Connection Beirut prides on highlighting the great work of some personalities and their contributions to the society. That’s why in our Special Mount Lebanon Zena Daccache couldn’t be out.

You must probably know her as “Izo” after 15 years on TV with “basmati watan”, a political satire show on LBC channel.

Zeina Daccache has a BA in Theater Studies, and MA in Clinical Psychology; she is also a Registered Drama Therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association – NADTA, USA.

The actress believes in the healing powers of therapy through theater, and thus she founded the “Catharsis – Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy”. The first of the kind in Lebanon

As well she performs as play director and documentary filmmaker in different settings. Zeina has been given awards for several times in recognition of her initiatives and services.

 

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The drama therapy center created by her promotes and offers therapeutic actions through the use of theater and art. The services and programs offered address various social, educational and therapeutic settings such as substance abuse treatment centers, mental health facilities, hospital correctional facilities school, theaters and corporations.

 

It is worth mentioning as well that Zeina has worked with inmates from the Roumieh prison, applying the drama therapy in a place forgotten for many. After the significant results of the initiative, in May of this year they performed a play called “Johar, up in the air”. Some inmates sentenced to life and other with mental illness portrait monologues telling the story of the “forgotten behind bars”. She mentioned that 2 Brazilians inmates, arrested for traffic of drugs, were also performing in “Johar”.

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The project in the prison involved more than drama therapy, the actress has also suggest draft laws in order to achieve changes on the conditions of the inmates with mental illness and sentenced to life. The draft laws were prepared with the support of the EU and in collaboration with the MPs who signed the draft laws, and the Ministry of Justice.

More currently she is also involved in a capacity building program for Palestian and Syrian women.

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As she multitasks between the directions of Catharsis, her clinic where people come for individual therapy, the prison program and sessions with the refugees Zeina Daccache leave us with an example of determination and courage, a woman who is breaking boundaries and leaving her mark in the Lebanese society.

by Gabrielle Nakhoul

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