Sebastian Sons is an Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Previously, he was involved as a researcher in DGAP’s research project on “Engagement of the Arab Gulf States Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in Egypt and Tunisia” commissioned by the German Foreign Office. He also headed the research unit at the German Orient Institute in Berlin and served as the editor-in-chief of Germany's oldest scientific journal on the Middle East, ORIENT, published by the German Orient Institute Berlin. Currently, he is writing his Ph.D. dissertation on labor migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia at Humboldt University of Berlin.
His book “Built on Sand: Saudi Arabia, A Problematic Ally” (in German) was published in 2016. Sebastian Sons has been a recurrent speaker at international and national conferences and is regularly giving guest lectures at universities and research institutions in Germany and abroad. He provides his regional expertise to German ministries such as the Ministry of Health and the Federal Foreign Office as well as the German Development Agency „Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit“ (GIZ). He gives regular interviews to German and international media.
Sebastian Sons studied Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Modern History, and Political Science in Berlin and Damascus and was trained as a journalist in print, radio, and TV at the Berlin School of Journalism.
His projects brought him to many countries in the MENA region and Asia such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia. His fields of interest are: domestic developments in Saudi Arabia, foreign policy of Saudi Arabia, labor migration from South Asia to the Arab Gulf region, jihadist movements, and security-related challenges in the Arab Gulf region.