Samah Jabr

Head of Mental Health Unit, Palestinian Ministry of Health, Palestine


Dr. Jabr is a leading psychiatrist, psychotherapist and a trainer practicing in the public and the private sectors within Palestine in her native city of Jerusalem and in the West Bank. She is a graduate of the first cohort of the School of Medicine at Al Quds University and has pursued advanced training in psychiatry and child psychotherapy in France, England and Palestine to become one of very few psychiatrists, and one of the first women psychiatrist in Palestine. She, then, trained for three years at the Israeli Institute of psychodynamic psychotherapy and has completed the Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program in 2015 where she trained to high level of standards in the methods and conduct of clinical research.

Dr. Jabr has taught both in classroom and clinical settings on the faculties of Al Quds University, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, and George Washington University within the Division of Global Mental Health, where she is currently an Associate Clinical Professor. She has served as the medical director of several governmental, non-governmental, and private mental health centers in Palestine.

Dr. Jabr has been the recipient of several grants and awards and often serves as a consultant for organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization regarding program development, policy planning, and program implementation. Her varied areas of interest include the rights of prisoners, the problem of stigma, CBT, psychoanalysis, addictions, childhood trauma, and the integration of mental health with public health.

Parallel with her clinical contributions, Dr. Jabr cares about the wellbeing of the Palestinian community living under occupation—beyond issues of mental illness. Her tool of doing so was writing and public speaking. She is a prolific writer on diverse subjects, in both academic and public media, related to Mental Health and human rights and she is often interviewed by local and international TV or Radio shows and invited to International forums.

She is a regular contributor to the Middle East Monitor and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Some of her writings appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Australian Options, and The New Internationalist. Dr Jabr is also an author of the French book “Derrière les Fronts: Chroniques d’une psychiatre psychothérapeute palestinienne sous occupation” and the main protagonist of the documentary film http://derrierelesfrontslefilm.fr/.