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U.S. – ARAB CHAMBER HOSTS SENIOR KUWAITI DELEGATION SEEKING U.S. FIRMS TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL DNA DATABASE

Picture right to left: Major General Fahad Al-Dousari (back row, center right), Director General of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Forensic Evidence, led a high-level delegation of senior officials from Kuwait’s Ministry of the Interior.

This past week, the National U.S. – Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) hosted a delegation of senior officials from Kuwait’s Ministry of the Interior who are working to identify U.S. companies qualified to help develop a national DNA database. The Kuwaiti delegation, led by Major General Fahad Al-Dousari, outlined the requirements for this ambitious project, which will ultimately include five million samples.

Major General Al-Dousari, who has a degree in forensics from George Washington University and serves as the Director General of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Forensic Evidence, led a roundtable discussion over the lunch organized by NUSACC.  The session, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in McLean, Virginia, provided an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies developed by U.S. companies.  Following the roundtable discussions, Major General Al-Dousari and his colleagues met one-to-one with representatives of the U.S. companies to answer their specific questions and arrange for follow-up meetings.   The event was organized in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, which was represented by April Redmon, Senior International Trade Specialist.

“The Chamber was honored to put together this event, which connected Ministry of Interior officials with leading U.S. businesses in the DNA laboratory field,” said David Hamod, President & CEO of NUSACC.  “Opportunities like this highlight the importance of building bridges between Arab world governments and the U.S. private sector.  American companies are traditionally the best in the world in these specialized niches, and NUSACC is proud to engage in this type of matchmaking on a daily basis.”

Major General Al-Dousari praised NUSACC’s effort in bringing together “American companies specialized in this field,” noting that “we had productive discussions about our DNA database project, and we learned more about the best and most advanced technology in this field.”  Explaining Kuwait’s need for a national DNA database, Major General Al-Dousari quipped, “you know the type of neighborhood we live in.”  He noted that Kuwait’s parliament had voted in favor of establishing the national DNA database by an overwhelming margin in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack in Kuwait on June 26, 2015.  Kuwait’s Ministry of the Interior is seeking to gain accreditation for its database within two years, and the Ministry plans to link it with similar biometric identification databases.

Major General Al-Dousari went on to explain that the Ministry of Interior will establish a laboratory design ed according to ISO standards and with the capacity to process approximately 5,000 samples every 24 hours, five days a week.  In the project’s first phase, he noted, 1.5 million samples would be sent overseas to an accredited lab.  Collection, software, and training will be integral components of the project, Major General Al-Dousari said.

Qualified companies interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact NUSACC’s Director for Administration, Raad Alghamdi, at ralghamdi@nusacc.org or at 202-289-5920.

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