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|Izzeldin Abuelaish, PhD
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian physician and internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist devoted to advancing health and education opportunities for women and girls in the Middle East, both through his own research and by founding the charitable organization The Daughters of Life Foundation. He has dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace. He has succeeded despite all odds through a great determination of spirit, a strong faith, and a stalwart belief in hope and family. Dr. Abuelaish is the first Palestinian doctor to receive an appointment in Medicine at an Israeli hospital. Through his work he has had the opportunity to experience the impacts of conflict in countries like Palestine, Egypt, Israel, Uganda, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. Working as both an insider and outsider to conflict led him to consider doctors as peace-makers by the moral doctrine of their profession. His work as both a healthcare practitioner and a peace advocate mobilizes health as a tool for peace. Dr. Abuelaish has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty, violence, and the horrific tragedy of his three daughters’ and niece’s deaths in the 2009 Gaza War. He continues to live up to the description bestowed upon him by an Israeli colleague, as a “magical, secret bridge between Israelis and Palestinians”. He is now one of the most outspoken, prominent and beloved researchers, educators and public speakers on peace and development in the Middle East.
Global Public Health