Zina is the co-founder and Director of WithYou Wellness Center. This center provides psycho-education and mentoring to groups and individuals in the Detroit metropolitan area in the English, Arabic, and Chaldean Languages. Zina, alongside her husband, George Dababneh, have served the Christian communities in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Egypt, and Jordan since 1990.

Zina earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from Baghdad University in Iraq and her Master of Arts in Counseling from Cincinnati Christian University in Ohio – USA. She also received additional specialized education on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to aid in helping Arab refugees, especially woman, deal with the stresses of life and living in a new culture.

Zina is passionate about helping Arab women recognize their value and worth, that they have been created in God’s image. Women have the right to choose the kind of life they wish to live and the capability to accomplish their goals; therefore, they deserve to be respected and honored in their communities.

Anyone desiring to participate in empowering Arab women are invited and encouraged to partner with Zina in accomplishing that goal.

WithYou Wellness Center website:
www.WithYouCenter.com

For more copies of the book, please visit the following page for details. www.ZinaKamoura.com/Books

Please give me a child

Please give me a child The passage in John 4:7-42 tells the story of the Samaritan woman who went to draw water from Jacob's well at midday as part of her normal daily routine but instead met the Messiah as he was resting by the well. Her life was completely changed by their encounter although her story of transformation required two major components: Jesus' power and love for her and her willingness to examine her life and long held beliefs. Reading carefully, we can see how she progressed in the way she viewed herself. She initially expressed surprise that Jesus, as a Jew, should speak to her, a Samaritan woman. Her statement was driven by the cultural and religious differences both the Jews and the Samaritans had at that time toward each other. By saying that she was a Samaritan and a woman, she confused her identity with her destiny. Her real identity was as a woman created in God’s image made to glorify his name through her God given gifts and talents. While she sees being a Samaritan woman as a reason to prevent having a meaningful interaction between her and Jesus, he does not see it that way. These same reasons she presented to Jesus are the very reasons that qualified her to be the perfect messenger for what was going to take place, not only in her personal life but also for her entire city. Jesus engaged her with great respect for [...]

By |2020-03-25T08:08:23-05:00March 25th, 2020|Devotionals, English Posts|Comments Off on Please give me a child

An incredible woman with an incredible faith (Luke 8:43-49)

An incredible woman with an incredible faith Luke 8:43-49 This woman did have incredible faith, however, she only meant to take the healing she desperately needed and then to leave quietly. After being healed, she intended to go on quietly living her life. Jesus, on the other hand, wanted something else; He wanted to speak directly to her. Yes, he joyfully meets our needs, but he is much more interested in developing a relationship with us than merely addressing our physical needs. Many reasons prevented this woman from announcing her faith in Jesus publicly. She was a woman living in a patriarchal society, and not just a woman but also a bleeding woman. For twelve years, she had been seeking a cure for her condition and no one was able to heal her. She knew that Jesus had the power to heal her and everything depended upon an opportunity to receive that healing touch from him. When she saw Jesus, she decided to touch the edge of his robe from behind him. Perhaps she didn't feel able to make eye contact with Jesus. Remember, she was living in a culture, which stigmatized anyone afflicted with this disease. After touching the hem of his garment her strong faith in Jesus granted her what she had longed for many years, “the healing of her body”. Jesus wanted more for her than the healing of her sickness. He wanted to restore her identity and the way she [...]

By |2020-03-04T07:41:48-05:00March 3rd, 2020|Devotionals, English Posts|Comments Off on An incredible woman with an incredible faith (Luke 8:43-49)

My cousin, Salam

My Cousin My cousin, Salam, was born in 1994, the third son in my uncle’s family. The family's oldest son was born in 1989, and his name is Samer. The second son was born in 1991 and his name is Maher. In keeping with custom, my uncle was supposed to name his third son a name which complements the names of his other sons, Samer and Maher. For no particular reason, my uncle named his third boy Salam, which means peace in the Arabic language. I don’t know why my uncle decided to name his child that instead of following the custom; perhaps he was hoping to have peace in the family, but their life and Salam’s did not follow that path. My uncle’s life took a drastic turn when he was 18; with the beginning of the war with Iran in 1980. He served in the army for most of his adult life. The 1980s were very hard on all Iraqi people; many families lost their sons during that time. Sadness and fear were unavoidably prominent on people's faces and in their conversations. Women were especially affected by this great sadness. For this reason they mainly wore black colors, representing the grief that they felt. I remember, as an eight-year-old girl, seeing the pictures of martyrs hung upon walls in the homes of our friends and relatives. Some families had lost a son in that war, others lost two sons, and some had lost [...]

By |2020-03-25T07:50:44-05:00June 14th, 2018|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on My cousin, Salam

Our Twentieth Anniversary

We are celebrating our twentieth anniversary and reflecting on how good God has been to us through all these years. Our journey has not been the easiest, however it has been and still is more vibrant and adventure-filled than what we could imagine or even plan. Together we experienced what it means to be truly committed to each other. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we both believe that we would not be what God wanted us to be without each other’s love and encouragement. Together we learned to practice grace toward one another when we faced judgment from the outside. We learned how to see the God-given potential in each other and not to be discouraged by life’s barriers. We have learned to be a shoulder to lean on and cry when we encounter devastating situations. We stand by each other's side and believe we have the ability to accomplish our objectives even while facing life's discouragement. Together we traveled the globe, lived in many countries, and have been exposed to people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds that enriched our way of thinking. Some of them have changed our perspective on what we used to consider normal or the expected thing to do. Through the last twenty years of our marriage, we have moved to so many houses to the point that we stopped counting them. For example, in one year we counted how many times we changed the place [...]

By |2017-11-05T03:23:02-05:00October 30th, 2017|Articles, English Posts|Comments Off on Our Twentieth Anniversary

Greetings from the land of Pharaohs

I left Cincinnati with all types of mixed emotions. My heart was very heavy after having lived there for eight years. This was the longest time that George and I had lived in one particular city since we got married. When we first arrived in 2009, we came on a student visa knowing that would only allow us to stay there temporarily. That was not a big deal for us because we lived previously as missionaries in five different countries with the mentality that our stay in each country would be relatively short, to the point that I felt that I was destined to live this way throughout my life, even though that was not my desire. In Cincinnati, God blessed us beyond what we could ask or even imagine. He opened many doors for us and enriched our lives in all respects. He gave us favor in people’s eyes, with those who have become lifelong friends, mentors, supporters and even people who treated us like their own children whom we literally call mom and dad. In Cincinnati our dreams were not just fulfilled, but also gave birth to new dreams. We first came with specific hopes and desires. However, God called us to be more courageous to ask, seek and knock in order to receive and enjoy His promises, because His promises are real for those who believe in Him. He opened our eyes and hearts to understand His grace. Through grace, we learned [...]

By |2017-09-19T02:24:05-05:00June 12th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Greetings from the land of Pharaohs

High school years – Part 2

In the summer of 1988, on August eight, the Iraqi government declared the end of the war between Iraq and Iran. That date is firmly entrenched in the minds of all who lived through the war. Iraqi citizens were happy to once again live in peace and could begin to hope for a better future for their children. People everywhere celebrated that day, and in fact the celebrations lasted for weeks. Musical bands were performing on the streets in every corner, and people were dancing in groups and singing national songs. Everyone was happy over the end of the war, including families who lost their loved ones. While those families celebrated victory along with everyone else, their grief would not end in a day. These families had gone through a lot, their grieving would not end in a day or months or even years. I believe that the war between the two nations was over only at the geographical borders. The ramifications of that war for both nations would remain ghostlike, chasing both the oppressed and the oppressor. Both sides felt that their actions were meant to protect their own people. Nevertheless, what they did only resulted in destroying everything good in their people’s lives. Saddam Hussein’s policy toward the families of martyrs was very generous. He gave them many material privileges including a residential plot, monthly salaries and great opportunities in departments and institutions. Sadam controlled everything and everyone in Iraq. As minorities, we [...]

By |2017-04-12T09:36:13-05:00April 12th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on High school years – Part 2

Singing and Writing Plays – Part 2

After settling into our new life, new neighborhood and house, my parents began searching for good schools for me and for my siblings. The good thing about living in the old section of the city was the ability to find a variety of schools within walking distance, especially for the elementary schools. This gave my parents them one less thing to worry about while they were trying to adjust to our new adventure. Attending church was and still is a big part of my people’s way of life. Church for most Christians was more than a place to worship; it was almost the only way to be connected socially and to be part of the community. Growing up in a Muslim country caused the minorities to hold on tightly to their beliefs. The Christian population used to be numbered at ten percent under Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party regime. Nowadays the Christian population has shrunk to less than one percent. People who were not involved in politics used to have a comfortable life and felt a sense of security. The life of individuals would only be threatened when they decided to rebel against the government. People would be arrested immediately whenever they expressed their feelings of dissatisfaction with the government or if they dared to share their political opinion about things they did not like. The Baath party had a stronghold under Saddam’s regime. The former president was expert at training the most intelligent [...]

By |2017-03-06T10:38:50-05:00March 6th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Singing and Writing Plays – Part 2

Singing and Writing Plays – Part I

Despite all of the hardships we experienced and the confusion during the war years, there still laid a very thin line of hope in a fresh beginning. As a child, I was thrilled with the idea of writing and directing a play or a movie. In my small world as a child, I believed in my ability to influence my friends and some of my cousins to become part of the crew. They were excited about being on the team even though I only needed a few performers while I took on the role of the director. Whenever my parents would take us to visit our neighbors or our relatives, I would start pulling them aside to explain my idea. Then I would assign roles to my “Beginner actors.” Then as a team, we would look for a location where our movie or play would take place. Usually we would go to find an empty room but sometimes we would go to the roof of the house and then start to arrange the area. We gathered what was possible as far as furniture or clothes to use as part of the show. Once the stage was set, I called “Action” to begin filming. I created my own safe haven where I could let my imagination take me to a better place, where I could enjoy a peaceful life and have fun. I believed that was my way to cope with the stress during wartime. Three [...]

By |2017-03-06T10:38:56-05:00February 27th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Singing and Writing Plays – Part I

The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part II

The news constantly reported the Iraqi military victories and the number of the dead soldiers and prisoners of the Iranian army. The policy of the press was to cover up the defeats and the losses of the Iraqi army. However, the government could not fool the Iraqi people for long. For several years, there were massive casualties to soldiers and civilians in both countries and destruction to the military equipment and infrastructure. Many women lost a son or two, or even had been widowed at a young age. I personally lost several cousins to that war. We were, as children, surrounded by terror, grief, and confusion, which certainly damaged our childhood. That environment forced us to change rapidly from innocent children who were supposed to care mostly about playing and having fun to a confused version of childhood, we were lost between two worlds - the world of childhood and the world of adulthood. My dad worked two jobs as a teacher. He worked mornings at the elementary school and evenings at a literacy school for both men and women. The education system in Iraq was very strong. President Saddam Hussein ordered that the illiteracy rate in Iraq be eradicated. Anybody who disagreed with his plan to eliminate illiteracy could lose their jobs. At the very least, they would not advance or be promoted, even if they were the most qualified candidate. My dad used to travel a long distance to get to his work [...]

By |2017-02-17T21:41:40-05:00February 14th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part II

The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part I

My parent’s happiness in having their first boy was troubled and interrupted with the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in the beginning of 1980. Their anxiety over providing a safe environment and the necessary financial support for six children was increasing. My parents’ savings were decreased little by little because the living expenses in Baghdad were much higher in comparison to living in a small village in northern Iraq. For many years, my dad’s salary was plenty not only to cover all of our needs, but we also had the luxury of traveling for vacation during the summer months throughout his early years of working as a teacher. Gradually, that lifestyle began to shrink as the years went by. My parents and the majority of other people managed financially was by sending their children to public schools which was paid for by the government. In addition, for many years most of the elementary schools would distribute breakfast to students and teachers alike at no charge. Great emphasis was placed on the importance of a strong Iraqi educational system, in the sixties, seventies, eighties and the early nineties. Families from all over the Arab world sent their children to study at the Iraqi colleges, especially to the universities of Baghdad and Mosul, which is the second largest city in Iraq. I remember waking up in the early hours and feeling excited about going to school with my younger sister, walking with my dad and holding his [...]

By |2017-02-07T12:29:29-05:00February 7th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part I