Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Father's Plea

Last night, along with 700 others, I braved the rain and the cold to go to RMIT's Storey Hall to hear Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish interviewed by Jon Faine. Dr Abuelaish is a Palestinian doctor who was living in Gaza and practicing in a hospital in Israel treating both Israelis and Palestinians. In January 2009, three of his daughters were killed when Israeli tanks shelled their upstairs bedroom. (Click here to read more).
Despite his personal tragedy, Dr Abuelaish is a passionate advocate of peace. Listening to his heart-breaking story, this is the part that was the most profoundly moving. As my sister and I made our way out of Storey Hall to our tramstops in the cold wind and the drizzle, we agreed the most important message we could take away from Dr Abuelaish's powerful address was that the wish for peace wasn't a naive one. Despite feeling overwhelmed and powerless in the face of war and all the hate that rages throughout the world, Dr Abuelaish called on every one of us in that hall to hope for peace and to spread this message, to educate ourselves and our children and to make our votes count.
As Dr Abuelaish signed my book, wanting to find some small way to connect with this awe-inspiring man, I asked him if he would manage to squeeze in a little bit of a holiday while he was here. He looked up at me with weary eyes and said no, all he wanted was to get back to his children. Back home, walking quietly through my sleeping house, I lingered longer in the doorways of my own.


  1. An amazing man. You've stopped me in my tracks with this post, sally. It's a cliche I know but peace really does begin with each any every one of us . x

  2. I wish I could have joined you for this, Sally. What an incredibly courageous man, to have risen above despair and bitterness to focus on peace. And to stand up and spread his message, though it would be so much easier to be home with his remaining family. Thank you for posting on this. x

  3. Thanks Rach and Jen - yes, he was truly inspiring and humbling. x