I shall not hate


He didn’t get to enjoy what he planted in his life. He had been a successful farmer, the son of a respected landowner, but then he was homeless, living in a refugee camp, raising this children there, working as a guard, never earning enough money. It was humiliating for him. I could feel his anxiety throughout my boyhood, and as my life began to improve at medical school in Cairo, I felt guilty that my father hadn’t been able to be the role model to his children that he believed he should be.

Izzeldin Abuelaish-Page 65-I shall not hate

Reflecting on the passing away of his father

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.

Reflecting on the passing away of his daughters.

A note on gracereadings.com– this was the reading journal of the Tripoli reading group. Having been away from Tripoli for some time, I resume this Reading journal, by becoming part of book clubs in Mississauga Library system.

For those interested in the Tripoli reading group and its discussions- click here  http://wp.me/P5YX3a-3 for some background notes

WHY A READING GROUP…When we first met in the coffee tables of the Grand hotel of Tripoli, we wanted to have a regular forum to discuss using Literature as a Framework, to know what a particular work of literature tells about society, culture, civilization or an issue.

EVERYDAY HISTORY SOCIETY- This Reading group also evolved into an Everyday History Society- in which we interviewed and wrote the narratives of common working people, expatriate workers in Tripoli and narratives related to the Libyan February 17 Revolution of 2011

To download these E-books- Click here http://wp.me/PiL5Q-vB


The then Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, watched the broadcast.
The then Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, watched the broadcast. “I read that he said: ‘Who can see Izzeldin and not cry?'” says Abuelaish. “Two days later he announced the ceasefire. I hope that at least the blood of my daughters was not in vain, that it saved others.”
Suggested Further Reading:

The first book was – I shall not hate– by the Gaza doctor , Izzeldin Abuelaish. This book was discussed in Courtney park Public library. He was part of the generation which has seen their parents generation moving out of what was Palestine, grown in the times of the 1967 war, seen the two Intifadas and  nurtured his family through these turbulences.


Dr Abuelaish reflects the different events which shaped his family life, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The participants agreed that this is a message of hope and love, in a bitter conflict, where both sides only see what wrong the other did.

The passages following the deaths of his father (page 65) his mother (page 80) and daughters (Page 167) are deeply humane reflective surreal moments where the Gaza doctor looks back on what life was, what life is now, and what the future holds for his family and his people.

His answer to the cries of reprisal is one of the high points of his book

“ But the cries for reprisals didn’t stop. What about the soldier who fired the deadly volleys from the tank- didn’t I hate him? But that’s how the system works here: we use hatred and blame to avoid the reality that eventually we need to come together. As for the solder who shelled my house, I believe in his conscience he has already punished himself, that he is asking himself, “What have I done?”. And even if he doesn’t think that now, tomorrow he will be a father. He will suffer for his actions when he sees how precious is the life of his child.


The book talks about the brotherhood and sisterhood of medicine- where humanity is discovered through the care of the sick, where one sees the patient, not the nationality or the ethnicity. This experience gained from a life time of working in different hospitals around the world is a powerful message for anyone involved in conflict ridden areas.


While discussion in the Book club in the library, the average rating given to the book was 7 out of 10, with some participants raising the question of why as an educated enlightened person of medicine, he had gone ahead and had eight children. Is it because of the culture from which he belongs. Over all, participants gave credit for the deep humanity which the book speaks of.

The book gives voice to the Palestinian suffering.






The value of just one soul is greater than any single thing upon this earth. For there can be nothing greater than raising a child in preparation for that journey back to where he came from, a place where his immortal father lives, a place known as heaven, a place called home.

Richard Pelzer-in A Brother’s journey.

Surviving a childhood of Abuse

In A Child called “It,” Dave Pelzer described the terrible treatment he received at the hands of his mother and his brother Richard. Fortunately for Dave, he was removed from the Pelzer household by the time he was twelve years old.

But his mother needed a new scapegoat for her alcohol-fuelled wrath. Soon it was Richard who received nocturnal beating, had Tabasco sauce poured down his throat, and was kicked and slapped to the point of needing hospitalization. Yet, he survived. A BROTHER’S JOURNEY is the story of how one little boy found the courage to withstand years of physical abuse- and how the human spirit can triumph over even the most severe circumstances.


The book chronicles the many abuses, revealing the dynamics of s deeply dysfunctional family and the unholy alliances that often develop.

From a Reading journal perspective, the boy as he becomes a teenager, develops his identity and thinking power, tries to figure his parents out.

Page 167- in which he realizes that his mother was unhappy about being a parent., the time it took away from her,with Dad out of the house, she had no outlet for her twisted emotions.

Page 219-When Richard remembers his Dad-who passed away-and how the separation from loved ones the missing out on life’s events must have hurt him deeply.




1-Page-152-154– Perhaps Gram knew more about her daughter’s mental state than she let on

-Discuss the dynamics of the mother –grandmother in relation to the children

2-Discuss how relations with persons like Ben ( Early the next morning Ben called to check on me. It was nice knowing that people understood the situation and were concerned about me-Page 230) and Josh and family helped Richard. Compare it with the way the school institutions-junior grammar school and middle school handled this case.

DISCUSSION..Do you know of any cases of abuse which were covered by authorities or relatives?






A Reading Journal