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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 287-289

Witnessing the vulnerabilities and capabilities of one Afghan woman: Cultural values as a source of resilience in daily life


PhD, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sakiko Yamaguchi
Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, 1033 Pine Ave W, Montreal, QC
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_17_18

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This personal reflection on my daily interactions with an Afghan woman, Bibi Hawa, aims to describe how I witnessed her psychological distress, partly manifested as chest pain, and her resilience to this distress in a particular Afghan socio-cultural and political context. My reflections shed light on the importance of finding a space in which resilience can be built. As mutual trust, friendship and a reciprocal guardianship developed with Bibi Hawa, I came to recognise her capabilities as a woman, mother, friend, housekeeper, breadwinner and co-worker as well as the way in which she was able to move forward by fostering resilience through building upon her own abilities and the Afghan cultural values of family unity, perseverance in overcoming challenges and dedication in fulfilling responsibilities. This reflection reiterates the importance of rethinking the ways in which cultural values can enhance resilience and the need to find the means and space to cultivate these cultural values as a source of resilience in daily life.


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