He was the head of the Arab and Islamic Law department at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law from 1980 to 2009. He directs the Center of Arab and Islamic law and teaches in various universities in Switzerland, France and Italy.
He is the author of many books and articles on Arab and Islamic law. In 2008 he published a bilingual edition of the Koran (Arabic - French) classifying the chapters (suras) in chronological order according to Al-Azhar, with reference to variations, abrogations and Jewish and Christian writings (see the publications). He is currently preparing a similar edition in Italian and English. He also translated the Swiss constitution into Arabic for the Confederation.
Born to a Christian peasant family, in Zababdeh, near Jenin, he attended primary school in his village (1956–61) before joining the Minor Seminary of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Beit-Jala, near Bethlehem (1961–65). Four years later he left to attend a course in tailoring at the Salesian Technical School of Bethlehem (1965–1968), and worked in the tailoring trade in Jenin while, at the same time, working for the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 1970 he took his matriculation in Jenin as a self-taught student, and thus obtained a scholarship from the l'Œuvre Saint-Justin in Fribourg, to study in Switzerland.
In April 1974, he received his Law degree from the University of Fribourg cum laude, and then went on to study for a doctorate in Law at Fribourg University and enrolled in the Graduate Institute of International Studies at Geneva to simultaneously study for an Honours degree in Political Science. He was awarded a degree with Honours from the Graduate Institute at Geneva in January 1976, His dissertation was entitled: "The Right of peoples to sovereignty, analytic study of the Marxist-Leninist theory and the soviet position" (see the publications).
In order to do research for his doctoral thesis, he spent a year in Egypt. He defended his thesis: "The impact of religion on the legal order, case of Egypt, non-Muslims in an Islamic country" (see the publications) in December 1978 at the Faculty of Law in Fribourg with summa cum laude. The promotion took place after the publication of the thesis on November 14, 1979. During his studies he received a grant from l'Œuvre Saint-Justin in Fribourg (1970–1977) and a grant from the Swiss Confederation (1977–1979).
During his stay in Egypt (1976–77), he interviewed forty Egyptian personalities, and intends to publish these interviews in the near future.
He was a federal civil servant at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne from November 1, 1980 to December 31, 2009, as head of the Department of Arab and Islamic law. As part of his duties, he wrote hundreds of legal opinions for Swiss and foreign authorities; for courts, lawyers, enterprises as well as for private individuals in the fields of family law, inheritance, criminal law and commercial law. In the course of his travels in the Arab countries, he built up for the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law the most comprehensive collection of works on Arab and Muslim Law in Western Europe.
During his work with the Confederation, he traveled to the following countries, in order to purchase books and to maintain contacts with law schools and research centers: Morocco (4 times), Algeria (twice), Tunisia (5 times), Libya (3 times), Egypt (9 times), Sudan (once), Jordan (4 times), Lebanon (twice), Syria (3 times), Iraq (once), Iran (once), Bahrain (twice), Kuwait (twice), United Arab Emirates (twice), Oman (twice), Palestine / Israel (7 times), South Yemen (once), North Yemen (twice), Qatar (once), Saudi Arabia (twice).
In May 2009, he opened his own Center of Arab and Islamic law. The Center offers the following services: legal consultations, conferences, translations, research and courses concerning Arab and Islamic Law, and the relation between Muslims and the West, assistance for students and researchers. On June 29, 2009, he received his Habilitation to supervise research (HDR) from the University of Bordeaux. In February 2010, he qualified as a University Professor, granted by the CNU, in sections 1 (private law) and 15 (Arabic). He was naturalized as a Swiss citizen on May 11, 1984. Sami Aldeeb is married with two daughters.
Teaching and Conferences
Sami Aldeeb taught Arab and Islamic Law in various Universities; Institute of Canon Law of Strasbourg (1985–1991), Faculty of Law and Political Science of Aix-en-Provence (since 2005), Faculty of Law of Palermo (since 2007), CERISDI of Palermo (since 2007), International Faculty of Comparative Law in Strasbourg (since 2007), Faculty of Law of Trento (since 2010), Faculty of Law of Cergy-Pontoise (since 2010), Faculty of Law of Grenoble (since 2010), Faculty of Theology of Lugano (since 2011). He has also given hundreds of lectures in different countries. The list can be found in his Curriculum vitae.
November 15, 1981: Vigener Prize of the Faculty of Law of Fribourg for his doctoral thesis.
November 21, 2009: Elected Academician of "Studium - Accademia di Casale Monferrato e per l'Arte del, the Letteratura the Storia, the e Scienze the Umanità Varies."
Sami Aldeeb considers himself as Christian. However, he does not accept the Revelation in its traditional concept, and he considers it not as "the word of God to man", but rather "the word of man about God". He is secular, and struggles for Human Rights and against male and female circumcision, ritual slaughter, religious cemeteries, death penalty and violence, issues around which his writings and lectures revolve (see the publications). He is in favor of one democratic and secular State in Palestine / Israel. He recognizes neither the State of Israel nor the state of Palestine, both of which he considers as discriminatory entities. He believes that the Koran was written by a rabbi. He took a stand against the construction of minarets in Switzerland, saying the Constitution guarantees the right to pray and not to shout.
Sami Aldeeb is a prolific author. His publications consist of about thirty books and more than 200 articles on Arab and Islamic Law, in different languages, the list can be found in his Curriculum vitae. Some of his publications are available for free on his website: www.sami-aldeeb.com and on Scribd.com. Here is the list of his books:
- Le droit des peuples à disposer d'eux-mêmes], étude analytique de la doctrine marxiste-léniniste et de la position soviétique, polycopié, IUHEI, 1976, 276 pages.
- L'impact de la religion sur l'ordre juridique, cas de l’Égypte, non-musulmans en pays d'Islam, Éditions universitaires, Fribourg 1979, XVI-405 pages.
- Discriminations contre les non-juifs tant chrétiens que musulmans en Israël, Pax Christi, Lausanne, Pâques 1992, 36 pages.
- Les musulmans face aux droits de l'homme: religion & droit & politique, étude et documents, Verlag Dr. Dieter Winkler, P.O.Box 102665, D-44726 Bochum, 1994, 610 pages.
- Les mouvements islamistes et les droits de l’homme, in Herausforderungen Historisch-politische Analysen, Winkler, Bochum, 1998, 128 pages.
- Huquq al-insan 'ind al-muslimin wal-massihiyyin wal-yahud, Dar Robeian, Kuwait, 1998, 73 pages.
- Khitan al-dhukour wal-inath ‘ind al-yahud wal-masihiyyin wal-muslimin: al-jadal al-dini, Riad El-Rayyes, Beirut, 2000, 562 pages.
- Sami Aldeeb and Andrea Bonomi (ed.): Le droit musulman de la famille et des successions à l’épreuve des ordres juridiques occidentaux, Publications de l’Institut suisse de droit comparé, Schulthess, Zurich, 1999, 353 pages.
- Sami Aldeeb and Mahmud Al-Gundi: Al-dustur al-gadid lil-ittihad al-swisri, (Bern), 2000.
- Circoncision masculine – circoncision féminine: débat religieux, médical, social et juridique, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2001, 537 pages.
- Male and female circumcision among Jews, Christians and Muslims: religious, medical, social and legal debate, Shangri-La Publications, Warren Center, PA 19951, USA, 2001, 400 pages.
- Cimetière musulman en Occident: Normes juives, chrétiennes et musulmanes, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2002, 168 pages.
- Les Musulmans en Occident entre droits et devoirs, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2002, 296 pages.
- Muslims in the West caught between rights and duties: redefining the separation of church and state, Shangri-La Publications, Warren Center, PA 19951, USA, 2002, 318 pages.
- Khitan al-dhukour wal-inath ‘ind al-yahud wal-masihiyyin wal-muslimin: al-jadal al-dini, wal-tibbi, wal-ijtima'i wal-qanuni, Beit-Jala, Collection Olive Branch, 2003, 250 pages.
- Circoncision: Le complot du silence, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2003, 244 pages.
- Mariages entre partenaires suisses et musulmans: connaître et prévenir les conflits, 4ème édition, Institut suisse de droit comparé, Lausanne, 2003, 60 pages.
- Ehen zwischen schweizerischen und muslimischen Partnern: Konflikte erkennen und ihnen vorbeugen, 4. Auflage, übersetzt von Beatrice Angehrn, 2003, 64 pages.
- Mu'amarat al-samt: Khitan al-dhukour wal-inath ‘ind al-yahud wal-masihiyyin wal-muslimin: al-jadal al-dini, wal-tibbi, wal-ijtima'i wal-qanuni, Dar al-Awael, Damascus, 2003, 512 pages.
- Al-tamyiz did ghayr al-yahud fi Isra'il massihiyyin kanu am muslimin, Dar al-Awael, Damascus, 2003, 112 pages.
- Introduction à la société musulmane: fondements, sources et principes, Eyrolles, Paris, 2005, 462 pages.
- Les sanctions en droit musulman: passé, présent et avenir, Cahiers de l'Orient chrétien 6, CEDRAC (USJ), Beirut, 2007, 110 pages.
- Il diritto islamico: fondamenti, fonti, istituzioni, Carocci Editore, Rome, 2008, 617 pages.
- Le Coran: texte arabe et traduction française par ordre chronologique selon l'Azhar, avec renvoi aux variantes, aux abrogations et aux écrits juifs et chrétiens, Éditions de l'Aire, Vevey, 2008, 579 pages.
- Projets de constitutions et droits de l'homme islamiques, Éditions de Paris, Paris, 2008, 348 pages.
- Religion et droit dans les pays arabes, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 2008, 586 pages.
- Il contratto di appalto nel diritto arabo particolarmente nel diritto egiziano, con le disposizioni dei principali codici arabi in diverse lingue, ASEM, Palermo, 2008, 358 pages.
- Les successions en droit musulman, cas de l'Égypte, présentation, versets coraniques et dispositions légales, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 153 pages.
- Le contrat d'entreprise en droit arabe, cas de l'Égypte, avec les dispositions des principaux codes arabes en différentes langues, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 381 pages.
- Non-Musulmans en Pays d'Islam, cas de l'Égypte, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 443 pages.
- Avenir des Musulmans en Occident, cas de la Suisse, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 193 pages.
- Avvenire dei Musulmani in Occidente, caso della Svizzera, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 193 pages.
- Il diritto di famiglia nel mondo arabo, costanti e sfide, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 115 pages.
- Demain les islamistes au pouvoir? Conception musulmane de la loi et son impact en Occident, Association culturelle du Razès, Montréal d'Aude (France), 2009, 174 pages.
- Manuel de droit musulman et arabe, Thebookedition, Lille, 2009, 297 pages.
- Matrimoni misti con musulmani, caso della Svizzera (con modello di contratto in sei lingue), Thebookedition, Lille, 2010, 76 pages.
- Casamientos mixtos con musulmanes, caso de Suiza (con modelo de contrato en seis lenguas), Thebookedition, Lille, 2010, 77 pages.
- Mariages mixtes avec des musulmans, cas de la Suisse (avec modèle de contrat en six langues), Thebookedition, Lille, 2010, 80 pages.
- Gemischte Ehen mit Muslimen, die Schweiz betreffend (mit Mustervertrag in sechs Sprachen), Thebookedition, Lille, 2010, 84 pages.
- Il diritto islamico: fondamenti, fonti, istituzioni, Carocci Editore, Rome, 2009, 624 pages (reprint).
- Publications by and about Sami Aldeeb in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library
- Official site