Talk to Al Jazeera

Izzeldin Abuelaish: ‘Armed with love’

The Palestinian doctor whose three daughters were killed by Israeli shells explains why hatred is not an option for him.

Events in the Middle East often seem caught up in a never ending spiral of conflict, recriminations and finger pointing.

But is there a way out?

One man says yes. And he should know.

More than three years ago, Izzeldin Abuelaish experienced a tragedy.

During the war on Gaza, Israeli tank shells hit his home. His three daughters – Aya, Bessan and Mayar – were killed.

They were looking for a better future, as was their father who says: “They were girls armed with love … they were fighters for humanity.”

The Palestinian doctor, who was working in an Israeli hospital when his daughters were killed, has now left his childhood home and lives and works in Canada.

He is still pursuing an Israeli apology for what happened. But despite all of this, he says that hatred and resignation was not an option for him.

Abuelaish has written a book with a message for his fellow citizens of the Middle East, calling on the people in the region to start talking to each other.

“The energy you want to waste in anger, convert it to strength and determination,” he says.

In this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, Sami Zeidan hears the story of a man who really knows what it means to experience and to overcome violence and anger.

“Anger is a good sign,” he says. “In a positive way we need to feel angry about what is going on in this world – the violence, the injustice in this world. But in a way that encourages us to take responsibility …. The means we use are our wisdom, our kind words and our good deeds.”

undefinedTalk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430.

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