Who we are
We are a group of Psychotherapists, Mindfulness Teachers and professionals with extensive experience of living and working within and with Refugee Communities and with Trauma in the UK and Internationally. We are dedicated to offering mindfulness practices that can help people to manage and alleviate some of the distressing and embodied impact of experiencing violence, conflict and gender based violence, fleeing war and coping with the stresses of settling and adapting to living in host countries.
We have run several pilot courses for women in the UK and with the generous feedback from participants we are able to continue to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate resources and programmes in several languages. We believe in providing collaborative communities of practice that are truly healing and empowering as well as offering free guided resources for people to access wherever they may be.
Hannaa Elsayed has an Msc. in Transcultural Mental health and is currently completing her training in integrative Psychotherapy. She has extensive experience of working with refugee and asylum seeking communities in several organisations in London and abroad. She is providing Arabic language consultancy and resource development for Mindfulness Across Borders and has provided translation and interpretation (Arabic) for materials and pilot courses for MAB. Hannaa is a Trainee mindfulness facilitator and speaks German, English , Arabic, and Spanish.
Ariana Faris is the Founder and Project Lead for Mindfulness Across Borders, a UKCP registered Systemic Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher and Supervisor. Ariana was one of the co- founders of Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI) a charity offering psychosocial support to refugees in transit in Northern Greece Camps in 2016. In the past she has led therapeutic groups for Refugee women in Cardiff and recently ran pilot sessions on mindfulness for refugee women and children in several working visits to Greece for RTI. Her many years of practice of yoga and meditation informs how she thinks about trauma and resilience in mind and body. She brings this knowledge into the Mindfulness Across Borders course and programme development, delivery and evaluation.
Arafa Mustafa provided Arabic translation and cultural consultation for the Cardiff Pilot. Arafa is training to deliver the courses in Cardiff and is part of the Mental Health Foundation committee developing peer support courses in Wales with a trauma informed mindfulness skills component. Arafa plays an important role in her own community running women’s support groups and has much experience volunteering in BME and refugee communities.
Iona Hannigan Lewis is the Education and Employment Coordinator for Welsh Refugee Council. She is committed, enthusiastic and experienced in helping and working with the refugee community. She brings both her embodied knowledge of the benefits of mindfulness and yoga along with her experience of working with the refugee community in south Wales to the coordination of MAB’s work in Cardiff .
Salah Rasool is a Service Manager for Welsh Refugee Council. He is passionate about helping asylum seekers and refugees settle successfully into life in their host country. A refugee himself, Salah’s own early life was plagued by struggles as he was forced to leave his home three times: once as a baby in 1975, again during the first Gulf War in 1991 and finally during the civil war in 1996. Salah brings his wealth of cultural knowledge and language skills to MAB (he speaks Sourani, Kurmanji, Farsi, Arabic, Welsh and English and possibly more …!) He has been several times to Greece with RTI and is a cultural and language consultant to Mindfulness Across Borders.
Sheila Webb is a UKCP registered Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher and Supervisor. Her interest in teaching mindfulness stems from a personal practice of meditation for over 30 years. She is involved in curriculum and resource development for MAB London and in the delivery and evaluation of this adapted MBCT course. Sheila draws on experience of working as a community educator with women’s groups from diverse backgrounds and cultures living in the Arabic countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates as well as the Caribbean.