September 15, 2019

UMW History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti Receives Prestigious Fulbright Grant

Thanks to a prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant, Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti will spend the next 10 months researching centuries-old manuscripts and archives in Azerbaijan. Al-Tikriti will concentrate on 15th- and 16th- century intellectual history as well as Sufi movements and their connections to the significant political dynasties of […]

Middle East Report Published Al-Tikriti Article on Battle of Mosul

On June 18, 2018, the Middle East Report (MER) published an article Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti submitted, entitled “Civilians in Mosul’s Battle of Annihilation.” This article was partially informed by Prof. Al-Tikriti’s service as MSF / Doctors Without Borders USA Vice-President in 2016-17, when he attended presentations on violence and participants’ conduct during the 2016-2017 Battle of Mosul.

Article Abstract: “Understanding the course of events and identifying the participants in the battle of Mosul is a difficult task. What is certain is that all parties neglected the fate of civilians and were unable to provide proper emergency medical relief. An examination of the battle is crucial to understanding the evolution of international humanitarian law in conflict zones. ”

MER Issue #286 Article Link: https://www.merip.org/mer/mer286/civilians-mosuls-battle-annihilation.

Publication Date: June 2018
Citation: Al-Tikriti, Nabil. “Civilians in Mosul’s Battle of Annihilation.” Middle East Report (MERIP) 286 (2018): 28-30

For the full article, see: https://www.academia.edu/37114216/Civilians_in_Mosuls_Battle_of_Annihilation.

Middle East Report Publishes Al-Tikriti Interview on EU Migration Policy

On June 18, 2018, the Middle East Report (MER) published an interview Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti completed with MSF / Doctors Without Borders colleague Aurélie Ponthieu on European Union migration policy. This interview was informed by Prof. Al-Tikriti’s May 2015 service with MSF colleagues on the Bourbon Argos, who rescued over 1,000 individuals from Mediterranean waters.

Interview Abstract: “European policies on refugees and asylum seekers are increasingly restrictive. Borders are effectively being pushed off-shore, extending the problems of border management as far south as possible. Aurélie Ponthieu explains the effects of these measures, including crowded refugee centers on the Italian and Greek borders, deplorable conditions in Libyan detention centers and fewer rescues at sea. Ponthieu, the Coordinator of the Forced Migration Team in the analysis department of Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Belgium, was interviewed by Nabil Al-Tikriti.”

MER Issue #286 Link: https://www.merip.org/mer/mer286.

Nabil Al-Tikriti Lectures at Virginia Tech – SPIA

On 19 April, Associate Professor of History Nabil Al-Tikriti spoke at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), in Alexandria, VA.  The topic presented was the global humanitarian system and its impact in the Middle East and other zones of crisis.  Attendees included both Virginia Tech SPIA graduate students and undergraduate students associated with both Prof. Ariel Ahram‘s class on Global Security (GIA 5514), and the Washington Semester program.

Prof. Al-Tikriti has worked since 1988 in field development and humanitarian relief programs for Africare, Plan International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders in over a dozen countries in Africa and the Middle East. He also served on the MSF / Doctors Without Borders USA Board of Directors in 2011-17, and as Vice President in 2016-17.

Al-Tikriti speaks at UC San Diego and Soka University

On Dec. 1, Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti of the Department of History and American Students spoke to students at the University of California-San Diego about his experiences as a relief worker, the ideals of medical humanitarianism, and the challenges faced by medical NGOs. The next day, Al-Tikriti spoke to students and faculty about the same topics at Soka University in Los Angeles. Speaking in his own capacity, Al-Tikriti’s talks were informed by his experiences over the past 27 years working in field operations with Catholic Relief Services and MSF/Doctors Without Borders, which he additionally served as an MSF USA board member from 2011 to 2017, and as vice president in 2016-17. This board and officer service ended this past July.

Al-Tikriti speaks on Panels at Capitol Hill, Smithsonian and MESA Conference

On November 16, Middle East History Associate Professor Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti spoke on a panel sponsored by the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). Entitled “The Situation in Mosul,” the panel took place at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.  Introduced by CAORC Executive Director Rick Spees, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Alda Benjamin, Eric Davis, and Katharyn Hanson to discuss recent developments in Northern Iraq. For his part, Al-Tikriti spoke to perceptions of a tripartite Iraq in U.S. foreign policy circles, how that perception has come to color reality on the ground, and current humanitarian realities in and around Mosul.

On November 17, following a brief and informal discussion with certain CAORC colleagues on the same topic at the State Department, Prof. Al-Tikriti  joined another panel to speak on Northern Iraq at the Ripley Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institution. Sponsored by The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII), and devoted to the memory of Prof. Peter Sluglett (d. 2017), this panel was entitled Narratives of Co-Existence and Pluralism in Northern Iraq.” In the course of this event, Dr. Katharyn Hanson of TARII provided opening remarks, Dr. Peter Wien of UMD / TARII provided speaker introductions, and both Profs. Dina Khouri (GWU) and Nelida Fuccaro (NYU Abu Dhabi) offered special remarks in honor of Peter Sluglett. During the panel, Prof. Al-Tikriti was joined by Drs. Orit Bashkin (Chicago), Alda Benjamin (U. Pennsylvania), Arbella Bet-Shimon (U. Washington), and Michael Sims (U. Washington, ABD). Topics covered during this panel included Da’esh, Yazidis, Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Jewry, and regional policy realities.

Finally, on November 18, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined a roundtable at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference in Washington, DC, entitled “Usurpation: The Untold Stories of the Iraq War, 2003 to the Present.” Organized by Dr. Afaf Nash (USC), here Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Nash, Nadje al-Ali (SOAS), Nada Shabout (U. of North Texas), Jeffrey Spurr (Independent Scholar), and Saleem al-Bahloly (Johns Hopkins) to discuss the longer term legacies of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s contribution to the roundtable was entitled “Familial and Personal Journeys With US Foreign Policy on Iraq.” In this discussion, he discussed the impact of recent developments in Iraqi history on his extended family in Mosul, Tikrit, and Baghdad. He then discussed his interactions with U.S. foreign policy in Iraq since 1990, and how such interactions affected his career and politics. He closed by discussing his prior research on the effects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq on state institutions, cultural patronage, and education.

For full roundtable presentation abstracts, see: https://mesana.org/mymesa/meeting_program_session.php?sid=3dc087f387ac8cc9778d8db808166ad3.

Al-Tikriti Speaks at NYC’s LaGuardia Community College

New York City’s LaGuardia Community College hosted Associate Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti at a Nov. 2 career planning event titled “Between the World and Me.” Al-Tikriti, former vice president of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders USA, spoke to LaGuardia student and faculty audiences twice in the day, joining panels that also featured Rashida Bumbray Shabazz, a curator and choreographer and the senior program manager at Open Society Foundations for the Arts Exchange, and Prof. Mark Kovic, associate program director for the occupational therapy doctorate program at Midwestern University and a practitioner with extensive service projects in Central America.

During the morning, the three panelists spoke about how their identities and intellectual trajectories shaped their careers and resulted in impactful ethical engagement in global affairs. This session aimed to connect the panelists’ work to current events, and highlight how the relationship between the global citizen and ethical action can help guide LaGuardia students in their personal lives and career paths.

After the morning panel, Dr. Al-Tikriti spoke about the importance of a humanities education for his humanitarian career in front of Prof. Ece Aykol’s comparative literature class.

In the afternoon panel, the same three participants moved from the theoretical to the more practical aspects of careers that place global engagement and experience at the center. Planned in conjunction with LaGuardia’s Office of Student Affairs and Center for Career and Professional Development, the two panels provided students insight and advice on course selection, career planning and ethical professional practices.

Nabil Al-Tikriti Serves as MSF Home Exhibit Guide in Portland

On 13-23 October, Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti served as a volunteer guide with the MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA Forced From Home exhibit in Portland, OR. This interactive exhibit is traveling to six Western cities this fall: Boulder, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, Oakland, Santa Monica (Nov. 10-21), and traveled to six Eastern cities last fall: New York, Queens, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, and Pittsburgh.

MSF USA Forced From Home ExhibitIn this exhibit, participants engage with the issue of the 65 million displaced persons worldwide, including 40 million refugees. Complete with a 360 degree video dome and six information stations, participants decide which items they might bring with them should they be displaced from their homes.

In the course of this exhibit, Prof. Al-Tikriti spoke briefly on the KATU News at Four show (at 2:25 here): https://cision.criticalmention.com/bits/wordplay/#/uuid=13dc5a25-c1a9-4047-8972-40142b333db0&channelId=8149&minTime=20171018230000&maxTime=20171019000000&token=7e34ac0d-c71f-4799-97e9-475cb307f8aa&keyword=&slim=1

For more information on the exhibit as it travels around the country, see: http://www.forcedfromhome.com/.

Al-Tikriti Chairs MSF Panel in NYC General Assembly

On June 24, in his final capacity as MSF/Doctors Without Border USA’s 2016-17 Vice President, Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti chaired a panel which he had co-organized, entitled “Navigating in a New Political Environment.” The panel was aimed at NGO stakeholders and held at the annual MSF USA General Assembly in New York City, an annual gathering where MSF field staff debate pressing issues in contexts where they operate as well as elect new members to the MSF USA Board of Directors.

Prof. Al-Tikriti at MSF USA General AssemblyThe panel abstract was as follows: “In this panel, speakers address the current populist political environment for humanitarian actors worldwide. Following an introductory overview speaker, subsequent panelists will address three topics of particular current concern to MSF: global forced migration crisis and global health. Following our four panelists, audience participants debate the effects of the current wave of populism on MSF and colleague humanitarian operations worldwide — as well as potential strategies for addressing this new political reality.”

Panelists included the following:

Ken Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
Laurie Garrett, Senior Global Health Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Aurelie Ponthieu, MSF Migration Advisor
Jason Cone, Executive Director, MSF USA

Each panelist challenged MSF on the limits of its operations and public discourse during this period of heightened nationalism, retrenchment of foreign aid, and assault on refugees. Following the panelists’ comments, attending Association members debated the merits of the points presented.

The event took place on the fourth floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 W. 18th St., New York City, 10011: https://www.metropolitanevents.com/location/metropolitan-pavilion/.

Following MSF USA General Assembly, Prof. Al-Tikriti participated in MSF’s International General Assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 28 June – 1 July. In the course of this global assembly, participants debated motions addressing institutional growth, institutional racism, termination of pregnancy, environmental health, migration, and other issues of common interest.

Following his unsuccessful bid to join the International Board, Prof. Al-Tikriti has now ended his six-year service to the MSF USA Board of Directors.

Al-Tikriti Speaks at Estoril Conference

On 31 May, Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti was invited to speak on the topic of migration at the international Estoril Conference, which was held on 29-31 May at the Estoril Congress Center outside of Lisbon, Portugal. The panel abstract was as follows:

 

Prof. Al-Tikriti speaks on migration at the Estoril Conference“In times of migratory crises there is a higher risk of disrespecting human rights. This is particularly threatening for societies’ most vulnerable persons which include migrants, especially illegal migrants. In this context, one must recall the human rights that claim protection, namely in what regards especially vulnerable persons such as women and children.

What threats to the respect of human rights of illegal migrants may be at stake? Who are the actors in charge of enforcing such rights? How can global cooperation be enforced to tackle transnational criminal networks? Who is accountable for human rights violations under these circumstances? Are States bound to a duty to protect refugees even outside their own sovereign territory?”

The panel consisted of:

Eduardo Cabrita (Minister in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister; Portugal)
Ashwani Kumar (Former Minister of Law and Justice; India)
Maria da Conceição (Founder, Maria Cristina Foundation; Bangladesh)
Nabil Al-Tikriti (Associate Professor University of Mary Washington, Vice-President of Médecins sans Frontières; USA)

Host
Arie Kacowicz
(Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel)

In his speech, Prof. Al-Tikriti argued that when the law itself is unjust, it is incumbent on those determined to protect human rights to take action. Leveraging his affiliation with MSF / Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Al-Tikriti helped arrange an MSF exhibit on refugees at the conference, and coordinated his speech with Michaël Neuman, Research Director at MSF’s CRASH office in Paris, France.  Other featured speakers in the course of the Estoril Conference included Madeline Albright, Edward Snowden, Bernard Kouchner, Nigel Farage, and several other notable figures.

The Estoril Conference Program: http://www.estorilconferences.com/en/content/schedule.

The Estoril Conference Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/EstorilConf.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s Estoril Biography: http://www.estorilconferences.com/en/content/nabil-al-tikriti

Following the conference, in his capacity as MSF USA’s 2016-17 Vice President, Prof. Al-Tikriti participated in MSF’s Operational Center Brussels Gathering on 2-3 June, and the Operational Center Paris General Assembly on 10-11 June.