This short biography of Dr. Eyad El Sarraj, the founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, describes his formative experiences under Israeli occupation, his education, and his professional life, including interactions with Palestinian and Israeli colleagues. El Sarraj's vision of collective resistance, his stubborn ‘pathological optimism,’ and his devotion to the dignity and well-being of his patients and the people of the Gaza Strip in the face of unrelenting Israeli state violence are colorfully described by his colleague and long-time friend Paul Aaron.

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