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by Joanna Dykhuis | LIT LIFE From Pain to Change O

N JAN. 16, 2009, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was in his home in the Gaza Strip with his niece and three of his daughters when Israeli shells blew his house into pieces. The young women inside

were killed; all four under 21 years old. Though Abuelaish wanted an apology

from the Israeli government, the explana- tion he received was that Israeli forces had taken fire from the direction of his house and responded by firing shells from a tank. The doctor’s Israeli colleagues and friends rallied around him and his story was given coverage in both Israel and Palestine; from there, the news spread across the world. In the two years since that night, Abuelaish

has written a book with the remarkable title I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey On the Road to Peace and Human Dignity. Though his beliefs were deeply shaken that night, the shells did not destroy his faith that “the world can be saved.” “Some people were thinking after what

happened I would be drowning in hatred and animosity, [but] thank God there are things that have helped me not lose my compass,” he said. “As a Muslim I fully believe what is from God is for good so that helped me a lot, [thinking that] it will be for good that my daughters were selected.” Abuelaish was born and raised in a

Palestinian refugee camp and worked largely across the border in Israeli hospitals. Before his

DR. IZZELDIN ABUELAISH Schuler Books and Music, 28th Street location Feb. 3, 7 p.m.

FREE!, (616) 942-2561

publications, he was already a well-known advocate for peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, and had dedicated his life’s work to medicine and reconciliation. His medical background also has a significant role in his understanding of the events. “Being a doctor helped me focus on sav-

ing lives; our goal is to save lives, not to put an end to lives,” he said. “Hate is a chronic disease. It is a poison. I must be healthy spiritually, emotionally and physically so hate has no place. It’s not the right way. The antidote … is to move forward, resist it and be united against it. Hatred can’t be treated with hatred: for darkness, we need light.” Despite the losses Abuelaish has suffered

in his life—his wife died of leukemia in 2008— he continues to be a symbol of hope for peace in the Middle East and across the world. “In this critical time of people’s lives

where they lost hope everywhere in the world, it’s time to have hope, to have faith in that hope … The world can be changed.”

Other Literary

Events | by Lyanna Hampton

Big Author: Wade Rouse It’s All

Relative book tour Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library Feb. 2, 7 p.m.

FREE!, (616) 988-5400

To kick off his book tour, author Wade Rouse will be at the Grand Rapids Public Library to discuss his fourth memoir It’s All Relative: A Memoir of Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine. The book seeks to answer the question “How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?” by taking a look at his bizarre family’s annual holiday celebrations.

Dear President Obama: Poetry

Night Barnes & Noble, Grand Rapids Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.

FREE!, (616) 940-0820 This message of hope and change is the

main purpose of this story.” “To give hope to the people. If we start to

fix the human being, which represents human- ity, I think the world can be saved. Each can start the change within ourselves; don’t blame others, look inside. This world can be changed and the change comes from inside. We can make it.” n

Barnes & Noble at Woodland Mall is hosting a special event in honor of Black History Month with a Dear President Obama poetry night. This open mic night is a chance for anyone to come and share their personal thoughts, opinions or advice for Mr. Obama, or to just let their creative juices flow through letters or poetry. It’s open to anyone who would like to drop some lyrical knowledge and have their voice heard in the community. This is a celebratory event, so censored writing only.


let’s go. skate.

rosa parks circle ice rink

open mondays and tuesdays, 6 to 9:30 pm wednesdays through sundays, 12 to 9:30 pm

free skating lessons every friday in january and february, 12 to 1 pm

Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to watch a video about skating at Rosa Parks Circle!



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