With its partners in the PAVE project consortium, OTT attended the second progress and general assembly meeting between 22 and 24 February 2022. The meeting took place at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) in Paris, France. On the first day of the meeting, OTT presented its progress over the previous year, notably the findings of a 71-page report investigating the role of political and religious institutions, and their relations, in the vulnerability and resilience of communities in Nineveh province to violent extremism. The first day of the meeting was also the occasion to compare key findings between the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Balkans, bringing together unique perspectives into the factors of vulnerability and resilience to violent extremism in and across the two regions.

On the second day of the meeting, PAVE partners welcomed Horizon 2020 sister projects The sister projects Preventing Violent Extremism (PREVEX) and Contexts of Violent Extremism in MENA and Balkan Societies (CONNEKT). The three projects and their partners exchanged views on violent extremism, including terminology caveats, drivers and aspects of violent extremism, national findings, and regional trends. Participants stressed the significance of coordinating research efforts to get a better understanding of violent extremism in the MENA and Balkan regions.

On the third and final day of the meeting, OTT and his partners from the MENA and Balkans gathered for a validation workshop held by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. During the workshop, the Network’s partners presented key themes of interest related to the prevention of violent extremism with the purpose of developing capacity-building tools and training modules. PAVE key stakeholders were given the opportunity to offer reflections and sustainable recommendations on the identified capacity needs and proposed solutions.

OTT is grateful to Marie Kortham and her colleagues at FMSH, as well as Berghof Foundation’s Véronique Dudouet and Johanna Hülzer, for organising the event. OTT also thanks all PAVE colleagues who attended the meeting in person and virtually for their feedback and comments on the work conducted in Iraq.


The First International Nursing Conference in Kurdistan Region of Iraq was successfully held in the two past days (7th and 8th July, 2021) under the title of “The future of nursing and healthcare in Kurdistan”. The conference was held by Nursing & Midwifery Development Centre in Erbil, was hosted and co-organized by the college of Nursing of the American University of Kurdistan, and was supported by the Open Think Tank.

The conference was initiated by the Nursing & Midwifery Development Centre in Erbil in 2019 in collaboration with the Open Think Tank, but due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the conference was not held in its intended time, which was in 2020.

Due to the global travel restrictions and in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19, the conference was transformed to online format. The conference hosted many international keynote speakers, local representatives, and nurses, that made up to 120 participants from all around the world. It is worth mentioning that during the conference twenty research/projects/papers were also presented.

The keynote speakers were from the USA and Canada, including AUK Dean of Nursing, Dr. Susie Chen, who presented two important topics: Core Measures, a must-know in nursing practice and education, and High-Fidelity Simulation for nursing technology and innovation. Dr. Chen also introduced the conceptual frameworks in developing the AUK nursing bachelor’s degree curriculum from the Core Measures and the concepts of simulation-based education and a high-fidelity simulation lab in AUK.

Under the motto of “Nursing is a life-long learning profession,” the International Nursing Conference in Kurdistan Region is planned to be held yearly. The Second International Nursing Conference is now being planned for 2022 by the Nursing & Midwifery Development Centre. For more information about the Second International Nursing Conference, visit the official website of the conference.


The president and the staff of the Open Think Tank (OTT) paid a visit to the Christian Aid Program Nohadra-Iraq (CAPNI). The meeting reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between both organizations to develop joint projects and implement them in different areas including peace-building, coexistence and education.


Duhok. Apr 23, 2021

We are delighted to announce that OTT will take part in the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme "Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism through Community Resilience in the Balkan and MENA (PAVE)", Pave project will be implemented by a consortium of 13 partners from 12 countries.

Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism (PAVE): Drivers and contexts of violent extremism in the broader MENA region and the Balkans through community resilience. The project PAVE, funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme, examines the root causes of violent extremism and strengthens community resilience in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa.

13 partners from 12 countries: The European research project PAVE aims to examine driving and mitigating factors of radicalisation and violent extremism in the Balkans and MENA region.

In the light of an increase in radicalism and violent extremism in Europe and worldwide, there is a growing need for a common political strategy and effective prevention measures.

PAVE aims to tackle the global issue of radicalisation by examining its root causes and driving factors. Based on a participatory and inter-regional approach, we aim to advance evidence-based knowledge on violent extremism in the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the Western Balkan and to strengthen the capacity of policy-makers and community leaders for an effective prevention strategy between the European Union and its neighbourhood.

The three researchers from Open Think Tank who participate in this project are Dr. Amjed Rasheed, Dr. Juline Beaujouan and Dr. Mohammedali Yaseen Taha.


Watch the short animated video clip showcasing the approach and goals of the project




The OTT had the pleasure of receiving the German Consul-General, H.E. Barbara Wolf, at OTT office to discuss the current political and humanitarian developments in Iraq and the KRI.


Duhok. Sep 24, 2019


OTT  will gladly participate in co-organizing Nurses and the Future of Healthcare in the Middle East Conference in collaboration with The American University of Kurdistan and Nursing and Midwifery Development Centre. The conference will take place on 3-5 March of 2020 in Duhok.


As part of preparations for the Open Think Tank's upcoming conference (OPEN DEBATES 7), Dr. Mohammedali Taha, the President of the OTT, met with Kurdistan Parliament’s President Dr. Rewaz Faeq. We are glad to announce that Dr. Faeq will be participating in our next conference.
Erbil. Sep 8, 2019
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