December 1, 2020

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.

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 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.