18th IACAPAP Lunch & Learn Webinar

Tuesday, 23 July, 2024   
12:00 Noon Dubai | 10:00 AM CEST | 8:00 AM UTC

Note: This webinar has been scheduled to accommodate the time zone of the Middle Eastern region.

Topic: Infant Mental Health: A Dialogue on Cultural Context and Local Experiences with Lessons from the UAE

This presentation will overview the emerging field of infant mental health in the United Arab Emirates from a neophyte standpoint, including the following highlights: 

  • The universality of infant mental health (IMH) and attachment
  • Cultural nuances and how these intertwine to shape infant-caregiver relationships and patterns of attachment
  • Diversity in conceptions of gender roles, religiosity, parenthood, and child-rearing practices
  • Strides and challenges in establishing IMH-focused practices and interventions  
  • Implications for innovative practices and service provisions 


Dr Ammar Albanna


Director, Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital, Emirates Health Services, UAE


Founding President, Emirates Society for Child Mental Health, Emirates Medical Association  


Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist


Dr Azhar Abu-Ali 


Senior Clinical Psychologist,

Infant Mental Health Committee Chairperson-Emirates Society for Child and Adolescent Mental Health-WAIMH Affiliate.

Dr. Azhar Abu-Ali is currently a senior licensed clinical psychologist at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital and holds the positions of Consultation/Liaison Lead and Psychology/Psychotherapy Fellowship Training Lead, and Deputy Chair of the Dubai Health Child Protection Committee .  She is the Scientific Chair of the Emirates Child and Adolescent Mental Health Society (ESCAM) Board and the Chairperson of the Infant Mental Health Committee under ESCAM.  Dr. Abu-Ali specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families.  Her other specializations include working with trauma survivors such as domestic violence, child abuse, war, medical trauma, grief and loss, and complex trauma.  Additionally, Dr. Abu Ali provides specialized psychotherapy modalities including play, sand, and art therapy. Recent interests and emerging area of specialization include infant mental health and trauma.

Dr. Abu-Ali has previously served as the Director of Care and Rehabilitation in the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, worked as a Research Consultant with the World Bank, and served in other capacities including Director of the school-based mental health program for immigrants and refugees at the Center for Multicultural Human Services in the United States.  Dr. Abu-Ali has received her academic and clinical training in California and Virginia.

Dr. Abu-Ali published comprehensive regional research and theoretical projects focusing on adolescent identity development, child survivors of trauma, treatment efficacy, and multicultural competency.  Her most recent research study was a grant-funded study by Al Jalila Foundation on caregiving and chronic pediatric illness in the United Arab Emirates.  She further specializes in developing and conducting regional professional training workshops in the fields of infant and child mental health, and pediatric health care. 

Important note

1. The IACAPAP webinar will be held at different times to accommodate attendees and members from various regions. The 18th IACAPAP Lunch & Learn Webinar is scheduled to cater to the Middle Eastern region's time zone. 

2. The webinar is open for members of IACAPAP (Individual Members and Individuals within IACAPAP Full Member organisation and Affiliate Member organisation).  

3. This webinar will be conducted virtually via Zoom. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required in advance. Seats are limited, and it's based on a first come, first served. E-certificate of attendance will be provided to those who have attended and completed the survey at the end of the webinar. Please be advised that the survey for the webinar will be displayed in the browser ONLY after the webinar has ended.

4. For more information on IACAPAP Membership, please visit https://iacapap.org/membership/ or contact info@iacapap.org