Saudi Foreign Fighters and Sectarian Division
Kameal Alahmad currently works as a research fellow and head of the Visiting Fellow Program at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS). He earned his B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Saint Norbert College. After graduation, he successfully completed the Washington Semester Program at the School of Professional and Extended Studies at American University, Washington D.C. Prior to joining KFCRIS, Kameal worked as an intern at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington where he worked on the Saudi Vision 2030 and its impact on the U.S.-Saudi Relations. His research interest encompasses U.S. Policies towards the Middle East, U.S.-Saudi Relations, and Saudi Foreign Policy.
Kameal’s work at Columbia Global Centers | Amman examines how the Saudi government created a specially designed programs and care centers to de-radicalize and re-integrate Saudis who joined extremist militias abroad. While research on Saudi extremists and returning foreign fighters has focused overwhelmingly on Sunni Muslims, Saudi Shia radicals have attracted less attention. Efforts to de-radicalize and rehabilitate Shia extremists within the Arab Gulf countries, and particularly Saudi Arabia, offer insights into whether these programs are likely to work within a context of broader marginalization and discrimination. Kameal aims to shed light on the structure of these de-radicalization programs, the reality of their goals, and their effectiveness in persuading Shia foreign fighters to return home.
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