Ghassan Abu Sittah receives honorary doctorate from American University of Beirut

Ghassan Abu Sittah receives honorary doctorate from American University of Beirut
The renowned British-Palestinian surgeon will be honoured by the American University of Beirut for his humanitarian efforts amid the war on Gaza.
3 min read
08 May, 2024
Ghassan Abu Sittah, a British-Palestinian doctor who worked in Gaza's hospitals amidst Israel's war on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza [Getty]

British-Palestinian doctor and activist Ghassan Abu Sittah has been announced as a recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB). 

The prestigious university chose Abu Sittah for his efforts treating the wounded around the region over the last decade.

Joining Abu Sittah as recipients of the award are Indian author Arundhati Roy and American philanthropist Darren Charles Walker.

The honorees will be inducted into this year’s Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters category at the university.

AUB president Fadlo Khuri issued a statement via the elite university’s website to highlight the achievements of all three recipients.

Khuri praised Abu Sittah’s role in the medical field, particularly in Gaza amid Israel's ongoing bombardment of the besieged enclave, saying "he has never shied away from serving where the need is greatest."   

The commencement to honour Abu Sittah and other notable recipients will take place on 7 and 8 June.

The announcement comes as AUB student activists joined university protests worldwide in solidarity with Gaza, as Israel continued deadly attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Pro-Gaza protests also took place at the Lebanese International University's Beirut and Bekaa branches, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Jounieh, the Lebanese American University and Saint Joseph University in Beirut. 

Inspired by sit-ins in the United States, students demanded their universities boycott companies that do business in Israel.

Abu Sittah has been one of the most prominent Palestinian voices in the medical field, speaking out about his experiences working in Gaza following the outbreak of Israel's war on the Palestinian enclave

He travelled to Gaza on 9 October, where he performed dozens of surgeries on gravely wounded civilians. He spent 43 days in the Strip, and upon his return gave several press interviews on the deteriorating conditions and the amputations he was forced to carry out without anaesthesia. 

Rights groups have warned that Palestinian figures such as Abu Sittah have been repeatedly silenced for criticising the Israeli government’s conduct on the besieged enclave. 

Abu Sittah was recently denied entry to France, where he was set to provide testimony on Gaza’s deteriorating health system, following a Schengen-wide ban imposed by the German government.

At least 492 health workers have been killed in Israeli attacks, according to Gaza health authorities and 24 hospitals have also been rendered out of service, including Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, where Abu Sitta worked.