Zahra’ Langhi is a strategist, peace activist, academic and researcher. She holds an MA in Islamic History from the American University in Cairo and is a PhD candidate specializing in religion, violence and reconciliation at Friedrich Schiller University at Jena. Her research interests include gender, peace-building, conflict resolution, Islamic history and philosophy, and metaphysics. Her portfolio is women, peace and security agenda and prevention of violent extremism.
Zahra’ is the co-founder and CEO of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP), a socio-political movement focused on peace-building, inclusivity and gender equality. Through the LWPP, Zahra’ led an advocacy campaign for electoral system reform in Libya and coordinated the first meetings between civil activists, senior revolutionaries, security and intelligence officers, and parliamentarians on DDR and SSR. From 2016 to 2018, Zahra’
launched two strategic partnerships with the two oldest Islamic religious institutions, Es-Zitouna University and Al-Azhar, in an effort to bring together civil society and religious leaders from North Africa and the Sahel to discuss resilience-building efforts against extremism and human rights.
Zahra’ has contributed significantly to the body of research and literature on the Libyan transition. In partnership with United States Institute of Peace, she led a research project that mapped Libya’s religious sector as a way to understand the current and potential roles of religious actors in peace-building and countering violent extremism. In 2016, she led a research project on social capital and nation-building in Libya as part of the series ‘A Vision of Sustainable Peace’. Zahra’ is also the author of several articles about the Libyan transition.
Zahra’ has served as an advisory board member of the Arab Human Development (UNDP) Report on Youth, and as an advisor to the Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue in Libya. She is also co-chair of The Hammamet Conference Series, an international platform for dialogue and progress in relations between the UK and North Africa. In 2012, Zahra’ gave
a TED Talk entitled “Why the Libyan Revolution Failed and What Might Work’” and also co-produced and hosted ‘Libya Speaks’, a television show dedicated to the challenges of the democratic transition in Libya.
In 2014, The Guardian recognized Zahra as one of ‘Seven Women to Watch in Global Politics’. In 2016, Salt Magazine ranked Zahra’ 26th on a list of 100 inspiring women working for the empowerment of women and peacebuilding. In 2018, The Rockefeller Foundation named Zahra’ one of five women leaders introducing transformative change around the world.