Ali al-Samman (1929 – 2017): Pioneer of inter-faith dialogue dies

06-08-2017 07:15 PM

Ekhlas Atallah

Egypt’s Supreme Council of Culture has issued a statement announcing the passing away of intellectual Ali al-Samman at age 88, in Paris. The statement said that, with Mr Samman’s death, Egypt lost a truly great man of immeasurable academic stature, who had a lasting impact on numerous intellectual and political issues, and who has to his credit a long list of achievements in service of his nation.

Mr Samman was born in Alexandria in 1929. He earned a law degree from Alexandria University in 1953, and a PhD in Law and Political Science from Paris University in 1966. In 1967 he became Director of the Middle East News Agency (MENA) for Western Europe, based in Paris, and remained in this post till 1974.

From 2000 to 2006 he was Advisor to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar for Interfaith Dialogue, and from 1996 to 2011 he was President of the Committee for Interfaith Dialogue at the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Egypt.

Until his death, he was President of the International Union for Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue and Peace Education (ADIC) for Europe and Egypt.

He was awarded a letter of appreciation by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his fruitful efforts in promoting interfaith dialogue, September 2004.

In August 2013, Watani International posted a dialogue with Mr Samman, that focused on his vision and efforts at interfaith dialogue.

Talking to one another

Watani International

6 August 2017

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