Key figures

  • First organisation 1959
  • Member organisations 1
  • Trial members 0

Abbé Pierre was invited by Lebanese decision-makers to deliver a lecture in late December 1958 during a stopover in Beirut. Emmaus’ founder made another stopover in the country in mid-January on his way back from India and delivered further lectures, as well as receiving a surprise: Michel Asmar (a Maronite Christian), Anwar El-Katib (a Sunni Muslim MP) and Grégoire Haddad (the then vicar-general of the Melkite bishop of Beirut and founder of the Lebanese Social Movement) had founded an Emmaus community. They named this multi-denominational community The Oasis of Hope, an evocative image in the region.
The community operated for some 30 years, offering shelter and support to men in difficulty in Lebanon and the Middle East. They made a living as rag-pickers. However, the community was located on the frontline and the long civil war which got underway in 1978 dealt it a fatal blow. In 1984, some of the organisation’s members who were involved in social action and finance created AEP. AEP was an innovative organisation at that time, helping civil war victims by granting them microcredit. AEP now maintains Emmaus’ presence in the country.