The Whole View with Stacy Toth, Season 3, Episode 110: The Cave – How a Pediatrician Helped Save Syrians and Herself w/ Dr. Amani Ballour

Pediatrician and advocate Dr. Amani Ballour joins Stacy to share about her life growing up in Syria, fighting her own revolution, and the lessons of overcoming the odds in a war-torn country. Her story has been shared in both the award-winning documentary and newest memoir, The Cave, where she became the first and only woman to manage a hospital in Syria. Dr. Ballour’s experiences underscore the critical issues faced by civilians in war zones and she and Stacy discuss what we as individuals can do to make an impact for similar global issues.

Find Dr. Amani Ballour

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Key Takeaways


  • A distinguished Syrian pediatrician, activist, and author, Dr. Ballour’s profound experiences were captured in the Oscar-nominated and 2x Emmy award-winning documentary, The Cave, and most recently a book (released March 2024) by the same name.
  • Internationally, she earned recognition for actively advocating for women’s and children’s rights, particularly amidst the harrowing conditions of the Syrian civil war. She was as awarded the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Prize in 2020 for her humanitarian work.

The Cave

I always said, I’m just a human being who witnessed and who sees everything around us, who sees these people who need help. And this just is a responsibility to help each other, so I just started to help. – Dr. Amani Ballour

  • So how did you go from that to having an award-winning documentary centered on your work? What motivated you to share your experiences?
  • Both women globally experiencing oppression and those living in countries like the US, which grant but do not always give equality, can learn valuable lessons from this experience. They can glean important insights and reflections from it.
  • I’m thinking of the absolute tragedies in Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, Afghanistan now under the Taliban, Syria… where the atrocities feel so overwhelming but inaction or avoidance doesn’t help.  What can we as individuals do to make an impact for similar global issues?

Studies, References & Products


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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes only. It is NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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