London University and Harvard trained Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish was born and raised in the Jabila refugee camp in Gaza. Having lost three daughters during the Israeli incursion into Gaza 2008/9, Abuelaish's response to his tragic loss is one of inspiration. He tells his story in his book I Shall Not Hate where he champions the notions of education, solidarity and love as the only real way forward to make change in the Arab Israeli conflict. As opposed to actions underpinned by revenge and hatred.
Speaking at the University of Warwick this evening, Abuelaish reads a poem written in memory of his oldest daughter who was killed, by an Israeli woman. The poem named 'Where Love Resides' embodies Abuelaish's position perfectly. This argument is not one of religion or politics but one of humanity. A humanity, which is beyond the labelling of Israeli, Palestinian, Muslim or Jew. A humanity which speaks of love and tolerance, where 'words are stronger than bullets and where we are fighting to live and not living to fight.'
With his unique outlook on the power of the role of women in enabling positive change, Abuelaish has set up a Foundation in memory of his lost daughters; Daughters for Life, enhancing educational opportunities for women in the Middle East who fear to dream of progression and a better life.
Izzeldin Abuelaish's inability to hate despite losing his daughters is a testement to us all in the beauty and wonder of open hearts, a prevailing belief in change and faith.