Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Saint Joseph, Beirut.
Born in Cairo (Egypt) in 1938. A professor of Oriental Christian Theology and Islamic Studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and at the Facultés Jésuites de Paris, Fr. Samir joined the Jesuit order in 1955 in Aix-en-Provence and undertook the study of Philosophy, Theology and Islamic studies. He graduated with a thesis on oriental Christian theology and Islamic studies. Thereafter, he established about 20 centers for reading and writing in Egypt and then taught for 12 years at the Papal Oriental Institute in Rome. In 1986, he moved to Lebanon during the civil war there and now teaches at the Saint Joseph University, specializing in Catholic theology and Islamic studies.
At the same time he created the research institute CEDRAC (Center for Documentation and Research on Arab Christianity) in Beirut, which collects literature on the Arab Christian heritage in the Near East. He is also a Professor at the Papal Oriental Institute (since 40 years), the Centre Sèvres de Théologie (Institut Catholique), in Paris. He holds the same post at the Maqasid Institute in Beirut, where uniquely he teaches the Imams about Christianity and at ISSR in USJ teaches Muslim studies. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Graz, Amsterdam Free University, Hong Kong, Sofia University Tokyo, Cairo University, Bethleem University, Madrid University, Notre Dame University, Georgetown University, Boston College, Paris École Pratique des Hautes Études, at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Washington, D.C.
Samir is the author of 64 books and over 1000 articles. He advises numerous church leaders and politicians in Europe and the Near East. He also held discussions on daily life with Muslim youths in the Paris Banlieue prior to the unrest in 2005.
His main interests are: the Christian Orient, Islam and the integration of Muslims in Europe, as well as relations between Christians and Muslims. In July 2006, he drew up a peace plan for the Near East.
Fr. Samir currently resides in Beirut and Rome.