Center for Libyan Studies

Fostering dialogue, reform, renewal, and restoration around rootedness and openness


Libya’s history was influenced by several civilizations, which left their mark on the country. In post-Revolution Libya, many of the social structures and institutions that were at the heart of Libyan identity were eroded. At this stage in history, the country must reframe and rebuild its cultural and civilizational narrative to define a new identity that accommodates the opportunities presented by the future and honors the achievements of the past.

The Center for Libyan Studies will position Libyan Studies as a distinct field of study within the Islamic civilization paradigm. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Center will offer academic programs and generate research on Libya’s traditions, cultural values, and religious practices within the larger context of global citizenry. The Center’s academic and research themes will be aimed at fostering dialogue, reform, renewal, and restoration in Libya around two themes of rootedness and openness.

Rootedness involves reconciling the current Libyan sense of identity with historical social and cultural contexts by

  • Supporting the creation of a Libyan identity that is inclusive of the all ethnicities and languages
  • Exploring the cultural and religious values that have influenced the generally accepted norms
  • Renewing the spirit of mainstream Islam and reviving its intellectual traditions in Libya
  • Ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage of Libya

Openness involves exploring the multi-ethnic roots of the country and chronicling the contribution of Libya’s many ethnic and religious groups to modern Libyan civilization by

  • Positioning all ethnicities, languages  and juridical backgrounds that are represented in Libya as positive contributors to the country’s past and future development
  • Developing appreciation for the contribution of all groups represented on Libyan soil
  • Fostering open dialogue between the members of different ethnic and juridical groups
  • Galvanizing action against extremism through the forging of dialogue and cooperation