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Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture

Capernaum=Chaos: The Impact on Children, Families and Societies

A screening and discussion of the film, Capernaum

Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, 6:30-9:45PM

(Registration and light dinner, 6:00)

Presenter: Venus Masselam, PhD, MS, CGP, LCMFT

Discussant: Yasmine Kaidbey, MSW, LGSW

The program is open to all. poster

General admission (no CE/CME credit) $25.00

CE/CME continuing education (diversity)

3 credit hours

Fees (for credit)

Non-members $100
WSP Current Members $72
WSP Current Students $25

Fee (without credit)

General Admission $25

At the Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC 20016

For your comfort, remember to bring a sweater or to dress with layers. 

Capernaum (2018) translated into English means chaos.  The movie tells the story of a determined and resilient 12-year-old boy, Zain, whose family has no papers and lives with the repercussions of being “without papers” in the slums of Beirut, Lebanon.  While it is a boy’s story, it is also a parents’ and family story that could be repeated anywhere in the world where one’s identity is in question.  Zain is played by Zin Al Rafeea, a Syrian refugee who himself lived for eight years in the Beirut’s slums. 

Screenwriter and director, Nadine Labaki, described the origin of the movie:boys
“At the end of the day,…children are really playing a very high price for our conflicts, and our wars, and our systems, and our stupid decisions, and governments.  I felt the need to talk about the problem, and I was thinking, if those children could talk, or could express themselves, what would they say?  What would they tell us, this society that ignores them?”

Capernaum won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  The film is the highest-grossing Arabic and highest-grossing Middle-Eastern film of all time. 



Venus S. Masselam PHD, MS, CGP, CLMFT is a Developmental Life Span Psychologist, Family Therapist, Supervisor, and Consultant currently concentrating on the Aging Adult Stage. She began her professional career as an adolescent specialist in the 60’s and has worked with every developmental stage thereafter. Her involvement with adolescents encouraged her interest in the family so she became licensed as marriage and family therapist as well as a supervisor for this specialty. She has been a part of the faculty and supervisor for the clinical certificate in Aging Studies Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry (WSP) for the past 10 years.

The experience of being born of immigrant parents from Syria and Lebanon and raised in Boston, MA, before settling in Washington, DC area almost 40 years ago has motivated her interest serving as faculty and co- chair of the Center for Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture (CSREC) at WSP.



Yasmine Kaidbey. MSW, LGSW, is in a private practice in Dupont Circle. She also has worked with veterans in a co-occurring partial hospitalization clinic and in domestic violence settings. She has a special interest in cross-cultural challenges and in working with people exploring non-traditional relationships, navigating sexual orientation and gender issues (LGBTQ+). She completed the Observational Studies: Seeing the unseen in Clinical Work at the Washington School of Psychiatry.
Previously she worked at The International Finance Corporation – World Bank Group.

Ms. Kaidbey was born and grew up in Lebanon and did her undergraduate and graduate degrees there at The American University of Beirut (MA in International Affairs). 
Before moving to the United States, she worked at The United Nations Development Programme on Governance in the Arab Region. This movie has special interest for Ms. Kaidbey because it depicts and exposes some of the harsh truths of that society. During the past ten years she has lived in Washington, gotten her MSW and changed careers. Capernaum has stimulated her interest in linking the harsh truths and social injustices that unfortunately exist in those two worlds no matter how far apart they seem to be.


  1. Identify developmental tasks required of a preadolescent and compare to the main character’s challenges in an environment of poverty, desperation and illegal status
  2. Describe the tasks of moral development and apply to the various characters in the film.
  3. Assess the family as a group and the basic assumption reactions exhibited in the boy’s behaviors.
  4. Analyze and articulate ways that desperation as well as humanity depicted in the movie relate specifically to Lebanon as well as globally and to the United States.



Online registration is closed. But space is still available.

Please come and pay at the door.


Cancellations and Refunds

Refunds will be made for cancellations received at the School office in writing at least 10 days before the seminar date and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.

Who should attend?

The workshop is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, medical students, and other graduate students.


The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The Washington School of Psychiatry has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6388. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Washington School of Psychiatry is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates each session for a maximum of 3_ AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.