Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish tells his story of growing up in a refugee camp in the Gaza strip. At a very young age, he had to find ways of bringing food home for him as well as his siblings. Too tired to study or go to school, he often thought of giving up on it. He could not imagine what education could bring him, until one day a teacher took him under his/her wing and told him that the only way he could leave Gaza or help his people was by getting an education. Overcoming adversity, he went on to study in Egypt, Belgium and at Harvard. He applied to do a residency in Isreal and was one of the first Palestinian to ever do so. He describes the hurdles he had to go through everday, to make it to the Isreali hospital. The roadblocks, the check points, the searches and the amount of patience it required not to lose your cool. Getting upset would just have made things worse. He explains the difficulties young people have in finding jobs, the despair, the poverty and the extremism that is born as a result of it.
A recent widow, having lost his wive to cancer, he then loses 3 daughters and a niece to Isreali bombardment of the Gaza strip in 2009. He was communicating with an Isreali newscaster friend, everyday by cell phone describing life in Gaza during the bombardments. He was the only one able to give news since Isreal allowed no local or foreign correspondends inside Gaza claiming it was for their own safety. When his house was bombed and he called his newscaster freind for help, he was live on Isreali TV. That clip could be seen on youtube and a blog I used to follow faithfully, showed it. It was very moving.
It is a story of courage, compassion and hope. He strongly believe in the good of people and believes in his heart that peace between Isreal and the Palestinians is possible. I highly recommend this book.