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Award Winner 2023

Peace Award Winner 2023


Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish ist ein kanadisch-palästinensischer Arzt, der sich aktiv für die iIzzeldin Abuelaish is a Canadian-Palestinian doctor who is actively involved in Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The Pahl Peace Prize 2023 honours Izzeldin Abuelaish for his commitment to peace, reconciliation and human dignity in the Middle East.

Receiving the prestigious prize means a lot and not to underestimate our action. It inspires more to take more responsibility do more Promoting and acting for the dignity of all is essential, crucial to our collective, universal and human peace.

Izzeldin Abuelaish

DR. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor and peace activist who has made it his life’s work to work against hatred and for peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Izzeldin Abuelaish was born in 1955 in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and grew up in these difficult conditions. He also visited the schools in the refugee camp. Education was considered very important in the Abuelaish household. From an early age, it was his great wish to become a doctor. For his hard work, he was rewarded with a scholarship to study medicine at Cairo University. He then obtained a diploma in obstetrics and gynaecology from the University of London and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University.

Dr Abuelaish completed his residency at Soroka University Hospital in Beer Sheva, Israel, from 1997 to 2002. He was the first Palestinian doctor to practise medicine in an Israeli hospital. His mission was to help Israeli women with fertility problems. His role as a doctor is profoundly formative for his view of the world and his work. He sees doctors as natural peacemakers because of the morals of the profession.

A severe personal setback occurred for Izzeldin Abuelaish on 16 January 2009. Four months after his wife died of cancer, three of his eight children – Beesan, Mayar and Aya – and his niece Noor were killed by Israeli tank shells during the Gaza war in an attack on his home. His heartbreaking reaction to the violent deaths of his three daughters was broadcast live on Israeli television and sparked worldwide reactions.

This tragic personal loss, however, has only reinforced Dr Abuelaish’s doctrine that hatred is no answer to war. Rather, open communication, understanding, hope and compassion should be the means of choice to bridge the gap between Israeli and Palestinian interests. This is impressively presented in his autobiographical and award-winning book I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, which remarkably describes his commitment to forgiveness as a means to resolve conflict and a catalyst for peace.

In 2011, Dr Abuelaish emigrated to Canada, where he teaches as a professor of public health at the University of Toronto. His central research topic, which he presents to the whole world in lectures, is the possibilities of using the health sector as an engine for peace.

Furthermore, Dr Abuelaish founded the charity Daughters for Life in honour of his three deceased daughters. Daughters for Life aims to provide young women from the Middle East with a quality education to lay the foundation for a peaceful world. Izzeldin Abuelaish believes that education is a human right and the key to lasting peace in the Middle East and the world.

The Pahl Peace Prize now honours Izzeldin Abuelaish for his impressive, passionate and multifaceted commitment to world peace. Like no other, his life stands for renouncing the logic of hatred and violence, and for the struggle for understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Another focus of his work is the special role of people in health professions as global peacemakers. The foundation he established promotes world peace through education.

award ceremony 2023

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, the 2023 Pahl Peace Prize was awarded to Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Dr. Abuelaish is a Canadian-Palestinian physician who actively promotes Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, particularly in Gaza.

Award ceremony 2023

(v.l.) Dr. iur. Markus Otto Hasler (Stiftungsrat) Friedhelm Gruber (Stiftungsrat), Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish (Preisträger), Dr. Ruben Reike (Beirat), Hon.-Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering (Beirat) Dr. Nino Pahl-Nioradze


Award Ceremony 2023