DARI Center: A place where bad memories subside

“I was suffering from depression, mostly due to my physical disability,” explains Hilal, 35. After a long period of isolation, she has recently been visiting the DARI Center.  “Before DARI I didn’t have anywhere to go, and so I spent my days alone at home,” she recalls and then adds, “at the DARI Center they encouraged me not only to express my feelings, but also to discuss my hopes and aspirations.”

Little by little, by going to the center, Hilal was finally able to rebuild her life. “I started to take part to activities on a regular basis… I shifted from being a disabled woman to a productive person.”

Today, Hilal is busy in making the figurative designs she has always dreamt of.

Hilal’s story is one of thousands of stories about people who get help at the DARI Center in the Beqaa Valley in Eastern Lebanon. People are looking for a secure place where they can meet with their neighbors and rebuild their lives. At the center, they can regain their self-confidence and find psychological support to overcome the destructive effects caused by the 2006 war with Israel and today’s conflict in Syria. They need a safe place, especially children who looking for somewhere to play.

“We host more than 3,000 displaced Syrian families,” explains the Director of the DARI Center, Walid Assaf.  Everyone here receives psychological support to overcome the trauma of a loved one’s death, a destroyed home, or from the war in general. “We provide comfort with the objective of giving back a little bit of the joy of living and psychological well-being,” concludes Assaf.

Kamel Rifai, a Lebanese Parliamentary Deputy and frequent visitor to the Center, adds, “DARI today plays a fundamental role in the Syrian conflict. It is a safe place where Syrian refugees can find peace, especially the children, who receive sustenance and educational support. I would like to emphasize that I have personally participated in the center’s many seminars, both literary and social. They were very stimulating and give people a way to exchange diverse points of view on the area’s current situation.”


Promoting the identification and development of the psychological, social and cultural resources of individuals and communities is essential to the wellbeing and dignity of their people, regardless of their income and status.