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Lebanon: Drama therapist helps inmates with mental illnesses while pushing for reform

'The Blue Inmates' tells the story of those incarcerated in Roumieh’s Blue Building, which houses those suffering from mental illness (Catharsis LCDT, courtesy of Zeina Daccache)

"Zeina Daccache conducts drama therapy in Lebanon’s jails to help inmates and fight for reform of the unjust penal code that can effectively sentence the mentally ill to a lifetime in prison.

Drama therapy allows prisoners to tell their stories and express their feelings in a safe space. Daccache says the performance element helps build bridges between those incarcerated in Roumieh and the outside world and raises awareness of the many issues that inmates at Roumieh face.

Daccache established an NGO called Catharsis in 2007, based in Lebanon. The organisation has been working for over 15 years to provide drama therapy services to all members of Lebanese society, including prisoners, refugees, domestic violence survivors, students, at-risk youth, and individuals with mental illness.

The organisation believes that incorporating drama into therapy not only grants individuals an active role in their own healing, but also serves as an empowering method for solving problems and promoting growth and wellbeing."

Read more about Daccache's plays, performances, and films in Lebanon in this article by Middle East Eye


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