Karim Elhaies' academic journey started when he moved from Egypt, where he grew up, to New York, where he enrolled in the City College of New York. After a semester of engineering classes, he made the decision to make study of the humanities more than just his free time occupation, so he declared a History major.
Karim has a special interest in colonial Egypt and its impact on post-colonial Egyptian society. Presently, he is researching the many social, economic, and political factors that have shaped post-colonial Egyptian popular culture. He is working on a documentary film that explores the impact of the United States on Egyptian society and popular culture since the end of World War II, when US imperialism began to replace European cultural and political dominance.
Karim is also majoring in Jewish studies. He seeks to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has greatly affected Egyptian society and culture, and to explore theories of colonialism, especially in the context of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Karim received the Michael and Irene Ross scholarship in recognition of his academic achievements in City College's Jewish Studies program.