SPOKANE, Wash. – Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated author of “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity,” headlines the 2nd International Conference on Hate Studies, April 6-9, hosted by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies.
Dr. Abuelaish, a well-respected Palestinian as an obstetrician/gynecologist and the Michael and Amira Dan Professor in Public Health at the University of Toronto, has overcome poverty and violence to become one of the most influential educators and voices on issues of peace and development in the Middle East.
Abuelaish lost three daughters in January 2009 when Israeli tanks twice shelled his home. Yet his message of nonviolence and hope for peace endures. He calls upon Israelis and Palestinians to acknowledge their shared humanity as the only possibility of halting decades of fighting.
Institute Director John Shuford notes, “Moral heroes like Dr. Abuelaish and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. call us to the revolutionary and healing power of love. Even in the face of terrible tragedy, they remind us that our work remains the same: To spread nonviolence and sow community so that one day we may harvest peace.”
Abuelaish, whose courses include “Health: An Engine for the Journey to Peace” and “Women’s Health in Countries in Conflict,” emphasizes the roles of women, youth, and physicians to create a better future. A healthy society needs “wise and educated women,” and children bear the promise of peace because people are not born with hate but learn it. Because good health is a product of peace, he believes physicians worldwide play a special role as “messengers of peace.”
Dr. Abuelaish will speak at the Conference Dinner on Friday, April 8; the dinner is open to conference participants and the public (pre-registration required). For more information, visit the website for the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies or contact the Institute via e-mail or at (509) 313-3665.