the future.” ―Emily L. Hauser, The Dallas Morning News

“Because Abuelaish has this sort of deeply nuanced approach to the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict, precisely because he yearns to point out the good in those who are supposed to be his enemy, we cannot ignore or deny his damning portrayal of life under occupation.” ―Jane Eisner, The Forward

“An eye-opening story of a remarkable person.” ―Alden Mudge, BookPage

“Abuelaish knows anger, but in this impassioned, committed attempt to show the reader life on the sliver of land that is Gaza, he demonstrates that ‘[a]nger is not the same as hate.'” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This story is a necessary lesson against hatred and revenge.” ―Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

“In this book, Dr. Abuelaish has expressed a remarkable commitment to forgiveness and reconciliation that describes the foundation for a permanent peace in the Holy Land.” ―President Jimmy Carter

“I met Dr. Abuelaish just a few days after the loss of his three daughters. We faced each other as we were about to shake hands. And then, without much thought, we held each other in a warm embrace … It is so rare, I thought, in this debilitating and devastating area we inhabit, to meet a person like him, a man who despite his own losses, continues his belief in humanity and its potential for good, despite all … Through his eyes I could see another way, a way the two nations could treat each other. A way that could extract what is good, special, and humane in both of them. I could see an alternative that could light up the great similarity of both peoples, one that gets denied and put down time and time again. This option, now so scorned and held in such contempt, suddenly sprang to life, embodied in the man I was watching.” ―David Grossman

“A deeply affecting narrative told in a voice of poignant simplicity, punctuated by injunctions to love that are far from corny, tried as they are by the searing experiences of a righteous man striving to act decently in a place of madness.” ―Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books; 1 edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802779174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802779175
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book, which I heard about during a recent CBC radio (The Current) interview with the author and two of his daughters, as a person relatively ignorant about the ongoing issues between Palestinians and Israelis. After finishing it, I feel a bit better informed, having learned such things about Gaza as its size, population density, poverty rate, unemployment rate and living conditions of its inhabitants as well as significant historical and political events and agreements affecting the region, though purely from the Palestinian perspective. I'd certainly be interested to know what Israelis think about Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a multi-lingual (Arabic, Hebrew, English) fertility specialist, described by an Israeli colleague as, (p x) "forward-looking and full of hope," and his efforts towards a peaceful solution to the problem. In January of 2009, the recently widowed father of eight lost three daughters and a niece near the end of the several-week-long Gaza War when an Israeli tank shelled his home. An Israeli journalist he'd been updating regularly about the situation on the ground in Gaza took a call from the doctor moments after the attack that was broadcast on live television. The station continued airing the heart-wrenching conversation for several minutes (available for viewing at YouTube under the title, "Gaza Doctor - Israel," along with successive interviews and Israeli finger pointing, shedding further light on the situation), after which information provided by its staff helped rescue workers locate and transport survivors to the hospital. The incident put the doctor smack dab in the middle of the spotlight, and now, just over a year later, he shares his story in print form.Read more ›
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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.
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