August 25, 2019

Al-Tikriti Completes Fulbright Year in Baku

Professor Al-Tikriti in Baku

This summer Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti completed an academic year as a Fulbright Scholar in Baku, Azerbaijan, affiliated with Baku State University. In the course of this past year he conducted historical research in four manuscript collections and libraries; completed an American Studies curriculum reform proposal and led a workshop on teaching undergraduate research methods at Baku State University; presented UMW to six audiences (four American Centers, one high school, and a U.S. Study Abroad office); offered two guest lectures on Ottoman History at ADA University; organized a guest lecture at Baku State University; observed elections in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine; and prepared proposals for an international conference and student exchange program.

For all their generous hospitality and gracious hosting, Dr. Al-Tikriti extends his deepest gratitude to his points of contact at Baku State University, the U.S. Embassy in Baku, and ADA University. He hopes to maintain communications and collaboration with his Azerbaijani colleagues well into the future.

Al-Tikriti Monitors Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine

Prof. Al-Tikriti (2nd from right) at a Ukrainian polling station.

Prof. Al-Tikriti (2nd from right) at a Ukrainian polling station.

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti served as an election monitor for the Ukraine parliamentary elections on 16-24 July. Joining 90 Americans in the U.S. delegation of some 750+ observers total, Al-Tikriti worked as an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) STO (Short Term Observer) in 11-12 rural villages in the agricultural region around Berdyansk, in Eastern Ukraine. His observation partner was a French government official, based in Paris. For more information on these Ukrainian elections, and OSCE’s support of these elections, please see:
https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/kazakhstan/418187.

In the course of his visit, Al-Tikriti spent four days in Berdyansk, an industrial port on the Sea of Azov, and five days in the capital Kiev, where observers carried out preliminary briefings. While there, he found time to visit the Chernobyl Museum, the National History Museum, and several World War II monuments in the rural villages around Berdyansk.

Originally scheduled to be held at the end of October 2019, the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary elections were brought forward after newly inaugurated President Volodymyr Zelensky dissolved parliament early on 21 May 2019 (a day after his inauguration). In the event, the “Servant of the People” party won the most seats, enabling the formation of a new government. For more information on the politics behind this elections, see this article.

This is the 15th OSCE-monitored election Al-Tikriti has observed since 1997, and the 3rd within the past year.

Al-Tikriti Monitors Kazakhstan Presidential Election

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti (3rd from left) recentlyserved as an election monitor for the Kazakhstan presidential elections.

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti (3rd from left) recently served as an election monitor for the Kazakhstan presidential elections.

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti served as an election monitor for the Kazakhstan presidential elections on 4-12 June. Joining 29 other Americans in the U.S. delegation of some 300+ observers total, Al-Tikriti worked as an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) STO (Short Term Observer) in 8-9 rural villages and the main town in the somewhat remote steppe region around Capaev, in Western Kazakhstan province. His observation partner was a Polish human rights activist, based in Prague. For more information on these Kazakhstan elections, and OSCE’s support of these elections, please see:
https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/kazakhstan/418187

In the course of his visit, Al-Tikriti also spent two days in Uralsk, an oil exploration base in Western Kazakhstan, and two days in the capital Nur Sultan (Astane), where observers carried out preliminary briefings.While in Nur Sultan, he visited Nazarbayev University, the country’s premier higher education facility.

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti (2nd from right), recently served as an election monitor for the Kazakhstan presidential elections. Al-Tikriti worked as an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) STO (Short Term Observer) in 8-9 rural villages and the main town in the somewhat remote steppe region around Capaev.

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti (2nd from right), recently served as an election monitor for the Kazakhstan presidential elections. Al-Tikriti worked as an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) STO (Short Term Observer) in 8-9 rural villages and the main town in the somewhat remote steppe region around Capaev.

Kazakhstan’s ruling party, Nur Otan, had nominated Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as its candidate for a snap presidential vote after he was backed by the country’s founding leader, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, following his resignation in March 2019. In the election itself, state election officials awarded Tokayev 70% of the vote, in line with exit polls announced by state media one hour after polls closed. 

This is the 14th OSCE-monitored election Al-Tikriti has observed since 1997.

Al-Tikriti Publishes Article on Turkish Municipal Elections

The Middle East Report Online (MERO) published an article by Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti, entitled “Turkish Voters Upset Erdogan’s Competitive Authoritarianism.” In the course of this article, Professor Al-Tikriti analyzed the political and economic dynamics driving the results of the March 31, 2019 Turkish municipal elections, which proved a major defeat for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Turkish voters sent a strong message to its long-standing ruling party and its leader on March 31, 2019 that the government’s authoritarian turn has not fully succeeded,” Al-Tikriti said. “In nationwide municipal elections, for the first time in a quarter century, the political movement largely associated with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost control over both the country’s economic and political capitals, as well as numerous other districts throughout the country…” Read more.

Nabil Al-Tikriti Monitors Presidential Elections in Georgia

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti served as an election monitor for the second round of the Georgia presidential elections, Nov. 24 – Dec.1. Joining 32 other Americans in the U.S. delegation some 250+ observers total, Al-Tikriti worked as an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) STO (Short Term Observer) in 8-9 rural villages and the main town in the somewhat remote mountains around Tsagera. His observation partner was a Czech diplomat based in Prague. For more information on these Georgian
elections, and OSCE’s support of these elections, please see: https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/georgia/396326

In the course of his visit, Al-Tikriti also spent two days in Zestafoni, a former industrial base in central Georgia, and  two days in the capital Tbilisi, where observers carried out preliminary briefings. Upon the conclusion of the elections, he spent a day visiting a cave, churches, and historical sites around Kutaisi, Georgia’s second city.

In the election itself, backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, Georgia elected its first female president, former French diplomat Salome Zurabishvili. She claimed victory over opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze, winning approximately 59% of the vote.

This is the 13th OSCE-monitored election Al-Tikriti has observed since 1997.

Al-Tikriti Presents UMW to Three American Centers in Azerbaijan

Prof. Al-Tikriti at Baku American Center

In October 2018, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti discussed the University of Mary Washington as a potential undergraduate destination to audiences at three American Centers in Azerbaijan.

Invited to discuss any topic he chose, Prof. Al-Tikriti decided to present his experiences at UMW for a local audience. Provided with the university’s undergraduate admissions powerpoint presentation, Al-Tikriti discussed UMW’s liberal arts curriculum, science facilities, and humanities philosophy — particularly in comparison with the Azerbaijani institutions he has recently come into contact with.

The first talk was on October 5 in Baku, before an audience of 25-30 youth. The second and third talks were on October 24, in Kurdemir (with 15-20 middle school children in attendance) and in Ganca (with 35-40 high school and college age youth in attendance).

These presentations came as part of Prof. Al-Tikriti’s year abroad in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he is currently leading a workshop on history pedagogy at Baku State University while starting to research early modern Caucasus history.

UMW History Professor Receives Fulbright (Fredericksburg Today)

Nabil Al-Tikriti Awarded Fulbright 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 thanks to a prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant.

Al-Tikriti will concentrate on 15th and 16th century intellectual history, Sufi movements and their connections to the significant political dynasties of the era in this Caucasus country that was once part of the Soviet Union. He’ll also teach Middle East history to university students in two Azerbaijani universities.

As Al-Tikriti stated, “this award is a great honor, and should provide an additional impetus to strengthening international education at UMW in the years to come. I hope to bring knowledge and contacts back from this experience, which will then further enrich UMW’s curriculum.”

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.