Listen: The force of self-awareness in Iraq with Asmaa Ibrahim and Jiyan Foundation

Jiyan Foundation’s Co-head of Trauma Care and Health Asmaa Ibrahim joins Philippa White to answer questions ranging from how she began training in psychotherapy to the culture and stigma associated with mental health treatment.

Why there is so much trauma in Iraq? How was the war with ISIS so different from the other wars over the years? What is the reality on the ground for women in Iraq?

Today I speak with Asmaa Ibrahim, co-head of Trauma Care and Health at Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights and assistant lecturer at the Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychotraumatology at the University of Duhok in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq.

We start this conversation by understanding the history and background of the country. Asmaa talks about the stories from when the war broke out in 2014, and what she has heard from the people that she helps. Then she explains what she does to help start the healing process.

Asmaa tells us one of her favorite techniques that she uses to help people heal from trauma. We hear about how children were militarized and educated under ISIS.

We learn what she and Jiyan Foundation are going to do to reintegrate these now-young adults back into society.

During this conversation, Asmaa gives us a brief window into life in Iraq. We talk about the culture and she finishes explaining her anguish but also her hope.

I was left so reflective after this. Talking to people in other places is so important. Perspective is such an incredible thing, and conversations like this bring us all closer together.

There is a lot here. So grab that favorite beverage or throw on those running shoes, and enjoy this conversation with Asmaa.

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