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Encouraging respect and empathy toward people with mental illnesses is the message of "From the Bottom of My Brain," a powerful play developed after nearly three years of weekly drama therapy sessions with residents of Al-Fanar psychiatric hospital.The play opens with a patient dressed wearing a white lab coat.Imad is the second patient to present a dramatized testimonial. In another monologue, a patient named Shirine says her family has not visited her in four years.Halfway through the nearly hour-long play, a group of nine patients sits in a row of chairs.Samar Labban, the head of the family-run hospital, says in the opening remarks that she was born and raised on-site, calling its patients her "second family".While the play forefronts the patients' intelligence and humanity, it should not be seen as whitewashing what can be severely debilitating conditions.To this end, some patients read from notes.The patients mostly come across as well-adjusted, if lacking in self-confidence, but clearly the patients' ailments are real.
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