On June 3-4, Nabil Al-Tikriti offered a presentation entitled “Some Longer Term Effects of the 2003 Anglo-American Invasion on Iraqi Society” to the conference entitled Iraq – 10 Years On: Conflicts, Migrations, Futures in Cairo, Egypt. This conference brought together experts from the fields of Iraqi studies and forced migration to examine some of the lingering effects of the 2003 invasion of the country. Prof. Al-Tikriti presented both his impressions gained from a trip to Baghdad the previous month and his thoughts on the invasion’s legacies throughout a range of sectors. Organizers expect to complete an edited volume of conference presentations within the next few months. This conference was hosted by the American University in Cairo’s Center for Migration and Refugee Studies; and jointly sponsored by the Japan Foundation, Chiba University, Japan Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Here is a link to the conference program: http://iraq10years.info/wp-content/uploads/Cairo_Program2013Ver3.pdf.
Here is Prof. Al-Tikriti’s conference abstract:
“In 2003 the United States and Great Britain led a “coalition of the willing” in an invasion of Iraq which was only the latest in a long string of interventions by the two powers in the region dating back to the nineteenth century. With this contribution, I plan to examine some of the longer term effects of this particular intervention on Iraqi society and the region as a whole, as distinct from all the previous interventions as well as certain other developments endogenous to Iraqi society.
Within Iraq, I concentrate on changes in the cultural and educational spheres, extending and updating research I carried out in the years immediately following the invasion. In the cultural sphere, I ask what has befallen Iraq’s cultural patrimony since the invasion, particularly in terms of manuscript collections and archives. In the educational sphere, I examine changes in higher education and social studies textbook production since 2003.
Outside Iraq, I examine changes both to the region as a whole, as well as to the reach of U.S. foreign policy as a result of the 2003 invasion. As widely publicized at the time, American policymakers hoped to spread democracy throughout the region, transform Iraq into a base for intervention elsewhere, and demonstrate the vibrancy of an unregulated economy. My contribution will conclude with a summary overview of the success, failure, and longer term effects of such policy orientations on both the region and the United States itself.”