Dalbah studied medicine in Jordan before moving to Germany in 2014, where he chose to complete his studies in psychiatry, which he had been interested in as a specialty since the beginning of his academic career.
Dalbah told Sky News Arabia: "I was aware of the shortage of psychiatric cadres in Jordan, in addition to the great need for highly qualified psychologists, so I chose Germany because it is considered the best country in the world in this specialty, as the greatest German and Austrian psychiatrists are German and Austrian."
In 2015, Dalbah began working at a hospital in Hamburg, immediately after his diploma was modified.
Mother tongue is the lady of the idea
Over the years, the doctor noticed that differences in language and culture hinder Arab patients in Germany when they need to talk to a psychologist who is alien to Arab culture in the diaspora.
After a small research by Dalbah, 25 percent of the roughly 20 million Arab expatriates in Europe and the United States were found to suffer from mental disorders and find no one to help them.
"It is important to talk about what is going on in our thoughts in the mother tongue, because expressing feelings and sensitive matters may be difficult in a foreign language, and more important than language is the feeling that the specialist I am talking to understands my culture, so I do not think that a person suffering from depression has a desire to explain the basics of his culture before talking about his suffering with depression, especially if culture and family have a role in the development of this disorder."
Hence, the idea of opening an online clinic was born, after gaining experience in the field of psychiatry, and also thanks to his wife's experience in the field of operations management and human resources, Dalbah was able to turn the idea into a project on the ground, and the "Arab Therapy" platform became famous among Arab immigrants.
Four months after the launch of the site, the Jordanian doctor was forced to resign from the German hospital where he worked at the end of 2021, due to the high pressure on the platform and to devote more time to patients.
In return, he expanded his team, which now includes Arab doctors specializing in psychiatry, located in Europe or in various Arab countries.
Depression and Arab immigrants according to Dalbah's observations
- The psychiatrist points out that when Arab Therapy was launched, the goal was to reach expatriate Arabs, but after launching the site, it was found that 50 percent of the reviewers are expatriate Arabs, and 50 percent are Arabs residing in their homelands.
- The founder of the platform noted that so far, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians and Iraqis are the most popular for ArabTherapy's services.
- 80 percent of patients who visit the platform suffer from depression and anxiety.
Refugees and support problems
Although the service is mainly paid, the EIPR team tries to provide free psychological counseling from time to time to refugees in places of war, such as Syria, Iraq and the Gaza Strip.
"We provide this assistance on a non-permanent basis, because we get limited support from non-profit organizations to support refugees," says Dalbah.
Therefore, the founder of "Arab Therapy" seeks to ensure that the largest percentage of refugees benefit, by looking for outlets to work with official or non-governmental institutions that have a direct relationship with refugees, whether in Germany or European countries that receive high percentages of Arab refugees and immigrants.
In addition to psychological counseling, the initiative's team publishes Arabic-language awareness videos on social media platforms to introduce some mental illnesses and disorders, identify their symptoms and how to treat them.
At the end of his speech, the young doctor stressed that he aspires to become "Arab Therapy" the main platform for mental health and well-being for all Arabs around the world, and to contribute to creating a greater sense of self-satisfaction for them.