Hissah Enrichment Center

Ms. Lama Younis

Lama graduated from Saudi Arabia’s Effat University in 2005 with a degree in Counseling Psychology. She pursued her graduate studies in the UK and obtained her Masters degree from Middlesex University in London where she double majored in Criminology and Forensic Psychology. She has completed the final requirements for her Ph.D in International Childhood Studies, department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, a world-class institution recognized for its excellence in research and teaching.

Lama’s professional skills and strong educational background were determinant in her joining the Human Relations Institute in Dubai, UAE in 2007. The institute offers individuals and organizations across the Middle East professional services in psychology and human resources. In this capacity, Lama traveled across the entire Middle East region, providing qualified and expert consulting and educational services. During this time Lama was also affiliated with Effat University, teaching Developmental Psychology and Communication Methods courses in their Department of Psychology.

Continually in search of furthering her professional development, in 2008, Lama attended a post-graduate course at Harvard University entitled Delinquents, Criminals, Psychopaths, and Terrorists. This course proved crucial to broadening her development and understanding of the relationship between psychology and the law. In Spring 2010, Lama attended “Developing Critical Thinkers”, a course at Teachers College of Columbia University which introduced critical thinking as the central process in the practice of leadership and teaching. Intent on building on this knowledge, later that year Lama attended a course entitled “Healing and Reconciliation in Relationships” taught by Harvard University professor Dr. Donna Hicks in the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College in Columbia University.

In this course, Lama, using evolutionary theory, explored with Dr. Hicks, emotional human vulnerability and the fact that threats to inner psychological stability are as dangerous as physical wounds. Hicks’ framework included the language of dignity and indignity for describing the universal effect of emotional injuries.

In 2013 Lama completed a Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Traumatology and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Diploma is accredited by the Counseling and Psychotherapy Central Award Body. In this same year she was also a guest speaker on a panel in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and Forensic Science in the Islamic Legal System. The topics discussed on this panel were “Discipline and Punishment of Children” as well as, “Child Abuse: A General Perspective in Saudi Arabia.”

In 2014, Lama received an award in the ‘Women in Business’ category at the 2nd Arabian Business StartUp Awards for her successful contributions to the business world through Hissah Enrichment Center.

Her passion to create change in the GCC led to her powerful campaigns on child abuse and child protection. She was recognised for these life changing campaigns and was listed in ‘The 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40” by Arabian Business, April 2015 and “Middle East, 50 personalities you need to know” by the Italian news from the world website, SecoloNuovo, April 2015. In May 2015, Lama served as a panel member in the seminar “The Role of Women in Family Business” hosted by Crowe Horwath UAE, in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which was held in support of the noble legislation undertaken by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai in 2012, to make it compulsory for companies and businesses to appoint women to their boards and senior managerial roles.

To commemorate survivors of cancer, Lama organised the first National Cancer Survivors Day in the GCC registered by The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, Tennessee, U.S.A. on 7th June 2015 where cancer survivors, caretakers and professionals from various fields came together to celebrate, support and share stories with one another on cancer survivorship. The event paved way to honouring different organizations which work towards the good cause of supporting individuals battling with cancer. In August 2015, to mark World Humanitarian Day by United Nations, Lama organised an awareness lunch where people were educated on the importance of World Humanitarian Day and was asked to be a part of humanitarian efforts by sharing kindness with the less fortunate. As a humanitarian effort, Lama showered children and the general public of the U.A.E with acts of generosity. Lama Younis is a strong advocate for children’s rights for the past 10 years and she believes it is time to mark the cause with a name which is ‘The Lama Campaign’. ‘The Lama Campaign’ aims to reach out and educate the people living in the GCC on different topics related to child abuse. Towards the end of the campaign each year, Hissah Enrichment Center will use its profits to visit shelters in developing countries around the world to provide emotional and financial support to abuse victims.  

For her distinguished achievements, Lama was awarded “Young Achiever Award 2015” by the World Leadership Congress and “Sustainability Leadership Award 2015” by the World Sustainability Congress. She was also nominated for the Emirates Woman of the Year Award 2015 in the “Visionaries” category by the Emirates Woman Magazine.

Lama’s incessant desire to contribute to the well-being of the region continues to gain recognition and support. Among her many distinctions, in 2016, she was listed as one of the “most influential Arab people under 40” and served as a panel speaker for the Young Leaders Global Debate on “Sustainability, science, new media and education”.

As evidenced through her dedication, passion and work, Lama aims to enrich communities by providing critical services that will have a meaningful and long-term impact on the gulf region and aims to eradicate the taboo of child abuse in the GCC, Insha’Allah

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Dr. Donna Hicks

Dr. Donna Hicks is a dynamic and thought-provoking speaker, consultant and advisor who brings her unmatched insights into dignity and conflict resolution to each of her award-winning presentations and engagements. Her powerful ideas on human interaction enable organizations to build a culture of dignity, heal highly-charged emotional wounds, and thrive in today’s global marketplace.

Donna has 20 years of experience as a facilitator during international conflicts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Cuba, Northern Ireland, and the United States. Her unique focus on dignity, and the essential role it plays in resolving conflict, has transformed work environments for many clients some of which include the World Bank, the United Nations, the US Navy, and the Senate of Colombia.

As a co-host with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the BBC show Facing the Truth, Donna was a key member of a three-part television series which brought victims and perpetrators of the Northern Ireland conflict together to find resolution.

She is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and has educated the nation’s brightest minds at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities.

In 2013, she spoke main stage for the TEDx Stormont conference, themed “Imagine,” on the topic of dignity.

Donna is the author of the bestselling book, Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, published by Yale University Press, with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The title was the New England Book Festival’s 2011 runner-up for best non-fiction title, and was subsequently released in paperback in 2013. Donna, and Dignity, have been featured prominently throughout the media, appearing on the BBC, Fox News, Psychology Today, NPR, Newsday, and radio stations across the country.

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Dr. Anastasia Kamanos

Dr. Anastasia Kamanos obtained her Ph.D. (with Distinction) in Educational Studies from McGill University , in Montreal , Canada. Her research in the areas of gender, creativity, identity and empowerment were rewarded with a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montréal’s Center for Ethnic Studies.

A passionate artist and inspirational educator, Anastasia has taught at universities in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. She has developed and collaborated on numerous Oral History and legacy projects in a variety of environments. Anastasia has also worked as an educational consultant for school boards, teachers, non-profit organizations and government agencies to help identify, promote and support authentic and innovative training for leaders and educators that is impactful and mindful.

As an artist and academic, she leverages her 20 years of experience in the classroom and her sincere compassion, to teach people how to authentically live creative and extraordinary lives. She is committed to helping people overcome challenges that thwart their creativity and to create goals and strategies for living a life that is genuinely meaningful and purposeful while simultaneously furthering the success of their organizations, and serving the aims of their families and communities.

A compelling speaker, Dr. Kamanos has presented at many international conferences and brings a blend of personal and professional experience to her presentations that allow her to connect with her audience, inspiring and energizing them to take their confidence and success to the next level.

Vocation doesn’t come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to be something that I’m not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be. — Parker J. Palmer

Personal Vision. The above is a version of the condensed bio that I usually submit in response to an editor’s request for a “200 words or less” introduction. It’s concise, clean and to the point, uncluttered with the messy details of everyday life. In fact, it reads more like a “sprinter’s” version of life, than the version of life as a “marathon” that I espouse. Yet, as an academic, writer, mother, caregiver, and coach, what I know for sure is that the most meaningful and purposeful parts of our lives are often left uncharted. It is through my research as an Oral Historian that I learned how the “telling” of our ‘uncharted’ stories, can be a powerfully transformative experience for individuals, organizations and communities. In my work, I draw on key concepts from Oral History and self-study to bridge understandings across generations, cultures and organizations.

Indeed, by bringing elements of awareness and memory together in greater tension, we identify how the transitions, twists and turns, halts and spurts of daily life give shape, texture and depth to our inner and outer lives. We begin to understand how everyday life inside homes, classrooms and organizations can influence performance, productivity and motivation.

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Ms. Raizza Umil

Raizza C. Umil joined Hissah Enrichment Center in November 2016 as Center Administrator. A recent graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Miriam College in Quezon City, Philippines, Raizza has forever been passionate about working towards social causes and empowering communities. This inspired her to join Hissah Enrichment Center and reach out to the growing needs of the society.

While a university student, Raizza volunteered, participated and presented papers at research forums and played a pivotal role in supporting high school students through administration of personality and intelligence assessments. In recognition of her outstanding work, she was nominated for Psychology Guild Awards consecutively in the first and second semester in the areas of Psychological Statistics, Experimental and Industrial Psychology. In addition, she was a finalist for the Best Thesis Award presented by the Department of Psychology at Miriam College.

Raizza’s proven track record of impeccable organisational skills and leadership qualities during her internship at East Avenue Medical Center in the Philippines lead to her advancement as Human Resources Assistant. Here her duties included client assessment, human resource management, secretarial duties and providing day to day administrative support. Her courage, compassion and dedication in creating a difference was evident in her humanitarian work for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda where she was actively involved in providing counselling to people in the affected area.

Through her work at Hissah Enrichment Center, Raizza aims to educate, transform and develop individuals in the GCC and the world so as to build better communities and a stronger society.

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Ms. Sarah Hunt

Sarah began her journey with yoga in 2007 in Vancouver and immediately began to realise all of the benefits. She attended many teaching workshops throughout this time and became a certified yoga instructor in 2009. Sarah joined the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition the year after and became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in 2010. She moved to London in 2011 and loves working with people in this area of the world.

Sarah loves the simplicity of real food and gentle yoga, which together combine to form a holistic and healthy way of living. She enjoys sharing the benefits of these practices with others. Sarah’s yoga classes are designed to work on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. While they are strengthening, cleansing and detoxifying, they also address issues of stress reduction, clarity and focus, patience, body awareness and personal challenges.

Since Sarah discovered the power of whole, fresh and nutritious foods, she is amazed at the energy and fulfilment they provide. She truly believes that food is healing – a simplistic, whole foods based diet allows the body to unveil it’s natural healing process. She believes that convenience foods laced with chemicals, preservatives and other additives are a major contribution to many of the health problems present in today’s world. The way we eat reveals a lot about our views on life. Through past conditioning and habitual beliefs from childhood, food can be a constant battle for us. Sarah has recently been studying “emotional eating” and discovering how we can break free of the vicious cycle of dieting and compulsive binges. Through natural ways, we can reach our optimum weight, make food an enjoyable experience and discover our life’s purpose. Sarah is grateful to have discovered holistic nutrition and is excited to share her knowledge with others.

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Ms. Sabeen Islam

Sabeen Islam obtained her Bachelors degree in Counseling Psychology from Effat University in Saudi Arabia. Keen to pursue graduate studies in the field, she completed her Masters degree in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at Northcentral University, Arizona in 2009. An avid reader and writer from an early age, Sabeen honed these skills throughout her student life and beyond. Indeed, while living in Malaysia from 2010-2011, Sabeen completed an intensive course in Creative Writing which opened up a whole new world of writing for her.

In 2012, Sabeen moved to Pakistan with her husband and embarked on an academic career at SZABIST, a renowned university in Karachi. She taught introductory Psychology courses to freshman students enrolled in Business Studies as well as Developmental Psychology courses to senior Social Science students. More recently, Sabeen has been immersed in the world of motherhood and enjoys spending important quality time with her two young children. As the main writer for the Hissah Enrichment Center blog, Sabeen is excited and re-energised by the opportunity to combine her passion for Psychology and writing in her work at the center.

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Mrs. Lucia Hall

Lucia is an American citizen, though she was born and raised in Panama. She moved to the United States where she became a social worker in the Family and Child Protection units in Detroit, Michigan. Having married a Brit, she later moved to Berkshire, UK, and pursued her MSc. in Mental Health at Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital & Kings College School of Medicine/Institute of Psychiatry. The main therapeutic approaches studied were Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Analytic therapy (CAT) – two excellent and complimentary cognitive approaches.

Lucia has developed and added to that expertise by studying numerous other therapeutic courses, including a special Diploma in Trauma and Abuse (Dip. PICT), a Diploma in Christian Counseling (from London Bible College, now the London School of Theology), she is an EMDR practitioner (Level 3) and is trainer for MBTI (Levels 2 & 3). Additional specialized training includes Schema Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, Trauma-Focused CBT for Children, Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT), Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), Lifespan Integration (LI), Behavioral Activation (BA), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), KIDNET (NET for children), Rapid Resolution Trauma Therapy and various other trauma focused processes. Lucia is also a qualified clinical hypnotherapist, having a diploma (DipH) in the subject.

Lucia’s training courses have been accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapies or Counseling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) (UK) and recognized by the Open University. Two recent trauma workshops that she wrote were accredited by the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS). Her new course the Postgraduate Diploma in Traumatology and PTSD accredited by NCP (L7).

Lucia’s Panamanian and American backgrounds, coupled with her extensive experience, make her a unique, dynamic and interesting lecturer. Lucia is a member of many professional bodies including AACC, APA, BABCP, MBACP, EMDR UK, ESTSS, GHR (GHSC & GQHP), NCP Fellow, RTS and UKPTS.

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Mr. Steven Hall

Steven Hall was educated at Christ’s Hospital in Sussex and then moved to America where he worked in finance. He later returned to England to study a BA (Hons) in Biblical & Pastoral Studies. After completing these studies he proceeded to develop his psychotherapy skills, undertaking a wide range of courses. With his wife Lucia, he has taught a vast array of counseling and psychotherapy courses for over ten years. These courses range from the introductory level to Postgraduate Diploma courses in Trauma & PTSD (Level 7) and include courses written for Open University degree programs and training for NHS counseling teams.

Steven also holds a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and is one of only two UK practitioners certified in Rapid Resolution TherapyTM and Rapid Trauma ResolutionTM. In addition, Steven is a Certified Pain Management Practitioner and a Weight Management Specialist as well as being a trainer for Prepare/Enrich Couples courses and a Couples Communication coach. He is currently continuing his psychology studies via a Masters (MA) in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Steven has training in several other counseling approaches including CBT, REBT, DBT, ACT, Mindfulness, and is a certified Genesis Relapse Prevention practitioner (for addictions). He is also a clinical supervisor and a Senior Accredited Member of the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP) and a member of UKASFP, AFT, ACC, & CNHC.

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