EDAN Middle East was established in June, 2006 during a meeting attended by church representatives of persons with disabilities in Beirut, Lebanon. The representatives were from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Palestine.
Towards a truly inclusive society, a society of ALL and for ALL
EDAN Middle East is manned by two Regional Coordinators namely Mr. Fadi El Halabi and Ms. Rula Helou. Mr. Fadi El Halabi was born in 1975 and has been on a wheelchair for nearly all his life. He is a Psychotherapist /counselor for couples and adults, a TV talk show host, frequent quest speaker/ moderator in universities /private institutions and a facilitator/trainer with an extensive experience in human relations and personal development. He holds a masters degree in clinical psychology specializing in group dynamics.
He started being involved with disability work as a youth in his church. Together with some friends, he founded Resurrection Witnesses, a group which advocates for active involvement of persons with disabilities in church activities. Since joining EDAN, Mr. Halabi has been advocating the civil society, media, members of parliament and governments in the Middle East to address disability related concerns. His efforts have seen EDAN-Middle East establish several projects for persons with disabilities.
Despite many efforts by the church in the Middle East to address concerns facing persons with disabilities, full inclusion has not been achieved. Challenges in terms of accessibility, active participation, new discourse at the theological level, specialized pastoral care and many other issues are still hindering inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Ms. Rula Helou is a disability advocate and public speaker. She has attended and spoken in conferences in local, regional and international scales. She writes in various publications about disability related topics. She is currently shooting a TV program for one of the prime local and regional TV stations ,her role is to prepare the episodes and host disabled guests.
Ms. Rula notes that lack of awareness on issues affecting persons with disabilities is the main concern facing people with disabilities within and outside the church in the Middle East. Most governments lack appropriate mechanisms to implement laws that protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Her vision is to further the ecumenical disability work in the local or national situation by raising the awareness of local people on disability related issues.
Beirut, MCC Office
Achrafieh, Sioufi, Ghazali Road,
Mimosa Building, 8th Flr