Captain Mustafa Kanafani is an expert in many maritime spheres and is well known in the shipping industry in the Middle East and many other regions and a senior diplomat accredited to the International Maritime Organization. Educated at marine secondary school and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Capt Kanafani gained foreign-going mate certificates before qualifying as a master mariner in 2005. He also studied general operation competency with Warsash Maritime Centre, and gained a BSc in marine survey at the Arab Academy.
In 2008, he took the IMO diploma course on the functioning of the IMO and International Labour Organisation, at the International Maritime Safety Security and Environment Academy, Genoa. Currently, he is also dean of maritime affairs to the Arab League, and a representative of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport. Earlier in his career, he served as a deck officer for various companies, including Vega of Hamburg, Rassem Trading Co of Beirut, and Shawaihny Trading Co of Constantza.