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  • Dorit Segal

Hope in the shadow of trauma

Long months of planning and dreaming came to fruition on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. The concept of EMDR 4 Peace came to life. Thanks to about forty donors, we managed to raise over NIS 4,600 which made the dream a reality.

 

The trip extended for those in traffic jams and for those at checkpoints. The morning was tense and stressful, the cold penetrated the bones and the embarrassment was great. The room was filled from end to end with about forty women, including Palestinian instructors and activists from the Women of the Sun movement, and eight volunteers, Israeli and Palestinian professionals, from the EMDR 4 Peace group.

The notebooks and pens we purchased for the participants were distributed along with simultaneous translation devices we rented.



Dolly Baruch, a professional interpreter, allowed everyone to speak in their own language, some in Arabic and some in Hebrew, so that everyone understood everyone.

Khalil Abu-Kamal, a social worker working at the "Women of the Sun" opened the meeting with an introduction exercise: on the table were placed stones with drawings of animals drawn by the talented Yasmin Shuka of the Women of the Sun. Every one chose a stone and introduced themselves and their connection to the animal they chose. The round of introductions ended with Rim Hajajara, the social worker who leads the Women of the Sun movement, and Yael Adami, who is one of the founders of Women Wage Peace, both chose a lioness to represent them as a strong animal, who has influence even on the king of the forest and always protects her cubs.

 

Tuli Flint, our trainer, helped everyone to ground, breathe and allow the nervous system to relax and balance with the help of the four elements exercise that everyone practised, and then taught the participants the principles of the exercise and the group turned to practicing and experimenting in small groups: Ahmed Abu-Lamda and Muhammad Tawil helped with the translation, and the consultants Dorit Knobel, Dorit Segal, Barbara Wizensky and Ilana Diamant worked with the four groups and guided them patiently until the coffee break.

 

The cakes, cookies, coffee and tea were just in the right sweetness! The atmosphere began to change, conversations between people, laughter and four hands piano playing  turned the break into a routine break that we all needed.


After the break, we moved on to more theoretical learning: a lecture accompanied by videos gave the opportunity to understand the logic behind the four elements exercise and the deep meaning of trauma on a neurological and functional level. The notebooks proved to be effective and all the participants vigorously wrote down every word that was said.

 

Later, we moved on to teaching tools for working with groups (families, a group of children, etc.) whose members are in need - we taught the “hand tawer” exercise that Tuli developed and is researching and practiced again in small groups before we were treated to a delicious lunch of local foods.

 


At the last part of the day, we learned and practiced the "eights exercise" in the large group to assist in a traumatic situation with many participants.

 

Halil closed the day with a summarizing exercise where emojis were placed on the table and everyone told how the day started for them and how it ended.

 

The feedback was uplifting, we were all filled with hope when we realized we had so much in common. We all started the morning with difficulty and went through a process that filled us with hope. One of the participants explained that for her today became "a good moment to remember when practicing the four elements", other participants expressed gratitude for "the practical tools they will use already tonight, with family members and tomorrow when working with children and families in crisis and distress situations".

 

Mohamed Tawil, a Palestinian psychologist and EMDR therapist and member of the EMDR 4 PEACE group, explained about the EMDR training we plan to do in March, and we distributed an article, written by Joly Kate, that was specially translated into Arabic about work in emergency situations.

 

It is difficult to put into words the intensity of the excitement and connection we felt, a feeling of partnership and a desire to work and learn together was created, a feeling that it is possible to face together the suffering created by the conflict.

 

The hope that has arisen is thanks to EMDR therapy with its help we can make a significant change, create connections and initiate healing processes.

 

Thank you to all the volunteers who work to make this dream come true, thanks to the donors who made it possible and financed the interpreter, the venue, the refreshments, the devices for simultaneous translation, the notebooks, the pens, the prints and the modest gift we presented to the Women of the Sun.

 



 

Thank you very much from the bottom of the heart

Financial summary

Donations collected- 4,790NIS

Equipment (notebooks, pens) and prints for 207 NIS

Hosting by Women of the Sun + devices for simultaneous translation 2500 NIS

Simultaneous translator 1400 NIS

 

The rest of the amount will be transferred for the benefit of the Palestinian therapists training project that will take place in March.





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