L'annonce de la conférence sur le site internet du GCMHP


The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) is a Palestinian non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1990 to provide comprehensive community mental health services to the population of the Gaza Strip. Since that time, the Gaza Strip has witnessed extreme forms of violence and suffering, due to Occupation and military operations. Furthermore, the siege imposed on Gaza following Hamas takeover the Gaza Strip has accumulated the mental health problems to reach unprecedented levels.

GCMHP in partnership with WHO plan to organize GCMHP's 5th international conference entitled "Siege and Mental Health… Walls vs. Bridges". The major goal of the convention is to discuss issues related to siege, mental health, and human rights. Furthermore, the conference aims to help international academics, policy makers, and civil society groups understand the linkage between siege, violence, mental health, and human rights. The conference will include keynote speakers, workshops, and discussions sharing experiences on the conference themes.

Effects of siege on mental health

All this siege and humanitarian suffering impacted the Palestinian mental well-being; particularly children’s and women’s. Human beings are product of the environment in which they live. Currently, the Palestinian environment is a combination of deprivation, poverty, violence, feelings of powerless and helplessness. Such feelings are lead to more violence, defiance, extremism, and abandonment which is supposed to leave catastrophic consequences of the psychological profile of the next Palestinian generation. Thus, it will threaten all perspectives of peace, security and stability not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the whole area.

Goals of the Conference

GCMHP's and WHO's major goal is to help attendees understand the relationship between siege, mental health, and human rights, as well as:

  • To alleviate the mental health impacts of siege
  • To raise awareness of the international community of the impacts of siege on mental health
  • To influence the political and legal environment within and outside Palestine to respect human rights and promote mental well-being
  • To highlight the Palestinian psychosocial suffering in the Gaza Strip
  • To provide the international community with a greater understanding of siege and its impact on the deterioration of mental health and human rights of Palestinians
  • To build local capacities in the sector of psychosocial support
  • To enhance the communication and cooperation amongst International Organizations in different regions of the world

Conference Themes

  • Siege and mental health
  • Siege, culture, democracy, and civil society
  • Impact of adversity on individual, family, and community
  • Siege in international law and human rights
  • International experiences of siege
  • Siege and Public Health
  • Siege and Development
  • Impacts of living in adversity situations
  • History of sieges and their impact on mental health and behavior
  • Women and Children under military siege
  • Any relevant theme will reconsidered

Conditions for accepting research papers :

  1. The paper should relate to one of the conference themes
  2. The paper should follow accepted documentation procedures
  3. The research should be typed on A4 paper using the Times New Roman font of writing, letter size 12, bottom margins 12, single space
  4. Deadline for receiving abstracts is July 15th, 2008 and full papers will be recieved after the approval
  5. All papers shall be preliminary evaluated before they can be accepted for presentation in the conference by the conference scientific committees
  6. All papers should be sent by e-mail to the address: mahmoud@gcmhp.net


  1. Papers presented in the conference will be published in the conference proceedings
  2. The Conference budget shall cover the expenses of traveling (tickets), residence and accommodation for the keynote speakers
  3. The Conference fees for international participants are 150 $US, to be paid in CASH during the conference to cover accommodation ,food and local transportation
  4. The official languages of the conference are English and Arabic with simultaneous translation

Conference Activities

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and World Health Organization are planning to hold GCMHP’s fifth international conference in Gaza city. However, due to the high risk of continuing closure and siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since June 2007 that will deny hundreds of international participants, it is decided to hold the conference through video conference technology with Rammalah city in the West Bank. The conference is planned to last for two consecutive days on October 27-28, 2008. The conference will be initiated with a major panel in the first day and another one in the second day, where a number of prominent figures from the international community will present a keynote speech. After each panel, scientific discussion session will be held where the participants will be divided into three workshops in both locations (Gaza and Ramallah connected through video conference). Each workshop will discuss certain topics related to the conference themes separate from the other workshops. In other words, the first day will include two sessions and in each session there will be three workshops. Nevertheless, the second day will include only one session in correspondence with the first day. After that, a closing panel will be held to sum up the conference with the concluding remarks delivered by two professional nominated speakers. At this stage, simultaneous translation will be provided for the participants in both English and Arabic through headphones. In addition, the conference will organize field visits to places that have been affected by the siege in both Gaza and Ramallah such as hospitals, educational establishments, refugee camps, destroyed agricultural lands as well as the separation wall in the West Bank. At the end of the workshops and the field visits, the conference will be concluded with a Press Conference where representatives from the international participants will present their testimonies, experiences and recommendations to the international community on the disastrous impacts of the siege on all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, an artistic exhibit will be organized during the workshops where many art shows, documentaries and clips on the siege will be exhibited.


Advisory Committee Taysir Abdallah Sanna'a Abu Daga Fadel Abu Hein Sufian Abu Nejela Ahmad Abu Tawahina Mohamad Asqool Mahmoud Daher Eyad El-Sarraj John Jenkins Nancy Murray Rana Nashashibi Mahmoud Sehwail Ahmad Okasha Jumana Ouda Samir Qouta Raji Sourany

Scientific Committee Federico Allodi Sari Bashi Mohammad El-Helou Uri Hadar Muhammad Haj-Yahia Vivian Khamis Abdallah Mansour Ted Ryenerson Benedetto Saraceno Dereck Summerfield Ayesh Samour Abed Aziz Thabet Mark Vanommeren Issam Yonis

Organizing Committee: Mahmoud Abu Aisha Rajiah Abu Sway Zahavi Arnona Marwan Diab Husam El-Nounou Michal Goldberg Dyaa Saymah

Related Links for Information on the Siege on Gaza and its Impacts

http://www.end-gaza-siege.ps/ http://www.ochaopt.org/ http://www.emro.who.int/palestine/ http://www.pchrgaza.org/ http://www.mezan.org/site_en/index.php http://www.amnesty.org http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/palestine?OpenDocument http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index2b.asp http://www.alhaq.org http://www.miftah.org http://www.phr.org.il/phr http://www.gisha.org/

For more information, please contact us:

Mahmoud Abu Aisha Conference Coordinator Gaza Community Mental Health Programme P.O. Box: 1049 Gaza City, Palestine Tele: 00972-8-2825700/10, 2824073 Mob: 00972-599-448972 Fax: 00972-8-2824072 E-mail: mahmoud@gcmhp.net