I’m not really sure where to start in reviewing the novel, “I Shall Not Hate” because it’s so breath-taking that I had to take a couple of days to write a post worthy of this book. If you take anything from this post, I urge you to take your time in reading this memoir and spend time understanding the message that Dr. Abuelaish is trying to convey to readers in his call for peace in third world countries.
If you’re Canadian, you know, as well as me that crossing the border into the United States can be tedious and long, but after hearing the troubles that Dr. Abueelaish had to go through each time he’d try to leave his home in Gaza or enter back into it, you’ll never complain again. Picture being questioned continuously, being refused entry into a country where you’re going to be attending to others health, but can’t get there in time, picture spending a 10 hour day at the border almost every week. This was what a day in the life of Dr. Abuleaish was like when commuting between his home town of Gaza into Israel to work at a Israeli hospital. Dr. Abuelaish (also known as the “Gaza doctor”) is Palestinian but worked weekly at an Israel hospital, because he believed that the war between the two countries was a senseless war.
His memoir tells the story of his family and the struggles that they endured while living in the city of Gaza. To give you an indication of the map of this part of the third world country:
As you can see, the Gaza strip is on the border of Israel and when the Israeli troops launched an attack on Gaza residents, sadly 3 of Dr. Abuelaish’s daughters were killed, as well as his neice when a shell was launched into their home. I cried the whole time I read the passage about what happened to their family, about the emotions that Dr. Auelaish and his children must have felt seeing their siblings/daughters die in an instant.
Throughout all the pain and tragedy, Dr. Izzeldin still believes that there can be peace among the two countries and that the feeling of hate should be non-existent. He’s been quoted as saying,
If I could know that my daughters were the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis, then I would accept their loss
Imagine how hard it would be to forgive someone who tore your family apart, imagine having the courage and the strength to say that if his tragedy inspired the war to end, then he would be okay with what happened to his daughters. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish sounds like an incredible man who clearly puts others needs before his own.
Buy a box of kleenex (preferably the lotion infused kind) and read this informative and educational memoir about a selfless man and his families experiences during a middle east war.