Dr. Izzeldinn Abuelaish is Honoured with the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award”
Please click the link for more info : Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish lost his wife to cancer, and — just four months later in January 2009 — Israeli shells killed three of his daughters, Bessan, 21, Mayar, 15, and Aya, 13, and his niece, Noor, 17. Two more of his eight children were wounded by rocket fire. Despite these tragedies, Abuelaish continued his mission for peace within the region, calling for people to put down their weapons and begin a positive discussion toward peace. “My faith, profession as a medical doctor and my life experience have always motivated me. I am a person who does not believe in the impossible. Everything is possible in life but with determination and hard work,” he says.
Abuelaish has been an important figure in Israeli-Palestinian relations for years, working in Israeli hospitals, treating Israeli and Palestinian patients, equally. But, after the tragedy that took his daughters, Abuelaish accepted a post as an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where he currently teaches courses and lectures on peace through conflict). He relocated his remaining five children to Toronto and settled them into school life here. “Life and social structure in Canada in general and Toronto in particular encourage diversity and inclusiveness and also to help you keep your culture alive. This is what makes this country unique and different from others,” he says.
Since immigrating to Canada, Abuelaish has written a book entitled, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity, which has been translated in 16 languages. He has also established the Daughters for Life Foundation (daughtersforlife.com), in memory of his daughters, with a mission that strives to “empower women and girls of the Middle East through health and education.”
The inspiring doctor is a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for the third time, and has received many accolades all over the world for his continued work for peace. He was awarded the Order of Ontario, the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada and the Uncommon Courage Award from the Center for Ethnic Racial and Religious Understanding in New York.
“I know that what I have lost. What was taken from me will never come back. But as a physician and a Muslim of deep faith, I need to move forward to the light, motivated by the spirits of those I lost.”