Dana Sarhan, MSc is an experienced couples psychotherapist working with diverse cultures along the MENA region. She’s also a calligraphist during her leisure time, building the bridge between Arts and Sciences.
Kamsyn sat with her as she shared some of the secrets of her craft that is slowly withering away. Today’s world is increasingly absorbed by the digital universe, losing contact with the ancestral arts deeply rooted in our understanding of Humanity & Spirituality.
Dana’s drawings featured below reveal a sense of freedom and elevation propelling the viewer in a unique dreamlike universe where Earth, Wind, Water & Fire are united by Love; the ultimate Fifth Element.
Today Dana must be one of the few, ( if not the last) Woman Calligrapher of this level in the MENA region. At Kamsyn, we are proud she beautifully traced our new logo. Highlights in the exclusive video just below.
Before getting more into her Artistic world, we asked Dana about couples psychotherapy and how it can help individuals, couples & society achieve self-understanding and better awareness in order to move on & fulfill their maximum potential.
What is couples psychotherapy and how do men, women & couples benefit from it?
It’s basically psychotherapy focused on relationships, sexuality, or sex. Individuals or couples can benefit from research, resources and evidence-based skills to deal with their problems in a much more effective way. Therapy can range from sex [positive] education, learning how to handle conflict, communication skills, rekindling desire in long-term relationships, to working with trauma and dysfunctions.
Sex isn’t just the physical act. It translates into everything we do in our daily lives including cultural norms, media and the arts, gender roles, relationships, human connection, laws and policies, power dynamics, and emotional, physical and mental health. Building knowledge is very important.
We sometimes need a bit of guidance and understanding in either aspect of our lives.
From your experience what are the most important qualities a couple should have?
Open effective communication is always important, and I don’t just mean talking about groceries or housekeeping logistics. Also, think about when you two first got together. Interest and desire increased because of some sort of mental or emotional connection that was heightened by stimulating conversations. Desire, stimulation, anticipation, and interest were at the peak. With time, this stimulation and wired connection decreases and it becomes harder to maintain what was so easily felt in the beginning. The willingness to invest emotional, physical, and mental energy in creating an intimate and private space for both of you to keep your relationship and sex lives alive.
Dana Crafting Kamsyn’s Logo, A Master Calligrapher at work
You’ve researched Lebanon & Egypt in depth, in your opinion, in what are those environments similar? In what are they different?
They’re very different but they’re also very similar. People tend to combine this area into one big bulk, which they refer to as the MENA region. Every country is different though, and every subculture within those countries is different. They both lack sex [positive] education, resources, and research. There’s also a huge gap between human connection and sex. I work with a lot of trauma as well. The differences lie in culture, traditions, history, and their relationship to sexuality and love. The problems are different but they stem from their similarities in both countries.
What is the best memory you’ve had in your journey until now?
Experiencing different subcultures and working with women from different socioeconomic backgrounds. There’s something beautiful about stripping to the core raw of human connection and all their most intimate lives, despite the diversity in lifestyles, beliefs, and backgrounds.
What was the toughest challenge?
I guess the toughest challenge is breaking down what has been taught for decades, un-teaching what has been taught. Also teaching a large population to express their voice in a safe way without putting them under risk.
In addition to your impressive experience as a psychotherapist in the Arab world, you are also one of the last/few female Arabic calligraphy masters, how did you discover that universe? How did you start?
I learnt everything from my grandfather, one of the most famous and well-established calligraphists. He’s done it for 80 years and learnt it from his own father.
In our busy lives today, how important is it for people to find their passion, unwind and express their soul through it?
It’s even more important to feed that part of you because of how busy life has become. If you don’t maintain that balance and self-care, you’ll easily get sucked into the stress of daily life.
How do you feel when you draw?
I detach from everything around me. It’s my own world. And every line I draw touches the most intimate of my emotions. Every line and letter is a form of expression.
Have you considered teaching & transmitting this precious art?
It’s always been a question at hand. I’d love to teach someday.
What is your dream?
I would say to be able to work with as many women in the MENA region as possible but that just sounds like another “world peace” claim. So I think it’s just to be able to get by, we’re all trying to do that.
Follow Dana on Insta @danasarhan http://www.danasarhan.com