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Palme prize awarded to Palestinian psychiatrist

AFP/The Local · 4 Jan 2011, 18:21

Published: 04 Jan 2011 14:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2011 18:21 GMT+01:00

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El-Sarraj, who in 1977 became the first psychiatrist to practice in Gaza, is the founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), a non-governmental organisation focused on improving the mental well-being in the Palestinan community.

The 66-year-old psychiatrist has "in his professional and political work ... stood on the side of the individual human being, regardless of nationality, gender or social position," the Olof Palme Memorial Fund said in a statement.

"He has brought into the light the destructive influence of repression on mental health. He has shown the connections arising between confinement, hopelessness, desperation and violence, and how this is neglected by both Palestinian and Israeli authorities," it added.

El-Sarraj said he was surprised at the award but happy.

"I am proud and happy to receive this prize but I consider that the real heroes are the victims of violence, torture and war, not me," he told AFP in the Gaza Strip.

"This prize gives me hope and encourages me to continue to fight to defend those whose rights have been abused in Palestine, by the Israelis or the Palestinian Authority, and to work for justice and peace."

The Palestinian physician, who completed his medical studies in Alexandria and London, witnessed before the United Nations-mandated Goldstone Commission on the war crimes committed by both sides during Israel's war in Gaza two years ago.

El-Sarraj will receive his award and the $75,000 prize money at an official ceremony at the Swedish parliament on January 28.

Story continues below…

The Olof Palme award for outstanding achievement, aimed at promoting peace and disarmament and combatting racism and xenophobia, was created in memory of a popular Swedish prime minister who was gunned down by a lone attacker in February 1986, shortly after leaving a Stockholm cinema.

Danish writer and debater Carsten Jensen won the 2009 prize, while other former laureates include Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:50 January 4, 2011 by truthworthy
Congrats to him. He definitely deserves it by working under such a tight occupation in Palestine and helping the people who experience such a terrible mental problems due to the occupation and the oppression by the Zionist regime.
17:53 January 4, 2011 by olive_tree
Congratulations. he deserves it indeed
18:25 January 4, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Swedes do love their peaceful Arabs. If everyone would be more like Arabs, the world would be a paradise.
19:55 January 4, 2011 by superturbo
As usual, the socialists in this country keep on supporting the palestinian islamists...
20:19 January 4, 2011 by motti
Israel dispense medical treatment to all and sundry, including many from Arab Mid East countries, because there are not the facilities available. Perhaps an award can go to an Israeli who treats Arab Moslem, Christian, Jew, Druse etc. Nah, he;s a Jew, so we can't do that can we?

I am sure Sweden would award such a prize to doctors who administer psychological, psychiatric help to those who suffered rocket and missile attacks around Sderot for many years.

Never mind,as a member of the EU, you will soon be able to import fruit and veg from Gaza. Assuming the local aRabs don't drown in their olympic sized swimming pool or become lost in the huge shopping mall. (I kid you not)
20:53 January 4, 2011 by Sweetdishgurl
@superturbo and @motti

Stop hating on the innocent Palestinian people. Your people are living on stolen land. Israelis will get rewarded when they give back the land and tear down the wall. No wonder Palestinians and Israels can't live in peace, superturbo and motti are prime examples of why the world will always be at war. Nuke Israel and there will be world peace for sure.
21:29 January 4, 2011 by viper

No one is going to believe in this lie. The world has witnessed how Israeli forces crushed defenceless Palestine's and at times attacked Hospitals and ambulances. How come a country with such a low morality will give medical or psychiatric assistance.
22:02 January 4, 2011 by beefinswede
Congrats to this guy. He must be very overworked practising for the Palestinians in one of the most devastated areas of long running persecuted peoples on earth.
22:26 January 4, 2011 by andy_so

you seem like a wonderful humanitarian, caring for the palestinians people, yet your willing to push the "big red button" and kill millions...

and what? if it was wiped of the earth like you said, world war 1,2 wouldnt have happened? 11/9 wouldnt have happened? there wouldnt have been a suicide bomber in stockholm??

your as smart as your nickname "sweet-dish-gurl"...


where do you think the strip gets water/electricity/gas/fuel/food/ect, and all for free. from egypt??? (the answers no,its from the" low moral israelis").

the list just goes on and on...

your welcomed to enrich your knowledge about the various facts before dismissing other people words as "lies"...

but since i assume you dont really care about the subject, your welcomed to keep your hollow media-feed based opinions to yourself.

regardless of the above, the dr should be congratulated! to reach such a feat despite the hardship is most impressive!
03:03 January 5, 2011 by dt804a
I am appalled but not surprised by the support of this paper's crowd for the Arab terrorist, misogynist and anti-gay regime in Gaza. I will just list two facts here for the attention of all the jihadist-loving Muhammeds of this site:

1. Israeli civilians are under a constant barrage of rocket fire from Gaza, which is a war crime; for example, according to IDF "As of October 7th, 2010, 165 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip this year (107 Qassam rockets, 51 mortars, and 7 Grad rockets), including a Qassam rocket which was fired yesterday". Go justify that!

2. After WW I, the entire territory of Mandatory Palestine was assigned as the Jewish national home. This was codified in international law not only in the San Remo conference of 1920, but also in the Mandate document of the League of Nations (go ahead and google it to verify!). Palestine belongs to the Jews and the Arabs are squatters and occupiers. They have succeeded in presenting a world standing on its head, because the leftists are only too eager to harm the democratic republic of Israel. To believe the Arabs means to deny the Holocaust, to believe in the Protocols of the Elder of Zion, to accept the Arab hoax about al Dura, and a million lies of the same kind (the last one - Israel is responsible for Muslims butchering Christians in Egypt - see "Islamists 'build their scapegoat' for church bombing", http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?ID=202218&R=R1)

Happy new year.
09:12 January 5, 2011 by chapora
To all the people who have missed the point WAKE UP.

Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad El-Sarraj won the prize for his "self-sacrificing and indefatigable struggle for common sense, reconciliation, and peace" in the Middle East.

Maybe you need to re-read that part of the article.
10:18 January 5, 2011 by Rick Methven

Unfortunately you are wasting your breath as every time Palestine is mentioned on The Local, Mossad gets its propagandist trolls to swamp the site with derogatory comments because they hate the truth that there are genuine Palestinians who are in search for Peace and reconciliation. spoils their propaganda that ALL Palestinians are murderers and they hate to see their lies being exposed.
11:48 January 5, 2011 by johnny1939
Every time a Palestinaian does something good and gets recognized he or she gets attacked. I am so sick of it. I am glad Sweden has the guts not to join USA and Israel in their condemnation of all Palestians. As you know some Swedes have paid w/ their lives for doing so.
12:28 January 5, 2011 by glamshek
Again, Peace mongering slogans under the garb of Injustice !

Damn it. This bloody bloody Dark force of the century is now clearly at loggerheads with the divine forces. No wonder the times have been set up for bloody wars. What I wonder however, is as to why people still do not believe in God when he prophesied these times through His messengers.
13:08 January 5, 2011 by pjtaipale

>under such a tight occupation in Palestine

What? If he works in Gaza, it's not occupied. Yes, there is an embargo imposed by Israel - nothing new, there has been an embargo against Israel by many neighbours since 1948.

But the reason that children suffer there is not occupation; it is war that is waged between the (rather numerous) parties. Or is your point that the existence of a Zionist entity is occupation?

Since I have not studied what El-Sarraj has done, I don't know if he deserves a peace price, or if "peace" is in this context a situation where "all opposition to peace has been killed". But I'm certain that the children there do suffer and need help.
13:12 January 5, 2011 by glamshek
Come clean Mr pjtaipale. There cannot be two opinions about Palestine. The Zionists existence is the very festor Wound. It should be wiped off the map !
13:57 January 5, 2011 by Syftfel
To be honored by anything in the name Palme is like being honored by the Butcher of Lyon. For it is because of him, Palme, that the social dems embarked on a path totally destructive to Swedish culture, patriotism and national cohesion. Comrade Palme who was nothing more than an unforgiving marxist, who detested everything western, tried to control the Swedish populace, and redostribute income, in a way that not even Orwell could fantasize about. It is thanks to this misguided socialist misfit that Sweden is no longer a great Nordic nation, but a failed experiment in decaying, malodorous, multiculturalism. His name must be forever linked with failure and contrarian policies. To be "honored" in his name is nothing to be proud of.
14:29 January 5, 2011 by flintis
@syftfel:- true true very true, although I'd be happy with the $75,000 if I were to be honoured ;-))
15:24 January 5, 2011 by dt804a
Response to Viper, #11. When "Motti", #5 informed you that Israel provides medical care to the region's Arabs, you stated that nobody will believe it. Well, sir, here is the documentation:

"180,000 Palestinians Treated in Israeli Hospitals This Year". You can google under the line in quotation marks to confirm (this comments board doesn't allow me to give the link, for some reason).

Of course, facts will matter to you very little, since you've already made up your "mind", but perhaps you should nonetheless learn some facts about the Israel-Arab conflict. Also note that Israel is instrumental in transferring supplies to Gaza on a weekly basis, and you can read the stats on a continual basis at this site: http://idfspokesperson.com/ For example, the latest report is for the period December 12th-18th, 2010, "a total of 917 truckloads crossed from Israel, carrying 22,167 tons of goods, humanitarian aid and development assistance for Gaza's civilian population. 180 truckloads of construction materials were transferred into the Strip during this period." Again, I cannot give the link because this comment board rejects links, but you can google using the text I cited.

What is it you said, Viper, "No one is going to believe in this lie". Right.
16:05 January 5, 2011 by Rick Methven

Is your username your Mossad code?

Do they pay you good money to come on A Swedish web site to denigrate Swedes and Sweden. You have stated on other posts that you would never set foot in Europe why come on this forum unless you are being paid?

Or maybe you are just another North American troll
17:06 January 5, 2011 by dt804a
Reply to "Rick Mathven", #20

1. One of the internet rules states that as soon as a participant in a discussion reverts to ad hominem accusations, he/she has lost. This applies to you in particular: you have not answered a single point in my posts (#10 and 19), but limited yourself to personal attacks. You've lost.

2. Regarding the accusation of troll etc: I am following the lead of such people as former Spanish president Aznar to defend Israel, because, in Aznar's words, "If Israel goes down, we all go down". Defending Israel is part of the struggle to defend our western civilization from Jihadists and their fellow-travellers. Read Aznar's article on the web - you can find it by googling the title I cited above. This is why millions of Christian Zionists and even a small group of Muslim Zionists (check Wikipedia for this term) defend Israel - and this is why I am in this battle.

3. The reason I come to this Swedish site (until I am barred) is to show Scandinavians that there is another way of thinking - and there is also a historical memory. By this I mean that here in North America we have not forgotten the conduct of Sweden during WW II. Canada and the US mobilized millions of citizens to defeat the Third Reich. During WW II, Sweden continued to trade with the Reich, sending them ferric metals for their war machine and allowed German troops to cross Swedish land (check Wikipedia under "Sweden during World War II"). Of course, Sweden was not as bad as Finland that turned into an actual ally of the Reich, but that is only saying that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king. When my grandchildren ask me what my country did during WW II, I have a proud record to show them; what do Swedes tell their grandchildren?
17:24 January 5, 2011 by Rick Methven
@mossad troll

"The reason I come to this Swedish site (until I am barred) "

As you persist in trying to hijack every thread you have posted on to promote your 'mission' you will most probably be banned soon but then you seem o expect it - I expect you have had the experience of being banned from many forums.

And now you bring up the old hoary myth that we Scandinavians are Nazi lovers.

I did not bother to commenting on your posts because I do not feed trolls.

Keep on posting in this vein and you will be looking for another forum to post your rubbish on VERY shortly
11:36 January 7, 2011 by cogito
@dt804a "One of the internet rules states that as soon as a participant in a discussion reverts to ad hominem accusations, he/she has lost."

Exactly. But all he's got is ad hominem. You give sources; he does not. Case closed.

Sweden's inglorious history with the Third Reich is well documented.
13:12 January 7, 2011 by johnny1939
Sverige gjorde vad de var tvungena att göra under sista världskriget för att undvika att bli okuperade av andra makter. Vi tog emot många flyktingar som annars förmodligen hade omkommit. det är väldigt enkelt att vara efterklok 70 år senare.
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