A young Egyptian’s perspective on non-proliferation in the Middle East
By Karim Kamel, Middle East Next Generation Arms Control Specialists Network Fellow
Immersing myself in nonproliferation studies has been a thrilling life journey. Growing up in Egypt, I realized early in life that I live in a highly volatile region, where war rhetoric and existential threats prevailed. I remember thinking: can’t we do something different? Can’t we come up with an alternative to this apocalyptic vision?
After finishing my undergraduate studies majoring in political science and minoring in biology, I discovered that I really enjoy dealing with work that has both natural sciences and social sciences components. In this regard, nonproliferation was precisely the right field for me, and I decided to pursue a master’s degree on the subject.
While working at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in Vienna in 2012, I had the honor to meet Dr. Chen Kane, who told me about the Middle East Next Generation Arms Control Specialists Network. The idea of engaging in projects with young specialists from across the region on arms control sounded exciting, and I instantly confirmed my interest in joining.
I’m interested in nonproliferation in the Middle East not only because it fosters peace; I also find it fascinating because it exists in the intersection of science and policy. I not only have to understand the policies of controlling weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but also the materials that comprise WMD, and what technologies contribute to their development, control, and elimination.