” Arab women are being affected in so many different ways. But from where I sit, I think the pressing challenge is being absent from the decision making table. Inclusion is the first and essential step to address many of the challenges that Arab women face.”
Karma Ekmekji is a Mediation Advisor at UN Women, and Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Insititute for Public Policy and International Affairs.
Please tell us more about why you decided to lend your invaluable support to the Intisar Foundation?
My decision was driven by two factors, with the first being HH Sheikha Intisar and everything she stands for. During the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was amongst the very few people who showed me that the world continues to be a beautiful place and that humanity is very much still alive. Knowing that this incredible woman, with her compassionate heart and her strong value system based on achieving the higher good for everyone, was behind the Intisar Foundation made me want to be part of it.
The second factor was the mission of the foundation itself. I have dedicated myself to making women believe that they can be agents of Peace in their families, communities, and nations. Through the Intisar Foundation, I will be able to contribute to reaching their #1MillionArabWomen initiative and helping these women to discover that they indeed are agents of Peace!
” Mental health is at the center of every aspect of life. I am happy to know that this has been acknowledged in our Arab society, and that the Intisar Foundation is leading by example by doing something about it.”
What is your opinion on the organisations and institutions working in the field of mental health support to Arab women affected by war and violence?
I think there aren’t many, so those that exist must be encouraged, funded, and supported in every way possible. Mental health is at the center of every aspect of life. I am happy to know that this has been acknowledged in our Arab society, and that the Intisar Foundation is leading by example by doing something about it.
In fact, they are making giant steps in the field of mental health in the Arab world. However, this is only the beginning, and I am beyond proud and honoured of the amazing social workers, therapists, researchers and administrators who make up the foundation.
How are you contributing to achieving the Intisar Foundation’s goals?
By bringing to the foundation my expertise in Peacebuilding and my network, which I have built over many years, I hope to be able to bring some contribution to the foundation’s goals.
What do you consider to be the most pressing challenges faced by Arab women affected by war and violence in 2022?
This question is not easy to answer. Arab women are being affected in so many different ways. But from where I sit, I think the pressing challenge is being absent from the decision making table. Inclusion is the first and essential step to address many of the challenges that Arab women face.
” Leading as Arab women should be the rule and not exception “
What would be your advice for Arab women in 2022?
Raise your voices. We are where we are today in terms of attributing great importance to mental health because others before us raised their voices. We stand on the shoulders of women who kept fighting, and that’s why we should keep fighting as well.
Build alliances. If we want something, we need to find like minded people around us to help us get to our objectives. Build alliances with men, the youth, with different organisations, and so on. If we want to go fast, we go alone, but if we want to go far, we go together.
Accept and normalise becoming leaders in your communities. Leading as Arab women should be the rule and not the exception.
Officially registered as a humanitarian organisation with the Charity Commission for England and Wales in 2019, Intisar Foundation is the first charitable organisation in the Middle East dedicated to providing psychological support programmes of drama therapy to Arab women affected by the brutality of war and violence.
Number 22, Mount Ephraim,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN48AS
UK Registration Charity Number: 1182384
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