Citizenship award 2012: Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Izzeldin Abuelaish (1955), often referred to as “the Gaza Doctor” in foreign media, is a Palestinian medical doctor and infertility specialist who has dedicated his life to peace in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abuelaish was the first Palestinian to work as a doctor in an Israeli hospital, where he made many friendships. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish captured headlines around the world in the aftermath of a horrific tragedy: on January 16, 2009, Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip, killing three of his daughters and a niece. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, Izzeldin Abuelaish is calling for the people of the Middle East to start talking to each other. His personal doctrine is that hate is not a response to war. Rather, open communication, understanding and compassion are the tools
to bridge the divide between Israeli and Palestinian interests. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Following the publication of his 2010 book “I Shall Not Hate”, which chronicles his life journey as a doctor and peace activist, Dr. Abuelaish set his sights on improving the lives of girls and women in Palestine and Israel. He believes that the peace process and lasting peace must include the voices and full participation of women. The Daughters for Life Foundation, founded in 2010, provides university scholarships and scholarships for health and other education programs for young women in the Middle East. 

Currently, Dr. Abuelaish is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada. 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.

(download pdf Laureaat 2012)

31 December 2012

With the support of logo pv group