Who Is She

Personal information

President, Director
Arwa El Amine Halawi

What I have done for Lebanon

In 1999, the date of the establishment of the Lebanese Autism Society-LAS, Autism Spectrum Disorder was still not known in Lebanon even among the Professionals in the field of Psychology or education. Early Diagnosis was practically nonexistent as well as Early Intervention and support of individuals with Autism and their families.

Moreover, the Lebanese Society rejected individuals with Autism which caused them to be secluded. In fact, people ignored the problem or even had very harsh and painful reactions towards individuals with Autism and their families; the lack of acceptance of the society pushed many parents to hide their children at home and avoid public places.

After 20 years of LAS hard work, I believe the biggest achievement was to spread awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder and lead the way to a better acceptance of the disorder in the society which help tremendously in the Early Diagnosis and Intervention of those cases.

Contact information / Private

Verdun, Habib Srour Str., Verdun Etoile Bldg., 7th fl.
+961 1 860860

Contact information / Work

Lebanese Autism Society
Gémayzeh - College du Sacré Coeur
+961 1 443366 & +961 1 449988
+961 1 232427


  • Bachelor degree, Arabic, 1984 - 1987, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Teaching Diploma, Secondary school, 1984 - 1987, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Lebanese and French Baccalaureate, 1973 - 1984, Collège Louise Wegmann, Lebanon.

Areas of expertise

  • Autism
  • Advocacy (Rights of Individuals with Autism)
  • Management 
  • English
  • French
  • Arabic

Work history

  • Director, 2014-present, Center for Autism Intervention and Research (LAS CAIR)
  • President, October 2009-present, Arab Network for Autism (ANA).
  • Director, September 2006-present, Technical School for Adolescents with Autism (TSA).
  • Director, April 2005-present, Early Intervention & Diagnostic Center (C.D.I.P).
  • President, 2003-present, Lebanese Autism Society (LAS).
  • Director, 2000-present, Classes for Children with Autism (CCA).
  • Project Director, June 2007-June 2009, Promoting the Acceptance of Vulnerable Groups of Children and Youth in Lebanon (LAS project funded by AFKAR II program - European Commission and managed by OMSAR).
  • Project Director, March 2005-May 2006, Economic Rights of Youth with Special Needs (Project funded by Oxfam Quebec).
  • Project Director, March 2005-February 2006, The Rights of Children with Special Needs and Children with Autism (LAS project funded by AFKAR II program - European Commission and managed by OMSAR).

Honorary office and memberships

  • Founding Member of the Arab Network for Autism (ANA), 2009-present.
  • Member of the National Board for Disabled Individuals, 2005 - present.
  • Founding member and Coordinator of the National Autism Coordination Committee, 2004-present.
  • Founding member of the Lebanese Autism Society (LAS), 1999 - present.
  • Member of the National Inclusion Programme in Lebanon, School administration, and Legal Affairs Committee, September 2009-June 2010.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the National Union of Associations and Parents of Children with Mental Retardation (UNAPIEI), 2004-2007.


Major achievements: 
  • Organizing an Autism Event at the Presidential Palace, in the presence of His Excellency the President  General Michel Aoun and the first Lady .This event featured an exhibition of individuals with Autism from different NGOs in Lebanon working with Autism. The Presidential Palace was also lit in blue during the event, April 2017.
  • Organizing a conference entitled "Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in Autism Intervention", April 2014.
  • Organizing the Second Arab Regional Conference for Autism titled "Early Detection, Early Diagnosis”, in collaboration with UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Beirut, October 2008.
  • Organizing the first Arab Regional Conference on Autism titled ”Arab Regional Conference on Autism: Education and Care”, in collaboration with UNESCO Office of Education in Beirut, May 2004.
Exhibitions, lectures & performances: 
  • Lectures:
  •  “The impact of Autism on the family”, Conference in the United Nations Headquarters, New York - USA, April 2010.
  • “World Autism Awarness Day”, Round Table on Autism, Doha - Qatar, April 2009.
  • Conference titled “L’autisme dans le Mediteranée” [Autism in the Mediterranean region], Marseilles, France, December 2008.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Received an award from the CMA CGM Foundation for her continuous support of autistic children through the Lebanese Autism Society (LAS), 2014
  • Appreciation Award for founding the Arab Network for Autism during the Autism Around the World Symposium, 2010.
  • Award of Merit Prince Faisal Bin Fahad’s Center for Autism, Riyadh for organizing the second Arab Regional Conference, 2008.
  • Award of Merit from the Iraq Center for Autism for organizing the second Arab Regional Conference, 2008.
  • Award of Merit from the Yemen Center for Autism for organizing the second Arab Regional Conference, 2008.
  • Award of Merit from the Kuwait Center for Autism for participating in the World Autism Awareness Day, 2006.