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Dr. Karam Shaar

Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Dr. Karam Shaar is a non-resident senior fellow at the New Lines Institute, where he focuses on illicit narcotic flows and their nexus with security and political systems in Middle East, particularly in Lebanon and Syria. In addition to his work at New Lines, Dr. Shaar is also a consultant on Syria’s political economy and an establishing partner at the Observatory of Political and Economic Networks. Originally from Aleppo, Syria, he has traveled extensively and is currently based in New Zealand. Prior to joining New Lines in March 2023, Karam was affiliated with the Middle East Institute. He also previously served as the research director of the Operations & Policy Center. Before focusing solely on Syria and the region, he worked as a Senior Analyst at the New Zealand Treasury, a Researcher at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and a Senior Lecturer on the Arab-Israeli conflict at Massey University. 

Karam’s work on Syria has been published in the Middle East Institute, Foreign Policy, the Carnegie Foundation, The Guardian, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He’s a frequent media contributor and has been interviewed, quoted, or hosted by The Washington Post, CNN, the Sunday Times, Aljazeera, BBC, The New York Times, Chatham House, the Brookings Institution, University of Oxford, the United Nations, and others. 

More of Dr. Shaar’s work is available on He tweets at: @karam__shaar.

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