More than 340 people across the globe to attend the Webinar from Oman titled Healing beyond the Aftermath an initiative from the ‘Not Alone Campaign’ held on Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, 2020.
“We had been thinking about how we can help. We have the front liners but we cannot go to the hospitals. So we are thinking of how we can reach out to the world. Then we felt we have to focus on technology and talk about the healing journey. We did not want to use the word Corona or Covid-19. Of course, there is a lot of pain and a reflex the minute we say the word Corona. We wanted something that would help us throughout our lives and not just now and that is why we called it Healing beyond the Aftermath. In Arabic we called it Healing for a Better Day,” said HH Sayyida Basma al Said, Psychologist and Founder of Whispers of Serenity and Not Alone Campaign.
The Webinar brought in 32 local and international speakers presenting in Arabic and English languages for two days between 12 to 4 pm on the weekend as May is observed as a month of mental health. The two-day event was joined by over 350 participants and hosted guests from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, India, United Kingdom and the Philippines.
Not Alone is a campaign Sayyida Basma began in 2014, and in this year’s webinar with the main panel along with break out rooms and in these virtual rooms there were themes – Mindfulness and Art, which could help individuals to make a best of difficult times, Healing for children – the mental health of different types of children in the aftermath was discussed and Healing of lives (for adults) and on the second day one more theme was added for young people to share what they were going through.
The second day had a new set of national and international speakers who covered topics from various perspectives psychology, psychiatry, art, economy, and medicine. The second day also saw a live talk by a frontline health worker sharing her personal experiences and challenges.
“The webinar had people in three different rooms and everything went smoothly. There are a lot of advantages to the virtual events but as humans being physically present is also important for us. We are born to be together but because what we are going through we have to go take different measures. And with this webinar, we traveled to so many countries and it all goes out to show that we can all come together to help. And if we do not help each other now, especially when we are going through a pandemic, then we need to consider when we can overcome the differences as the world is going through many challenges from racism to other challenges. But we all in this journey together,” explained Sayyida Basma.
Meanwhile, Whispers of Serenity since the beginning of the pandemic has had 13 hotlines in various languages where the public can text their concerns and in return, they get the counseling from 11 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm throughout the week. What was interesting was they received calls from UAE, Kuwait, Syria, France, Italy, the UK, and other countries.
“This is our own initiative for society. Each one of us has to give back to the community. Not Alone originates from Oman but it is an international campaign. We have been in the international publications because the whole of humanity is standing together against one thing and that is Covid_19,” she said.
“We are going through something hard, but this is the time to choose. Are we going to fight this together or is it just going to be about you? Are you going to listen to the rules and regulations or are you going to do what you feel like? Maybe it is time to reflect for the first time whether you think about me or us. The moment you think about ‘us’ you will be fine but if you are just going to be thinking about yourself and your boredom, and I understand it is a challenging time, but please for the benefit of all of us we need to work as one. This is the time for solidarity while maintaining the physical distance,” Sayyida Basma concluded.