This is a biography of the life of Dr Eyad El Sarraj, Gaza's pioneering psychiatrist and founder of the Gaza Community Mental Healthcare Programme, written by his son, Wasseem El Sarraj. It is also a history of Palestine with a focus on Gaza. Eyad's life was intimately intertwined with Palestine's struggles so his choices and reactions reflected many of the major historical moments of the last 70 years. The book is an effort to provide a perspective on how the forces around him impacted his life, and how he took control of what he could achieve in an intractable situation. The book is interspersed with Wasseem's own reflections as a mixed-race Palestinian, and as someone who has lived under occupation in Gaza.
Wasseem El Sarraj ably interweaves the history of Gaza and his own life with that of his remarkable father, the courageous psychiatrist Dr. Eyad El Sarraj, who served as healer for Palestinians struggling with both the Occupation and their own ruinous political divisions and as a beacon of moral hope for Israelis seeking a just peace with Palestinians. -- Nancy Murray, activist for peace with justice in the Middle East since 1988. She is co-founder and president of the US-based Gaza Mental Health Foundation.The book gives a socio-political background necessary for the reader to understand the complicated situations and conditions, especially in the Palestinian and Israeli long and bloody conflict that was the framework for Eyad's life, thinking, and professional and political activity ... One can say that Eyad was born in Palestine, died in Israel but lived in Gaza. As Wasseem writes: Gaza's pain was Eyad's pain. -- Ruchama Ma/p>Gaza Community Mental Healthcare Programme has transformed the way mental health has been talked about, and treated, in Gaza. Eyad's personal sense of right and wrong, and a keen sense for justice, meant that mental health would become inextricably linked with human rights. ... I am glad that Eyad's work and his life has been documented, and consolidated in this memoir. -- Yasser Abu Jamei, director, GCMHP.
About the Author:
Wasseem El Sarraj is a British/Palestinian writer and psychologist, living in London. He is the son of the late Eyad El Sarraj, the Palestinian pioneering psychiatrist and founder of the Gaza Community Mental Healthcare Programme.
Ruchama Marton, MD, is an Israeli psychotherapist, psychiatrist, feminist, and founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Director of the Gaza Communiity Mental Health Care Programme (GCMHP)