History of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS)

1975: King Faisal passed away (May Allah have mercy on him).

1976: King Faisal Foundation (KFF) was established by the children of late King Faisal.

1977: Al-Faisal Cultural House (Dār Al-Faiṣal Al-Thaqāfīyat) was created and began publishing Al-Faisal Magazine.

1981: KFF and UNESCO signed an agreement to establish a research center with a library.

1983: KFCRIS was founded with HRH Prince Turki AlFaisal being appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors and Dr. Zaid Al Hussein Secretary-General.

1985: KFCRIS commenced its operation; King Faisal Center Library began offering its services; The Center’s first exhibition “The Unity of Islamic Art” took place.

1986: King Faisal Memorial Hall was created to showcase the legacy of late King Faisal. The Hall remained active until 2012.

1991: Al-Faisal Cultural House became part of KFCRIS (the decision was made in 1988).

1999: Dr. Yahya Ibn Junaid was appointed the Center’s second Secretary-General; The Visiting Fellowship Program was created; The Journal of Linguistic Studies was launched.

2000: The Al-Faisal Institute for Human Resources Development was inaugurated.

2003: The Al-Faisal Scientific Journal was launched through cooperation with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The journal remained active until 2019.

2005: The Islam and Modern World journal was launched. The journal remained active until 2015.

2008: The exhibition “Al-Faisal: A Witness and a Martyr” was launched. This traveling exhibition continued until 2018, visiting 14 cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and two cities in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2011: Faisal Archives (Dārat Al-Faiṣal) was created to serve as an official source of information about late King Faisal and his family.

2013: The publication series Masarat, a report on contemporary affairs, was launched. 

2014: The publication series Dirasat (KFCRIS Papers) and Qira’at (KFCRIS Humanities Papers) were launched.

2015: The publication series Commentaries was launched.




Under the leadership of Dr. Saud Al-Sarhan, the third Secretary-General of the KFCRIS who was appointed in 2016, the Center broadened the range of its activities and expanded its partnerships. The Center ran the Five-Year Strategic Goals (2016-20) which had the following targets: 

1.    Increase awareness and knowledge about the heritage of late King Faisal to preserve his memory and document his contribution to the service for humanity.

2.    Encourage and support dialogue and strengthen the bonds of knowledge cooperation.

3.    Focus on the production of research in humanities and social sciences. 

4.    Preserve and study the Islamic heritage.

5.    Enhance the level of technological infrastructure, electronic applications, and online presence to facilitate the achievement of the Center’s objectives. 


2016: The KFCRIS hosted an international conference entitled “Saud Al-Awtan” in April under the sponsorship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, which commemorated late Prince Saud AlFaisal (1940-2015) who had passed away in the previous year. Al-Faisal Museum was established, taking over the activities of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The four research units were active: Contemporary Political Thought, Energy Studies, Maghreb Studies, and Asian Studies. 

View: Annual Review 2016

2017: The KFCRIS hosted the Riyadh Forum on Countering Extremism and Fighting Terrorism in May under the sponsorship of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, which took place during the visit of US President Donald Trump to Riyadh. Al-Faisal Museum was inaugurated in June. Al-Faisal Cultural House and its Al-Faisal Magazine (Majallat Al-Faisal) marked the 40-year anniversary. Political Economy Unit was created, succeeding Energy Studies Unit.

View: Annual Review 2017

2018: The traveling exhibition “Al-Faisal: A Witness and a Martyr” concluded after visiting 14 cities in Saudi Arabia and two cities in Kazakhstan since 2008. Faisal Archives (Dārat Al-Faiṣal) was renamed into Faisal Family Archives (Dārat Āl Faiṣal) in December to fully cover the memories of the family of late King Faisal. Security Studies Unit was created; Maghreb Studies Unit developed into African Studies Unit to cover the affairs of the entire African continent. 

View: Annual Review 2018

2019: The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman appointed the KFCRIS to co-host the T20 Saudi Arabia 2020 and its preparation began. In December, the KFCRIS hosted an exhibition “FAISAL: A Life at the Heart of the 20th Century” in London, commemorating a centenary anniversary of young Prince Faisal’s visit to London in 1919. The film about this visit “Born a King” (Wulida Malikan), the KFCRIS assisted the production of which, was also released this year. 

View: Annual Review 2019

2020: In this year remembered for the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the KFCRIS co-hosted the T20 Saudi Arabia 2020 as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted the G20. Al-Faisal Cultural House began to issue The International Journal of Humanitarian Studies for the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre. Cultural Studies Unit and Socioeconomics Unit were created. The new Arabic-language research publication series Africa Followups began to be issued. 

View: Annual Review 2020


2021: HRH Prince Turki AlFaisal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, confirmed the adoption of the 2021-25 strategic plan. Additionally, the Center reopened the Wahj Exhibiton virtually. The Yemen Studies Program was established in March, and “Research Units” was changed to “Research Programs” in October.

View: Annual Review 2021

2022: Al-Faisal Museum reopened with the renovated Permanent Gallery and the Asfār exhibition (February). HRH Princess Maha bint Mohammed AlFaisal was appointed Secretary-General, following the duties completed by Acting Secretary-General Mr. Turki Alshuwaier (August). Al-Faisal Cultural House was awarded the King Salman Global Academy Prize for Arabic Language (August). The photography exhibition commemorating the 90th anniversary of King Faisal’s visit to Poland was held in Krakow (October). The Center launched a new project “The Arabian Narrative” (December).

View: Annual Review 2022


And our journey continues..