May 22, 2024

Al-Tikriti Speaks at Displacement Meeting Hosted by IF20 and IRUSA

Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

On 27 March 2024, Professor of Middle East History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti joined a panel entitled “The Roots of a Nation to Forced Migration: Contravention of International Law,” jointly organized by Interfaith G-20 and Islamic Relief USA. Panelists included: Cynthia Lange (Senior Counsel, Fragomen), Anna Greene (Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR), Parisa Dada (Program Officer, USRAP Capacity Building Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration, International Rescue Committee), and Alia Boltakke (Founder & Attorney, The Boltakke Law Group). 

The panel description:

“Over 130 million people are expected to be affected by displacement in 2024. This is a staggering figure, with widespread implications. In response to the recent trend of increased displacements, there has been renewed conversation on the rights of stay for asylum seekers, who arrive in new countries because of conflict and displacement. Though the 1951 Refugee Convention outlines the right of asylum seekers to legally seek asylum in their country of presence without fear of removal, recent cases such as the UK and Denmark have seen the attempted relocation of asylum seekers to third countries. In 2023, similar policy interests and discussions took shape in the midst of the conflict in the Middle East. These renewed cases are reminiscent of historical examples, bringing to light the increased need to review and advocate for the rights of those seeking asylum. This panel event will bring together legal experts, humanitarian workers, and global advocates for an engaging discussion on the historical and present day state of asylum affairs in an ever-complex world.”

Prominent Experts Address the Growing Millions Seeking Asylum (AP News)

Al-Tikriti Discusses Gaza Crisis with NAACP Youth & College Division

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti

On 6 November 2023, Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti, Professor of Middle East History, was honored to join Marya Hannun of the Middle East Report (MERIP) and the University of Exeter in discussing both the general history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the specific ongoing crisis in Gaza, together with the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Youth and College Division. This lengthy conference call was joined by roughly 50-60 NAACP collegiate leaders as well as several senior NAACP leaders.

Public Statement: Scholars Warn of Potential Genocide in Gazau (Veterans Today)

Al-Tikriti Co-Develops and Co-Edits Middle East Report

In April 2023, Middle East Report [MERIP] Issue #306, “The State of Iraq: 20 Years After the Invasion,” was officially published. UMW Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti joined the team of developers and editors who invited contributors and edited content for the issue, available online.

The Issue Development Team (IDT) consisted of Profs. Nabil Al-Tikriti, Lisa Hajjar of  UC-Santa Barbara, Shamiran Mako of Boston University, and Marsin Alshamary of the Brookings Institution. Marya Hannun is MERIP’s managing editor and oversaw the overall editorial process.

Press Release: “MER issue 306, The State of Iraq—20 Years After the Invasion, begins with the assertion that the anniversary is not a single event but part of an ongoing story. At the center are “the state of Iraq” and the reality in which Iraqis live today. The contributions analyze state-society relations, untangle political dynamics and follow flows of capital and power as they lay bare the enduring legacy of the 2003 invasion, occupation and “reconstruction.” With chilling precision, pieces explore the social, political, economic, cultural, spatial and environmental landscape of today’s Iraq. They make clear the structural effects of war as well as its human toll. At the same time, the essays invite readers to look toward the future, with hope and caution. This issue also marks the beginning of a collaboration between MERIP and Jummar, an independent Iraqi media initiative whose work promotes new voices from Iraq and brings English-language knowledge of Iraq into Arabic. Jummar has translated articles from the issue, and Jummar’s designer, the Baghdad-based visual artist Atef Al Jaffal, designed the cover: Iraq’s Crying Child. ”

In addition to participating on the IDT, on April 4 Al-Tikriti joined with Profs. Hajjar, Mako, Alshamary, and Dr. Haider Ala Hamoudi of the University of Pittsburgh Law School to discuss the issue’s findings at a Boston University sponsored webinar:

Contributions to the issue included: Fanar Haddad, “Perpetual Protest and the Failure of the Post-2003 Iraqi State,” Zahra Ali, “Iraqi Women’s Activism — 20 Years After the US Invasion,” Zeinab Shukur, “Water, Oil, and Iraq’s Climate Future,” Hamzeh Hadad, “Two Decades of Uneven Federalism in Iraq,” Bilal Wahab, “The Rise and Fall of Kurdish Power in Iraq,” Renad Mansour, “The Political Logic Behind Iraq’s Fragmented Armed Forces,” and Hannibal Travis, “Perspective — Recognizing and Repairing the Harm to Iraq’s Minority Communities.” The issue also includes “Interview — The Past, Present, and Future of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage” with Mark Altaweel, Jaafar Jotheri, and Hannah Parsons-Morgan.

Dr. Al-Tikriti thanks everyone involved in the completion and publication of this MERIP issue, which marks the end of his six year term serving on MERIP’s Editorial Committee. In the course of those six years, Dr. Al-Tikriti served on five Issue Development Teams.

Middle East Report is published by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), a progressive, independent organization. Since 1971 MERIP has provided critical analysis of the Middle East, focusing on political economy, popular struggles and the implications of U.S. foreign policy for the region.

Al-Tikriti Presents Research at Ottoman Historiography Conference in Istanbul

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a paper entitled “Greatness Denied: Firdevsī-yi Rūmī on the Cusp of Ottoman Sunnism” on Friday, December 16. In this presentation, he provided a summary biography of the polymath Ottoman author Firdevsī-yi Rūmī (fl. 1512), and offered a preliminary set of reasons why he was subsequently expelled from the Ottoman literary canon. This presentation was offered as part of the “Osmanlı’da İlm-i Tarih Sempozyumu: Ālimler, Eserler ve Meseleler / Ottoman Historiography Symposium: Scholars, Works, Problems,” the eighth of a series of symposiums on Ottoman scientific history hosted by İSAR, an Istanbul foundation supporting research on various fields of Islamic history. The symposium website includes further information, and the complete symposium program is available. This was an invited appearance.

Here is Prof. Al-Tikriti’s presentation abstract: “Ilyas Çelebi “Firdevsi-yi Rumi” (fl. 1512) served primarily at the courts of Sultan Bayezid II (d. 1512) and Prince Korkud (d. 1513), authoring works of narrative history, elegiac poetry, gestes, and hagiography. In this paper, I will summarize what is known of his biography and analyze his presentation of Ottoman, Turkish, and Muslim identity.

Firdevsi, a litterateur with a considerable sense of self, completed more than twenty works while serving at the apex of Ottoman cultural production. While very successful at attracting patronage and support for lengthy and ornate literary works, his oeuvre was mostly lampooned by those who followed in the decades after his death.

Why would a writer who was so successful in his own lifetime be so reviled within a few decades of his death? Analyzing the political content and identity positions staked out by Firdevsi provides a tentative answer – societal views changed abruptly in the first tumultuous decades of the early 16th century. Firdevsi’s use of the term “Sunni” in his Qutb-name, explanation of Turkish conversion to Islam in his Süleyman-name, and portrayal of Anatolian Sufism in his Vilayet-name each provide clues as to why subsequent literary critics found his scholarship unreliable, his poetry unspeakable, and his views objectionable.”

Al-Tikriti Presents Ottoman History Research at Istanbul Conference

Al-Tikriti joins the panel

Al-Tikriti, far right, joins the panel

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a paper entitled “All My Children – Assessing the Ego Documents of Bayezid II’s (d. 1512) Family” on Wednesday, June 15. Following a brief statement in Turkish, Prof. Al-Tikriti continued in English, surveying the available “Ego-Documents” covering the family of the Ottoman Empire’s 8th ruler, Bayezid II. This presentation was offered as part of the “Ottoman Ego Documents/Ben-Anlatıları” Symposium hosted by a number of public and private Turkish institutions, including Istanbul Medeniyet Üniversitesi, TÜBİTAK, İSTEV, Eyüpsultan Municipality and Tuzla Municipality. The conference, which took place on June 15 to 17, after twice being postponed due to the recent pandemic, was held in a hybrid format and included a number of scholars presenting remotely from Europe, as well as an in-person keynote address by Harvard University’s Cemal Kafadar.

In the course of his presentation, Prof. Al-Tikriti advocated for use of the term “family corpus” of ego-documents, while clarifying that such documents are specific forms of “life writing,” as nearly all surviving 16th-century Ottoman documents are in effect public statements, as opposed to private musings.

The symposium website includes further information, and the complete symposium program. Prof. Al-Tikriti would like to especially thank the UMW Finance Department for facilitating such conference travel right before the end of the current fiscal year.

Al-Tikriti Hosts MAOW Conference

Mid-Atlantic Ottomanist Workshop (MAOW) MugOn April 1 and 2, the University of Mary Washington hosted the Third Annual Mid-Atlantic Ottomanist Workshop (MAOW), organized by Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti. Participants were thrilled with the University’s hosting and will remember UMW fondly as they continue their research and careers. The “hybrid” format was a challenge at times (including a Zoom bomber), but the conference featured 23 presenters, four moderators, and roughly 50 individuals who also “zoomed” in remotely from around the world over two days. Presentations came in from throughout the USA, as well as from the UK, Armenia and Turkey. Virginia colleagues from UVA, William & Mary, JMU, Washington & Lee, George Mason and VCU attended, as well as regional colleagues from Salisbury, Wake Forest, SUNY Binghamton, Rutgers University-Newark (remote), Auburn, Florida (remote), Hopkins, Princeton, NYU and Chicago.
For further information, including conference schedule and paper abstracts, feel free to check out the conference website:

Al-Tikriti Discusses Ukraine Crisis for Wichita Audience

Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

On 27 March 2022, Middle East History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti discussed the historical and politcal background to the Ukraine crisis for the Global Learning Council (GLC) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, Kansas, via Zoom, and together with Prof. John Dreifort of Wichita State University. In the course of his presentation, Prof. Al-Tikriti walked the audience of roughly 40 GLC members through the various historical arguments in evidence thus far in the conflict betweeen Russia and Ukraine, and the evidence supporting various claims put forth. Al-Tikriti has observed elections in Ukraine in 2004 (Nikopol), 2014 (Lviv), and 2019 (Berdyansk), and has thus traveled throughout much of Ukraine and observed Ukrainian politics.

Anyone interested in screening the presentation, as well as the Q&A from the audience, can view the event recording here:

3rd Mid-Atlantic Ottomanist Workshop, April 1-2

We are pleased to announce that the University of Mary Washington will host the third meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Ottomanist Workshop on April 1-2, 2022. This workshop, co-sponsored by the Harrison R. Tyler Department of History at the College of William & Mary, will provide an opportunity for scholars of Ottoman studies to gather, discuss their research, and receive substantive feedback. This initiative aims to bring together scholars of all stages based in the mid-Atlantic region who are working to advance the study of the Ottoman Empire and its interactions with the wider world from the late 13th century through the early 20th century. See the event schedule here.

The theme of the 2022 workshop will be “Continuity and Change Throughout the Ottoman Longue Durée.” We hope to promote interdisciplinary dialogue among academics whose scholarship is focused on transregional and transimperial connections, situating the Ottoman Empire and its study within broader discussions. Works in progress are specifically welcomed.

Logistics: The conference will be held in a hybrid format at the Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center (HCC), at the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, VA. The HCC address is: 1801 College Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Workshop webpage:

Zoom Registration:

Please contact Nabil Al-Tikriti ( if you have any questions.