CPISP scholar Ali Marhoon, majoring in International Relations at Georgetown University, spent a month long internship at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in Bahrain this summer. Incidentally, Ali also had the pleasure of working with fellow CPISP scholarship recipient Mahmood Adel Abdullla, who is currently employed at IISS.
Ali shares his experience and what he gained out of this internship:
“I had the pleasure of working with the IISS - ME Geo-Economics team in preparation for the upcoming Middle East Geo-Economics forum: The Bahrain Bay Forum. The Forum, which will take place in late November this year, will focus on economic prospects in the Middle East amid regional instability. As part of the Geo-Economics team, I contributed to researching and contacting speakers and invitees who cover a wide range of fields and positions - academic, governmental, private corporations, - all the most distinguished in their areas.”
“Working on the BBF, however, was not the only task delegated to me during my internship. I also helped my colleague and CPISP scholar Mahmood Abdulla, a research assistant at the Geo-economics and Strategy Programme, with two research papers: “The New Normal for Oil Prices - A Wake-Up Call for Gulf States”, which has already been published; and “Risks of Seaborne Energy Trade”, in cooperation with IISS-Asia (Singapore).”
“Whether it was the exciting ‘Eureka’ moment or the long phone conferences with Singapore, engaging with research at an institution like the IISS definitely altered my thoughts on my career choices and the academic decisions I will take leading up to my career. I now somewhat know how the hitherto mysterious ‘think tank’ actually thinks.”
“Interning at the IISS was not just about working on a regional forum or participating in academic research; it was also about being a part of a team, and to me that was the most rewarding of all. Whether it was listening to the Director-General describing IISS' vision to four IISS centers across four different contents, or the lunch breaks I had with my colleagues, or the small corridor conversations when I am on my way to the kitchen to finish all the butter cookies - working with the IISS team was a great honor and a most rewarding experience. I extend my gratitude to the CPISP for facilitating this internship for me, and to HRH for his unceasing support to his scholars.”