Samir Khalil Samir

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Samir Khalil Samir, 2014.

Samir Khalil Samir (born Samir Khalil Greys Kosseim; 10 January 1938 in Cairo, Egypt), is an Egyptian Jesuit priest, Islamic scholar, Semitologist, Orientalist, Syriacist and Catholic theologian. Based in Lebanon (Université Saint Joseph) he is a regular visiting professor of several academic institutions in Europe and the USA.


Samir entered the Jesuit order on the 26 October 1955, in Aix-en-Provence (France) and undertook the study of Philosophy, Theology and Islamic studies. He graduated with a thesis on oriental Catholic theology and Islamic studies. Thereafter, he established 20 schools for reading and writing in Egypt and then taught for 12 years at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. In 1986, he moved to Lebanon during the civil war there and now teaches at the Saint Joseph University, specialising in Catholic theology and Islamic studies.

At the same time he created the research institute CEDRAC in Beirut, which collects literature on the Christian heritage in the Near East. He is also a Professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and at the Centre Sèvres (Jesuit Faculty of Theology and Philosophy) 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 (Austria), Sophia University (Tokyo), Al-Azhar University (Cairo), and Georgetown University (USA), at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Washington, D.C..

Samir is the author of some 40 books, in Arabic and French, and over 500 articles. He serves on various publication editorial boards, and 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.

Father Samir has said that "the pope kissing the Quran was a shock for many Christians in the Middle East. They thought it meant that the Quran is divine, which is of course not what he meant at all".[1]


  • Christian Arabic Apologetics during the Abbasid Period (750-1258) by Samir Khalil (ed.), Jorgen S Nilesen (Herausgeber) Brill (December 1993)
  • Cento domande sull´islam. Intervista a Samir Khalil Samir, a cura di Giorgio Paolucci e Camille Eid (Genova : Marietti, 2002), ISBN 88-211-6462-4.
  • Rôle culturel des chrétiens dans le monde arabe, coll. Cahiers de l´Orient chrétien 1 (Beyrouth : CEDRAC, 2003), Samir Khalil Samir, OCLC 800460050.
  • Cien preguntas sobre el islam, Una entrevista a Samir Khalil Samir, realizada por Giorgio Paolucci y Camille Eid (Traduccion espanola: Miguel Montes), Madrid : Ediciones Encuentro, 2003, 223 pages = ISBN 84-7490-689-X.

He also made many contributions to the Coptic Encyclopedia.

Secondary literature[edit]

  • Studies on the Christian Arabic Heritage: In Honour of Father Prof Dr Samir Khalil Samir SJ at the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday (Eastern Christian Studies) by R. Y. Ebied (ed.), Peeters (2005)
  • "Der Friedensplan für den Nahen Osten von Samir Khalil Samir": L'hebdomadaire italien « L'Espresso », 28. July 2006
  • "Le plan de paix en dix points du Vatican", Hervé Yannou « Le Figaro », 30. August 2006.


  • Alexander von Humboldt Forschungspreis, 2005
  • Vétéran de la Culture au Liban et dans le Monde Arabe, 2007


External links[edit]