Name: Elie Aaraj
Mr. Elie Aaraj has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS and harm reduction since 1987, when he founded a local Lebanese organisation “Soins Infirmiers et Développement Communautaire (SIDC)” which began with an in-home nursing programme during the civil war, and expanded to work on HIV/AIDS and drugs projects in the following years.
Mr. Aaraj completed his Master’s degree in Community Health at the Saint Joseph University, Lebanon, after having received a B.Sc in Nursing at the Lebanese University in 1982. Having qualified as a nurse, he worked in two hospitals in Lebanon, before becoming the Director of the Nurse-Aid Technical School at Hayek Hospital, Beirut, a post which he held for two years, before he founded SIDC.
He brings to the position an extensive experience in nursing and home-based health care in addition to his wide knowledge in the field of HIV/AIDS intervention as well as his technical capacity in conceptualizing and realizing several IEC material on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention.
Memberships : Alongside his employment, Mr. Aaraj undertakes many other professional activities, many focusing on the prevention of substance misuse, harm reduction and HIV/AIDS.
• Board Member of the Lebanese NGO for Hospice care, SANAD since 2010
• Member of the scientific committee of Mentor Arabia
• Member of the UN Reference Group on HIV and Drug Use
• President of the Regional Arab Network Against AIDS (RANAA) 2008
• Consultant and Trainer of the Agriculture Cooperatives and Municipalities of Nabatieh and Neighborhood on Local Development Programs – YMCA/IMTI in Collaboration with UNDP 2008
• President & Founder of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon from 2003 to 2006
• Scientific Advisory Network member - Mentor Foundation 2003 to date
• Member of the Regional Panel on Nursing – WHO EMRO
• Member of the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA)
• Former President of the Federation of Nursing Associations in Lebanon 2000 - 2003
• Former vice president of the Association of the Lebanese Red Cross Nurses
• Coordinator of the Regional Network (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) on Drug Demand Reduction and Harm Reduction from 1996 to 1999
• Consultant and trainer on "Child-to-Child" and "Training for Transformation" concepts in health education at the Arab Resource Collective Organization
In December 2012 and at the last meeting of RANAA’s General Assembly which took place in Hammamat, Tunis, Mr. Aaraj was re-elected as RANAA President for the second term. In 2007, he became one of the founders of the MENAHRA network, and has been its executive director since.
Mr. Aaraj co-organized and participated in a number of conferences and seminars, on a local, regional and international levels.
Author and co-author of a number of publications and research papers, he has also published three major pieces of research on drug use and prevention among others, as well as numerous resources for practitioners in this field.
• National Rolleston Award, HRI, 2011
• Marcelle Hochar Award, Lebanese Cross Nursing Association, 2005