The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Middle East Initiative for the fall 2021 semester. Mr. Al Qassemi was also a visiting scholar at the Middle East Initiative for the 2020-2021 academic year. He is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist and researcher on social, political, and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf States. Al Qassemi’s tweets became a major news source during the Arab Spring, rivaling the major news networks at the time, until TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.” In 2018 he ranked 19th on the “Arabic Thought Leader Index” by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. Al Qassimi was an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow from 2014 through 2016, a practitioner in residence at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near East Studies at New York University in the Spring of 2017, and a Yale Greenberg World Fellow in 2018.
Al Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established in 2010 to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, 100 works from the collection were hosted on a long-term basis at the Sharjah Art Museum.
Sultan was a practitioner-in-residence at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near East Studies at New York University in the spring of 2017, a Yale Greenberg World Fellow and a lecturer at the Council of Middle East Studies in Yale University in 2018, then an adjunct instructor at the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University in 2019, and recently a visiting instructor teaching a course on “Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art” at Boston College in 2020. Sultan is currently conducting research for a book that documents the modern architecture of the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.Last Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 4:28pm