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Laila Atshan

Blind Advocate for Peace

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Date of Birth:

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Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Resilient Promoter of Inclusion and Peace

Brief bio

Laila Atshan is a blind Palestinian psychologist renowned for her work as a trauma healer, counselor, and advocate for people with disabilities, refugees, and survivors of violence. She serves as a Staff Counselor at UNICEF in the MENA region, using her unique perspective to promote inclusivity and empathy in challenging environments

Major Milestones

Contributions

  • Education and Early Adversity: Overcame the challenge of being born blind to pursue higher education and become a psychologist, dedicating her life to helping others overcome trauma and adversity.

  • Advocacy Work: Significant contributions to promoting the rights of people with disabilities and addressing the psychological impact of conflict and occupation.

  • International Recognition: Her efforts have been recognized internationally, allowing her to work with global organizations like UNICEF to train and guide staff in conflict zones like Darfur and Iraq.

  • Academic Contributions: As a Mason Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, she deepened her impact by engaging with academic circles on issues of conflict and negotiation.

  • Public Speaking and Training: Regularly invited to speak at international forums, including the BuildPalestine Summit, to share her expertise in trauma healing and social inclusion.

  • Pioneering Psychological Support: Developed psychosocial emergency teams in the West Bank, enhancing mental health support in regions affected by conflict.

  • Training and Capacity Building: Trained hundreds of professionals, including UN staff and Iraqi university professors, in human rights and conflict resolution...See More

  • Advocacy for Inclusivity: Through her public engagements and professional role, she has significantly influenced policies towards greater inclusivity for people with disabilities in humanitarian efforts...See More

  • Promotion of Mental Health Awareness: Helped raise awareness about the importance of mental health in conflict zones, contributing to broader recognition of psychological impacts of war.

  • Empowerment through Education: Continues to inspire many through her personal story and professional achievements, advocating for education and empowerment of those with disabilities.

Date of Last Update: 
July 8, 2024

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