Model Role Details

Sami Aldeeb

Sami Aldeeb

Sector : Academic Figures , Law

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1949
  • Age : 68
  • Curriculum vitae :


Sami Awad Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh "born in Zababdeh, near Jenin in the West Bank on September 5, 1949" is a Christian lawyer, of Palestinian origin and Swiss nationality.

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 at 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 . He is currently preparing a similar edition in Italian and English. He also translated the Swiss constitution into Arabic for the Swiss Confederation.


Born to a family of Christian peasants, 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 immatriculated at Jenin as a self-taught student, and thereafter 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 of Laws at the University of Fribourg 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" .

Researching 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" in December 1978 at the Faculty of Law in Fribourg, receiving the distinction summa cum laude. His graduation took place after the publication of his thesis on 14 November 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. He 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 1 November 1980 to 31 December 2009, heading 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 Arab countries, he built up the most comprehensive collection of works on Arab and Muslim Law in Western Europe for the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law.

During his work for the Swiss 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, offering 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.


Achievements and Awards

  • 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."

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