Ahlam Bouman Ali
Ahlam Bouman Ali is a recipient of the Academic Year 2019-2020 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a Master’s candidate in the School of Social Work, I am studying mental health and currently working as a mental health associate at Refugees Northwest, supporting refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers. With the support of the Russian FLAS Fellowship that I received from the Center for Global Studies, I can improve my Russian language skills, and through my research, I can learn about the mental health needs of the Russian population. My goal is to expand my professional skills and provide mental health services to Russian-speaking refugees in the Russian language. Within the autumn quarter, I was able to improve my skills and use the Russian language with clients. Through my little experience working with refugees, I learned that it is essential to understand not only the language of the client but also their culture, religion, current political issues. This knowledge helps in the better understanding the needs of the clients and the finding of the right treatment for them. My hope and goal for the future is to build a healing community where, despite the individual background, everyone receives equal treatment, including the refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers.