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Meet Dr. Emily Bashah: A Story of Resilience, Cultural Insight, and Restorative Justice

Dr. Emily Bashah

Dr. Emily Bashah stands as a beacon of resilience, her life etched with stories of survival, cultural exploration, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Her journey spans generations, rooted in the haunting persecution her family faced in Iraq during the rise of the Ba’ath Party. It's a narrative that transcends time, shaping her beliefs, parenting philosophy, and professional career as a clinical psychologist and author.

The Perseverance of Generations

The story begins with Dr. Bashah's parents, Jewish minorities in Iraq during the late 1960s. In the tumultuous landscape of Iraqi politics, their lives were marred by the Ba’ath Party's ideology, which singled out Jews as enemies of the state. Their persecution stripped them of everything—dignity, possessions, and ultimately, their ancestral homeland. The horrors of a government-controlled by victim ideology forced her father's daring escape through treacherous mountain ranges, leaving behind family, farms, and the scars of oppression.

Parenting Philosophy: Nurturing Resilience

Dr. Bashah's parenting philosophy, rooted in her family's resilience, emphasizes steering clear of a victim mindset. She advocates for cultivating gratitude, instilling values of self-discovery, and allowing children space to navigate life's discoveries. Her experiences as a mother to her two-year-old daughter echo the multigenerational trauma but also reflect the strength, honor, and integrity inherited from her family's legacy.

A Diverse Journey: Shaping Her Path

The journey to becoming a psychologist was unconventional. Dr. Bashah encountered adversity firsthand, battling malaria in Africa, exploring the world of belly dancing, and facing the harsh reality of sexual harassment in the Middle East. These experiences fueled her interest in psychology, cultural understanding, and the intricate mechanisms of dehumanization experienced by oppressed groups.

Reflections on Restorative Justice: A Personal Encounter

One poignant encounter—a horrifying incident of sexual assault in the Egyptian desert—became a pivotal moment in Dr. Bashah's pursuit of understanding cultural biases and the human psyche. Her response to the assault revealed the complexities of justice, societal norms, and the challenges faced by survivors. She reflects on the need for a balanced approach, seeking restorative justice without veering into a culture of hate or revenge.

Embracing a Wider Understanding

Dr. Bashah's journey isn't just a personal narrative; it's a testament to resilience, cultural awareness, and the transformative power of experiences. Her story illuminates the human capacity to rise above trauma, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice and understanding in a rapidly changing world.

Key Points:

  1. Family's Escape from Persecution: Dr. Bashah shares the traumatic experiences her parents faced during their escape from Iraq amidst the persecution of Jews by the Ba’ath Party.

  2. Parenting Philosophy: Emphasizes avoiding a victim mindset, fostering gratitude, and granting children autonomy for self-discovery.

  3. Diverse Life Journey: Details her pivot from diverse experiences, including battling malaria in Africa, engaging in belly dancing, and facing sexual harassment in the Middle East.

  4. Formation of Psychological Interest: Discusses how personal encounters informed her interest in psychology, cultural understanding, and the dehumanization experienced by oppressed groups.

  5. Reflection on Restorative Justice: Shares a personal encounter with sexual assault and reflects on restorative justice, considering cultural biases and its impact on her understanding of human psychology.


Dr. Emily Bashah's narrative offers profound insights into resilience, cultural understanding, and the shaping of one's beliefs. Her journey through adversity informs her professional stance as a psychologist and sheds light on the intricacies of navigating trauma and societal perceptions. The article showcases the importance of empathy, cultural sensitivity, and the complexities of justice in addressing societal issues.

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