Essam Daod, MD
Psychiatrist, Mental Health Rights Advocate and Lecturer

In October 2015, Essam Daod, an Arab child psychiatrist, took part in a medical aid delegation to Greece. He was supposed to provide psychosocial support to Syrian refugees, but a few hours after he landed, he was already knee deep in the water, unsuccessfully trying to resuscitate a drowned lady. Three months later, in his small flat in Haifa, he and his wife started up their own humanitarian aid organization, Humanity Crew - one of the very few organizations that provide mental health and psychosocial support to refugees and displaced populations in their own language. Essam understood that the chance of those deeply traumatized human beings to rebuild their life is reliant upon their mental state and resilience, and in turn decided he would do anything it takes to give them that chance. Currently, he is an award winning human rights activist, a sought-after speaker, and a 2018 TED Fellow.

Still, he believes the refugees did far more for him, than he did for them: "When you see so much suffering and relate to it, you come to realize that borders are just a political game" he says, "if you are a human being, then you ought to behave like one. The refugees opened my eyes. They gave me the opportunity to regain my humanity."

Essam Daod grew up in a small Arab village in the Galilee, and currently resides in Haifa. He is a trained psychiatrist and psychotherapist, specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry.