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This is the title of the book written by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor who spoke this past week at Kehillat Israel synagogue. This is a man of tremendous moral and personal strength. He is a man whose personal journey would have destroyed almost anyone else. Yet, he was standing in front of the audience, in front of me, to admonish all to stand for peace, to cry for peace, to demand that peace be achieved.
Dr. Abuelaish grew up in a refugee camp in Gaza where he fought to get by and had the hope of one day becoming a doctor. He was successful in this quest against all odds, being the only Palestinian physician to work in an Israeli hospital. He was courageous in his efforts to achieve peace in his war torn land. He ran for public office but was unable to overcome the corrupt and idiosyncratic politics of Gaza. And then, in 2009, he lost three of his daughters when his home was shelled by an Israeli tank.
But despite this heartbreaking loss to himself and his family, he rejected hate and chose to focus on healing. He rejected despair and chose to focus on hope. He suffered countless outrages that would have broken and discouraged most others, yet he stands in front of us and urges us to dream, to dream big, to dream for peace.
His story resonates with me and with the Wallenberg Institute. Our programs have championed those Israelis and Palestinians who, despite deep personal losses due to the constant fighting and trauma, have turned away from hate and violence and toward doing everything in their power to achieve peace.
Dr. Abuelaish has been nominated for the Nobel Prize. He sets a high standard of living from a place of love and ethical behavior. He is a model for all of us. He walks in the footsteps of Raoul Wallenberg.
When I think of this courageous man, I ask myself what more I can do to achieve peace. I redouble my efforts to cultivate love and peace in my own heart. I then look around to see where I can help shine the light of peace. Please join me in this mission. Join our mailing list and join the Institute in our efforts. Every one of you can make a difference.