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Edward Said ’57 Memorial Lecture | Radiance in Pain and Resilience: The Global Reverberation of Palestinian Historical Trauma

Samah Jabr, Palestinian Ministry of Health; The George Washington University

Tue, 2/27 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 10 McCosh

Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture Fund

What is the role of cultural identity in preserving wellbeing and navigating the wounds of history? This lecture explores the profound historical trauma ingrained in the Palestinian experience and its global repercussions. Grounded in the wisdom of Edward Said, the lecture delves into the psychological dimensions of displacement, dispossession, and cultural distortion. It analyzes the lasting impact of trauma on representation and psychical wellbeing, especially in the face of the continuous distressing military attacks on Gaza. The discussion highlights how Edward Said’s vision of intellectual responsibility offers a framework for psychological resilience and representation in the face of historical trauma.


Dr. Samah Jabr is a psychiatrist practicing in the public and the private sectors within Palestine in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. She is currently the head of the mental health unit within the Palestinian Ministry of Health. She has taught both in the classroom and in clinical settings on the faculties of several Palestinian universities and she is affiliated with George Washington University within the Division of Global Mental Health, where she is currently an associate clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. She is a trainer of several subjects related to psychiatry and psychotherapy including CBT, mhGAP, Istanbul Protocol for the documentation of torture and Treatnet package for drug addiction.

Dr. Jabr often serves as a consultant for international organizations regarding program development, policy planning, and program implementation and as a provider of psychological support and well-being workshops for human right organizations. Her varied areas of interest include the rights of prisoners, the problem of stigma, psychoanalysis, childhood trauma, and the integration of mental health with public health. She is a prolific writer on diverse subjects, in both academic and public media, related to mental health and human rights; she authored the book Beyond the Frontlines, Derrière les fronts: Chroniques d’une psychiatre psychothérapeute palestinienne sous occupation, published by PMN in 2017, which appeared in French, Italian and Spanish, and the book Sumud, resistere all’oppressione, published in Italian by Sensibili alle foglie in 2021. She is also an author of several Arabic professional manuals and guidebooks, one of them, on suicide prevention, won the 2021 prize of the Arabpsy.net.

Dr. Jabr is also a founding member of the Palestine Global Mental Health Network.

  • Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture Fund
  • Princeton Committee on Palestine
  • Department of English
  • Department of African American Studies
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