Public Affairs

AUK Students Co-Author NATO Report

02nd Jun 2022 | by the Department of PR & Marketing

NATO-ICI Regional Center (NIRC) and the NATO Strategic Direction South-Hub held a joint study day to discuss “Maritime and Energy Security in the Gulf” to gain better understanding into the maritime and energy security dynamics in the Gulf. Discussion was led by subject matter experts on two panels: “The Relevance of the Gulf as a Global Energy Provider over the Next Decade” and “The Energy Security–Maritime Security in the Gulf and Beyond.”  While the study day discussion was under Chatham House rules regarding non-attribution, NATO-ICI Regional Center and the NATO Strategic Direction South-Hub wished to preserve and analyze the discussion. They invited Dr. Shareefa Al-Adwani, assistant professor of political science in the Department of International Relations at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), to nominate undergraduate students to serve as researchers and co-authors of the analytical report.

Two AUK students were nominated: Ms. Rahaf Al-Bader, a senior student majoring in international relations, and Mr. Sabah Al-Sabah, a graduate of AUK with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in development and international relations at Sapienza University of Rome and his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at AUK simultaneously. The students were selected based on their stellar academic performances in classes as well as their active participation in local and international conferences and lectures. 

Mr. Al-Sabah, Ms. Al-Bader, and Dr. Al-Adwani coordinated a plan for composing the report whereby each would select various discussion topics on which they could report and add sources, research, and analyses. Dr. Al-Adwani then coordinated and compiled the sections, derived further implications, and integrated data visualizations where needed. The paper was written over several weeks while the authors were also fulfilling their full-time university responsibilities. The final draft was presented to the NIRC which was then approved by the NATO Strategic Direction South-Hub. 

The authors were invited to the NATO-ICI Regional Center for an informal ceremony of appreciation regarding the paper. Sheikh Fawaz Meshal Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, assistant undersecretary for information and security follow-up at the National Security Bureau of Kuwait—which oversees the NIRC—expressed his gratitude to the authors for their speedy and accurate analytical report. Shaikha Dr. Alanoud Al-Sabah, acting director of NIRC, highlighted how important it was to connect students, academic writing, and local organizations, and that she looked forward to working with AUK students again. Colonel Filippo Marzio and Ms. Nora-Elise Beck from NATO attended the ceremony and presented NIRC certificates of appreciation to the report authors.  

Ms. Al-Bader described her journey throughout this experience, “Being nominated and confirmed by NATO to be a co-author while I was in my senior year at university was a tremendous honor. To be acknowledged and receive recognition with our report being published by NATO was truly fulfilling. This shows that hard work and dedication never go unnoticed in life. I am beyond grateful for this amazing opportunity.”  Mr. Al-Sabah agreed and commented, “It was an honor to participate in a study that deals with keeping our country and our region safe from security and economic threats.” Dr. Al-Adwani stated that she hoped for more events and opportunities like the NATO joint study day report so more AUK students could foster their personal and academic growth and accomplishments in line with AUK’s mission and vision.  

The full paper can be accessed by clicking here:

Images from the event