Perspectives on Peace, Health & Hope: A Gaza Doctor's Journey from Personal Tragedy to a Search for Peace and Human Dignity

A public talk by Palestinian medical doctor and humanitarian Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of “I Shall Not Hate”. Dr. Abuelaish has devoted his life to peace and reconciliation, especially promoting health and education as strategies for resolving violent conflicts.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Broad Auditorium, 2160E Broad Art Center
UCLA Campus

Refreshments served and book sales from 5:30 p.m.   Doors Open at 6:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University Of Toronto.  He is the founder of the “Daughters for Life Foundation” and author of the acclaimed book “I Shall Not Hate” (2010), published in the aftermath of the death of three of his daughters and a niece by an errant Israeli shell in Gaza, January, 2009.

Dr. Abuelaish, often referred to in the media as “The Gaza Doctor” will share his personal story and bring to the community his message that the real enemy in all conflicts is ignorance and a dehumanization of others. He believes that the future must be about tolerance, dignity, mutual respect, and an embracing of our universal humanity and interconnectedness.

Before joining the University of Toronto, Dr. Abuelaish was a practicing obstetrician & gynecologist at the Soroka University Hospital in Beersheba, Israel. As the first Palestinian physician to be selected for a residency and then employed by an Israeli Hospital, he devoted himself to using medicine as a tool to bridge the gap of social understanding and humanity between Israelis and Palestinians. Dr. Abuelaish has worked internationally in numerous countries for over 20 years. 

Co-Sponsors: UCLA Student Affairs, International Institute, Burkle Center for International Relations, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Middle East Development, Fielding School of Public Affairs, Department of History, Hillel at UCLA, Abrahamic Faiths Peace Initiative, New Vision Partners, & the Olive Tree Initiative.
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Dr. Abuelaish Biography

Izzeldin Abuelaish was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee Camp in Gaza. He received a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, Egypt and then a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology 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 Fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium; he then received a Master in Public health (Health Policy and Management) from Harvard University.  He subsequently served on the staff of Soroka hospital and worked for many years as a senior researcher at the Gertner Institute at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv.

At the University of Toronto, he is presently coordinating and teaching three courses in public health: Women’s Health in Countries of Conflict; Health as an Engine for the Journey to Peace; and International Perspectives on Health Services Management.  These courses center on understanding the underpinnings of social and political conflict, and providing tangible and pragmatic ways to promote health as a strategy to building peace. 

After the loss of his daughters and niece, Dr. Abuelaish established, in 2010, The Daughters of Life Foundation.  The Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that provides girls and young women with the opportunity to develop a strong voice and play a more influential leadership role in improving their own quality of life. Awards and scholarships are provided for female students form Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, and are tenable at universities around the world.

Dr. Abuelaish has received numerous awards, including the 2010 Uncommon Courage Award from the Centre for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding (Queen’s College, NY) and the 2010 Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in 2009 and 2010 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan,  was one of the three finalists for the 2009 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and, in 2010, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Dr. Abuelaish's book, "I Shall Not Hate" will be available for purchase at the event.  

This talk is part of "A Week of Civil Discourse"  -- a series of events throughout Los Angeles, April 16-19, featuring Dr. Abuelaish in conversations that will help each of us discover the common humanity within us all.  His visit to Los Angeles is jointly presented by Kehillat Israel congregation (Pacific Palisades), UCLAY&S Nazarian Center, Loyola Marymount University, and CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice), with support from the Silton Family Foundation

Special Instructions

Parking is available in UCLA Parking Lot 3. Enter the campus at Hilgard and Wyton Avenues. Turn right onto Charles Young Drive East and proceed straight to Lot 3. You will see an entrance immediately in front of you, and there is also another entrance to Lot 3 up the road to the left. Parking attendants will be present at both entrances. Parking is $11; $4 for handicapped. If you prefer to park in "Pay per Space" parking (and pay at the automated kiosk), it is $6 for two hours; $4 for handicapped.

Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA International Institute, Center for Middle East Development, Department of History, Hillel at UCLA and the Abrahamic Faiths Peace Initiative