|An academic, El Keib, at left, faces the challenge of leading a war-devastated Libya towards democracy [AFP]
Abdurrahim El Keib, an electrical engineer and a university professor, has been chosen as Libya's new interim prime minister, entrusted with the job of rebuilding the country.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) chose El Keib over others to lead Libya for the next eight months, guiding the North African country towards its first democratic elections and a new constitution since this year's popular revolt ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule.
The 61-year-old academic's first job will be to appoint a new interim cabinet as he seeks to restore stability and security to a country devastated by months of conflict.
"I have a lot of trust in the Libyan people, lots of trust in my colleagues in the NTC, I have trust in the fact that we live in a country that has lots of resources that haven’t been tapped," El Keib said after being chosen to lead.
"We guarantee that we are building a nation that respects human rights, and does not permit abuse of human rights. But we need time."
El Keib was born in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, and later worked at the University of Tripoli before being exiled under Gaddafi's rule. He was NTC representative from Tripoli.
He received his doctorate in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in the US and went on to work as a professor at many universities there. He also published numerous research papers that were sponsored by top US institutions.
Outside of his home country, he spent many years financing Libya's opposition and became a leading figure in the NTC during its conflict with Gaddafi's forces that began in February.
Prior to the beginning of the uprising, El Keib was working as an electrical engineering director at the Petroleum Institute in the United Arab Emirates.
He is also credited with setting up the department of electronics and computer engineering at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE and has professional links with a number of international bodies, including the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, the South Korean Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Islamic Development Bank.
He returned to Libya to enter the political arena in August after Gaddafi was driven from power in August.
"What we will be doing is to work very closely with the NTC and to listen to the Libyan people, and to listen to the experts, and then make decisions," El Keib said in his speech hopeful for a new and bright era for Libya.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies