Common Bond Institute

2018 T T Conference and MMH Conference Presenter Bios

2018 T T Presenter Bios


7th Annual International Conference on

Transgenerational Trauma:

Communal Wounds and Victim Identities

October 18-19, 2018 ~ Amman, Jordan


~ Watch For 2019 8th Annual T T Conference Information ~




Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute,
Michigan State University
Yarmouk University
International Humanistic Psychology Association
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations


2018 Program Presenters

We wish to honor and thank this year’s presenters who recognize the importance of this initiative and have stepped forward to help facilitate it. Presenters have gathered from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and countries to share skills, learning, promote an engaged, inclusive dialogue, and facilitate action planning toward a more comprehensive, cross-cultural global understanding and response to communal and transgenerational trauma.

(In Order of Appearance in the Program)

Thursday, October 18

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Greeting, Mission, Overview of Conference Theme and Challenges:

Steve Olweean, MA   
is founding Director of Common Bond Institute, co-founder & President of International Humanistic Psychology Assoc. (IHPA), & past President of Assoc. for Humanistic Psychology. Among topics he writes and speaks on are communal trauma, The OTHER, & dynamics of belief systems. Founder of numerous international conferences, including “Engaging The Other;” “Religion, Conflict, & Peace;” “Transforming Conflict;” & “Transgenerational Trauma.” Graduate degree in Clinical Psychology with treatment focus on abuse and trauma recovery of victims & perpetrators and healing negative belief systems, and  adjunct faculty with Michigan State Univ. Dept. of Psychiatry. He developed the Catastrophic Trauma Recovery (CTR) model for treating large populations of trauma victims, and is co-coordinator and core training faculty of CBI’s innovative Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program based on it for local capacity building to treat communal trauma. 2011 Recipient of the Charlotte and Karl Bühler Award from the American Psychological Assoc. for outstanding contribution to Humanistic Psychology internationally, and recognized for his life long work in a chapter devoted to his role with CBI in the “The New Humanitarians.”

Email:  Web:  and


Community Building Exercise:

Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT
is a licensed psychologist and registered dance/movement therapist in practice in San Francisco and Marin county. She is the past president of the San Francisco Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, past-president of the Division of Humanistic Psychology, and the 2018 recipient of the Rollo May award. Ilene Serlin is Associated Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, has taught at Saybrook University, Lesley University, UCLA, the NY Gestalt Institute and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She is the editor of Whole Person Healthcare (2007, 3 vol., Praeger), over 100 chapters and articles on body, art and psychotherapy, and is on the editorial boards of PsycCritiques, the American Dance Therapy Journal, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, and The Humanistic Psychologist

Website:   Blog:


Farha Abbasi, MD
is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry at Michigan State Univ. and faculty at the Muslim Studies Center. She is founder and coordinator of the Muslim Mental Health Conference and Managing Editor of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health. She developed and for more than 10 years has conducted the landmark Interfaith Psychosocial Training for Religious Leaders, receiving high recommendations from leading regional and national clergy and religious organizations. She has received numerous awards for her work promoting mental health to vulnerable and at-risk populations, including the Pioneer Award from All Pakistani Women Assoc., Michigan Women Community Service, Mayor’s Town Hero Award, American Psychiatric Assoc. (APA) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Fellowship, APA Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, and Globie Award for her work with international students. She is a widely known spokesperson for mental health issues in Muslim communities in the US and is frequently interviewed. Dr. Abbasi represents Michigan State Univ. Dept. of Psychiatry in it’s partnership with Common Bond Institute on humanitarian programs.


Myron Eshowsky, co-developer of the Social Health Care (SHC) Program for Syrian Refugee Families and Children and on its core training faculty. For over 40 years, he has pioneered the integration of indigenous healing models to address issues of modern life. He has worked with gangs and youth at risk, prisons, community mental health, various communities in conflict, AIDS orphans/child soldiers in Africa, opiate addiction, creating self help programs for community issues, and health/trauma issues. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books on these topics. Additionally, Myron has taught throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Email:  Web:


Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT  (see Opening Session)


Khalid Kheirallah, PhD,
in Public health, Tulane Univ.,.Msc. Public health, Tulane Univ., Bsc. Dentistry, Jordan Univ. Of Science And Technology (JUST), Msc. Public health, JUST. Faculty member, Dept. Public Health, Community Medicine, and was acting chair Dept, Public Health, Community Medicine, Sep 2014 – May 2015, at JUST. Focus of his research has been public health needs of Jordanian and Arab youth, including tobacco control/prevention and waterpipe, and mental health needs of Syrian Refugee Youth in Northern Jordan. He has held positions of lead epidemiologist/assistant professor of Epidemiology at JUST Medical School, Analysis, Visualization, and Reporting Coordinator with Health Informatics and Integrated Surveillance System at the Virginia Department of Health, Lead Epidemiologist with the Strategic Information Bureau at the Washington DC Department of Health


Adel I. Nesheiwat, MBBS
is a licensed General Practitioner in Jordan. While at Mutah Univ. Faculty of Medicine he was Student Representative for Committee of Scientific Research for 5 years, Local Officer on Research Exchange at Mutah Univ. for 2 years, and former National Officer on Research Exchange for International Federation of Medical Students’ Assoc.s – Jordan. He has a passion for psychiatry, medical research, and volunteer work serving refugees in Jordan, and advocates for mental health awareness and the need for psychosocial services to refugees. He has played an active role with Common Bond Institute (CBI) and International Humanistic Psychology Assoc. (IHPA) in the Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program in Jordan, helping to establish the Psychosocial Specialty Training Program for medical students and the Women’s Safe Space, as well as assisting with field clinics and the conference on Transgenerational Trauma, and has been a liaison with national and international organizations on CBI’s behalf.


Ayat Nashwan, PhD,
has a PhD in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, USA, and is Assistant Professor at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. She is Director of the Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Forced Migration Studies Center at Yarmouk Univ. Having primary research interests in social work practice with Arab American, Muslim, and Middle Eastern immigrant communities, Ayat feels compelled to offer culturally bound solutions for the service gap experienced by these individuals and mainstream practitioners. She believes that effective interventions can only be achieved with the knowledge of existing cultural and societal tools for resilience. Ayat is a core member of Common Bond Institute’s Social Health Care local psychosocial team in Jordan.

Ilene Serlin, PhD,  (see Opening Session)

Moderator: Myron Eshowsky, MS  (see B)



~ Friday, October 19 ~


 E-1   Erin Jacobson
Is Senior Advisor, Outreach and Engagement for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). She is the surviving fiancée of Army Ranger Cpl. Jason Kessler and a grief professional with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has been with TAPS since 2011 leading workshops and retreats with an emphasis on empowerment, peer connection, and experiential based grief work. Erin’s undergraduate studies include Art History, Religious Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Counseling as well as master’s studies in Nonprofit Management from Fordham University.

Tessa Glenn  is Director, International Programs for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Fatma Megrahi  is International Relations Coordinator for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)


E-2  Wajdi Akef Fakhoury MA, AMFT  is a community mental health clinician (CA AMFT #89499) with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Wajdi is a candidate for the doctoral degree in International & Multicultural Psychosocial Education at the Univ. of San Francisco (USA). His research/professional interests include trauma-informed and culturally-congruent psychosocial services, community psychosocial interventions, as well as cognitive-behavioral & experiential psychotherapy. Wajdi has extensive experience providing trauma-informed & culturally-congruent psychosocial services to diverse client populations struggling with trauma- including refugee communities from the MENA region.


Rana Dajani, Ph.D
in molecular cell biology. She is Associate Professor at, Hashemite University, Jordan, a Harvard Radcliff fellow, Global Changemaker Award IIE/Fulbrighter, visiting professor at Yale Univ. and Cambridge Univ., and Jordan leader in studying refugee youth and epigenetics of trauma across generations with Yale. She organized the first gender summit for the Arab world 2017, established stem cell research ethics law in Jordan, and developed a community-based model “We Love Reading,”and received Synergos Arab World Social Innovators. She has received the WISE Award, King Hussein Medal of Honor, Best Refugee Education Program, UNESCO International Literacy Prize, World Literacy Council Award, King Hussein Cancer Institute for Cancer And Biotechnology Award, Jacobs Social Entrepreneurship Award, and has been recognized in the Women In Science hall of fame, as 12 among 100 most influential Arab women 2015, and Higher Education Reform Expert EU-TEMPUS. She is a member of the UN Women Jordan Advisory Council and an advocate for biological evolution and Islam,



G-1  Roundtable:

Abdulmajid Katranji, MD
Is a board member of Impression 5 Children’s Museum, Carefree Medical and Dental – providing medical care to underprivileged populations, Ingham Regional Refugee Council – providing social services to refugee populations, Emgage USA – a national advocacy organizations for the Muslim American Community, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) as the national community outreach coordinator, and the American chapter of the global relief organization UOSSM. As a board certified surgeon he has traveled the globe providing surgical services for humanitarian missions, and is active in several initiatives promoting interfaith dialogue and community-based action.

Myron Eshowsky, MS  (see B)  

Farha Abbasi, MD  (see A)

Adel Nesheiwat, MD,  (see Roundtable D)

Moderator:  Steve Olweean, MS  (see Opening)


G-2   Jilong Zhao
Is a kungfu master specializing in inner style kungfu (calm, happy, and defensive). Starting with an internal style of Shaolin when he was 5 years old, he has spent his life traveling China studying with masters from all internal styles and learning their best practices. Using an understanding of both Chinese and Western culture he has been teaching for the last 20+ years with more than 20000 students world wide, with a focus on teaching people to be healthier, friendly, confident, strong, happy, and calm.


H-1   Imam Earl S. El-Amin, MSW
was a member of delegations accompanying Imam Wallace D. Mohamed abroad, representing Muslim American interests; participated in the first historic dialogue between Imams and Rabbis in North America, and present at President Barack Obama’s presentation to Muslim leadership in Baltimore. He is Resident Imam at Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore, Vice President of Program Development at National Centers on Institutions and Alternatives, and has made numerous guest media appearances on CSPAN “The Bottom Line,” “To the Point”, “Newsnight”, “Interfaith Roundtable”, “Xchange”, “Marc Steiner Show.” His objectives for the Muslim community in Baltimore includes establishing model neighborhoods, improving the overall image of Islam, interfaith initiatives and the development of Muslims in business, education, civil society and culture.

Jon Yasin, EdD 
is professor of English and Linguistics at Bergen Community College. He was Le Responsable D’ Animation Rurale in N’gabou, Senegal, West Africa for 2 years after completing undergraduate studies at California State Univ. at Hayward, where he received a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. Upon his return to the US from Senegal, Dr. Yasin attended graduate school in Massachusetts, where he received a Masters of Education from Northeastern Univ. in Applied Linguistics, a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard Univ. where he studied politics of language, and a Certificate of Graduate Studies from Boston College. While in Massachusetts, Dr. Yasin was a founding faculty of Roxbury Community College. He was awarded the PhD in English and Rhetoric by the State Univ. of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA, after which he taught Linguistics and English at the United Arab Emirates Univ. in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi 1981 – 1988.

Dr. Hameed El-Amin, PhD

Moderator:  Linda Howard, JD
is the CEO of Alturnative, a specialization consultancy company. As a multi-faceted compliance and ethics consultant with over 30 years of combined experience in law, compliance, managed healthcare operations, and with a passion for wellness and a commitment to social responsibility, she uses her leadership for good to advance dialogues on changing the wellness and healthcare industries for the better. Dr. Howard is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a member of the Executive Board of the National Wellness institute where she serves as a key member of the Multicultural Competency Committee.

Karim Ali 
is an intercultural communications practitioner and CEO of the D.C.-based AaliaNetwork Consulting, which has contributed to award-winning team efforts in education, culture and business. He is the co-founder of the Muslim Life Planning Institute [MLPI], an entity which seeks to improve social and economic outcomes. By honoring the voices and beliefs that motivate a community’s people MLPI remains poised to develop dynamic networks and initiatives which bring brilliant minds together to achieve breakthrough outcomes. MLPI envisions a network of institutions and entities instrumental in designing processes, providing foundational, structural and resource tools necessary to address the educational, business, cultural and governance challenges of the twenty first century.



H-2   Ayat Nashwan, PhD   (see Roundtable D )



Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT  (see Opening Session)

Myron Eshowsky, MS  (see B)

Farha Abbasi, MD  (see A)

Moderator: Steve Olweean, MA   (see Opening)