Maya and Nancy Yamout pose for a photo. (The Daily Star/HO)
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Nancy and Maya Yamout make sure to brush their teeth before interviewing accused terrorists in Roumieh's notorious Block B. The sisters, both social workers, say that their subjects associate tobacco- and coffee-scented breath with interrogators and officials.Paying keen attention to detail, the Yamout sisters spent two years cultivating professional relationships with 20 prisoners in Roumieh prison accused of terrorism-related offenses. Their research sheds light both on the lack of criminal psycho-social profiling in Lebanon and the complex society which has emerged on the third floor of Roumieh's Block B, where suspected terrorists are held. After gaining effectively unfettered research access to Roumieh inmates suspected of involvement in terrorism activities, the sisters set out to see what makes terrorists tick.The men on the third floor of Block B, who number around 150, are highly organized.Working in conjunction with American forensic psychologist Dr. Raymond Hamden, Maya and Nancy organized interviews with 20 individual prisoners.Using a standard questionnaire Maya and Nancy were able to determine several common themes in the histories of the prisoners. During the exhausting one-on-one interviews, however, many of the prisoners opened up.
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