September 20, 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.

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.