January 29, 2008
The Challenge in the Middle East: An Egyptian Perspective
His Excellency Nabil Fahmy, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United States, discussed current issues and problems in the Middle East and the unique role Egypt plays in the region. Stressing the contemporary and historical importance of the Middle East as a bridge between the West and East, Fahmy asserted that the main challenge of the region right now is one of defining an identity. The absence of jobs has frustrated a largely youthful population, who see themselves as competing in a global context. This has created two contrary trends: one toward fundamentalism, and one toward joining the modern world, which is largely viewed as Westernization. This challenge of identity can be met, Fahmy argued, by engaging the world, but only through Middle Easterners’ own values and ideas.
Ambassador Fahmy has served as Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United States since October 1999. He has been a key player in Egyptian foreign policy for two decades. Over the years, he has been a Senior Disarmament Official in the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Egyptian Missions to the United Nations (Disarmament and Political Affairs) in Geneva and New York. Ambassador Fahmy’s expertise has led him to participate in numerous Egyptian delegations dealing with Middle East Peace and Disarmament Regional Security issues. In 2003, he became a member of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies International Advisory Board.