Multnomah County Library Central Library, U.S. Bank Room, 810 SW 10th Avenue
Featuring a discussion with Laura Robson, Portland State University Assistant Professor of History
About the Book
By turns inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s account of his extraordinary life. A Harvard-educated Palestinian doctor, he was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and “has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians” (New York Times). On January 16, 2009, Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and his niece when Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, he has called for the people of the region to come together so that his daughters will be “the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
Free copies of the book will be available in advance to a limited number of participants.
About the Author
Izzeldin Abuelaish, often referred to as “the Gaza Doctor” in the 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 has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty and violence. Dr. Abuelaish received his elementary, preparatory and secondary educations in the refugee camp school system in Jabalia, Gaza.
From a young age, Dr. Abuelaish set his sights on becoming a doctor, and he eventually garnered a scholarship to attend medical school at the University of Cairo. Following this, he obtained a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of London. He later completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Saroka Hospital in Israel, followed by further study in fetal medicine and genetics at V. Buzzi Hospital in Milan, Italy and Erasme Hospital in Brussels, Belgium. He then went on to earn his Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Policy and Management at Harvard University. Dr. Abuelaish was the first Palestinian doctor to receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital. For many years, he worked as a senior researcher at the Gertner Institute in Sheba hospital in Israel.
On January 16, 2009, tragedy struck when an Israeli tank shelled his home in Gaza and killed three of his daughters, Bessan, 21, Mayar, 15 and Aya, 13, and his niece Noor, 17. This hearbreaking loss came only four months after losing his wife to cancer. Rather than retreat into despair, he deepened his resolve to become a beacon of hope for peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. In 2010 his memoir I Shall Not Hate: a Gaza Doctor’s Journey became an instant best seller and has been translated into 16 languages. Currently, Dr. Abuelaish is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Presented as part of A Day in the Life: Memoirs from the Middle East, a book club series which aims to dispel common stereotypes of the Middle East by exploring literature from the region. The rich narratives, stimulating detail and enchanting dialogue of the selected memoirs will draw readers in and provide new perspectives on the Middle East, beyond war and politics. Through interactive and participatory book club discussions, readers will engage with the text, with experts and authors, and each other to explore the diversity of daily life in the Middle East and consider both the similarities to and differences from our own lives in Oregon.
A Day in the Life is presented by the Multnomah County Library and the Portland State University Department of English and Centers for Public Humanities and Middle East Studies and was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities, a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds Oregon Humanities’ grant program. Any views, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect the views of Oregon Humanities or the National endowment for the Humanities.
The Portland State University Department of English offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses to meet the needs of students with a diversity of interests, and academic and professional backgrounds. The department offers courses in literature, rhetoric, composition, and critical theory and emphasizes intertextual and cross-disciplinary inquiry represented by many cultures and historical periods.
The Portland Center for the Public Humanities (PCPH) coordinates, promotes and supports rigorous humanistic inquiry into the languages, histories, and ideas that both shape our ways of life and offer a means of positively transforming them. PCPH’s mission is to connect the scholarly community of PSU with the city, and its programs have focused on topics vital to public life. PCPH programming has examined topics such as sustainability and the humanities; the prison industrial complex; Holocaust and genocide studies; and religion and secularism.
The Portland State University Middle East Studies Center promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library.
Multnomah County Library (MCL) is the oldest and largest public library in Oregon, serving nearly 20% of the state’s population (approximately 724,000 residents). MCL cardholders are voracious consumers of the Library’s collection, checking out over 33 items per person in 2011-12, the highest circulation of all libraries serving populations of fewer than one million. MCL hosted more than 22,000 events during the last year, including monthly meetings of 27 book discussion groups. More than 300,000 residents attended library programs. The community is eager for connection and learning – visiting the Library online or in person nearly 35,000 times each day in 2011-12. This November, nearly 63% of voters in the County voted to establish a library district, providing permanent, stable funding for this well-loved and well-used institution. MCL is guided by three pillars that define its role in and value to the community, which guides how MCL builds its collection and develop and present programming: 1) A free resource for all, 2) A trusted guide for learning, 3) The leading advocate for reading.