Dirk Debeaussaert graduated as Islamologist at the KU Leuven and obtained a Phd in Oriental Languages and Cultures at the University of Ghent, with a dissertation on the concept of statehood (hukm) in contemporary Islamic literature. His areas of research and specialization are policy, modernism and ideology in the Middle East. In the early 1990s he was the first Flemish assistant director of the current Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo or NVIC. Later on he worked for two decades in the field of Belgian security. Currently, he divides his time between Cairo and Belgium and is visiting professor at the University of Ghent where he teaches ‘National security in contemporary perspective’.