Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is a leading Libyan public figure and the former Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates. He was former Special Envoy of the President of the House of Representatives to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European and African Unions, and played a vital and positive role in the revitalization of the Libyan political track.
Privately, he is Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) and Kalam Research and Media (KRM), which also owns one of Libya’s most respected news channels, Libya’s Channel.
Dr. Nayed has played a critical role in the Libyan 17th February Revolution and remained active in all Libyan political struggles and processes since then. His background, expertise and influence span a unique nexus of tribal, scholarly, business, and diplomatic domains.
Dr. Nayed is regarded as one of the leading Muslim figures in the field of interfaith relations. He was one of the 138 original signatories of the “A Common Word,” initiated by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, and has been a leading member of the bilateral consultations and dialogue at Cambridge/Lambeth Palace, Rome, Amman, and Geneva. Nayed has maintained dialogue and collaboration with key Christian institutions such as the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, and various divinity centers at major universities.
Nayed is a member of the Higher Academic Council of the Mohamed Zayed University for Humanities in the UAE; a Visiting Researcher at the University of Virginia; a member of the Board of Advisors of the Templeton Foundation; a Senior Advisor to the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK; Senior Fellow of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute in Jordan; and a former Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Nayed has a strong scholarly connection with Cambridge and in October 2009 delivered a keynote speech on “Ecologies of Peace,” where he expounded a theology of compassion and love and argued for its centrality in the Islamic faith and civilization. His work with Cambridge and Scriptural Reasoning continues with the Rose Castle Foundation in the UK.
In 2009, Nayed established Kalam Research and Media (KRM) in Dubai and later in Amman, Tripoli, and Benghazi as a think tank specializing in the articulation and revival of a robust, mainstream and orthodox Islamic theology (Kalam), and in engagement with current crossroads in philosophy, science, and culture. KRM has built an effective network of scholarly collaboration among Muslim institutions around the world and is embarking on projects to reassert the importance of sophisticated and compassionate theology within the Islamic tradition as a countervailing force against extreme and ideological religious discourses.
Dr. Nayed holds a B.S. in engineering, an M.A. in the philosophy of science, and a Ph.D. in hermeneutics, all from the University of Guelph in Canada.