Dr. Mohammedali Yaseen Taha

Co-founder, Senior Researcher, and President of OPEN THINK TANK

Mohammedali Yaseen Taha is a Founding Member and the President of Open Think Tank. He holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. Dr. Taha is an adjunct faculty at the American University of Kurdistan, College of Arts and Sciences/Department of International Studies and a lecturer at Nawroz University, College of Law and Politics. He is also the vice-president for Administration, finance and student affairs at Nawroz University, a private higher Education University based in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Further, Dr. Taha contributes as an associate researcher at the Institute of Social Science (ICS) at the University of Lisbon.

Book Author: Media and Politics in Kurdistan: How Politics and Media are Locked in an Embrace (Rowman and Littlefield-Lexington Books, due out January 2020).

Research Area: Political Communication, Political Trust, Political Parties, Media and Politics

Dr. Nezar Taib

Co-founder, board member, and Senior Researcher

Dr. Nezar Ismet Taib is a medical doctor with a specialization in psychiatry. Nezar was a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the psychosocial education treatment and consulting center-Duhok (PSETC-C) between 2005 and 2006. He is the Head of the Personality Study Bureau for Mental Health Assessment of delinquent children. Since 2008, Nezar Taib has been working part-time for the National Mental Health Consultant to WHO, Iraq office. He has been a lecturer at the College of Medicine and College of Education at the Duhok University. Nezar Taib is also a certified UN counselor in Iraq. He currently is the former Director-General of Health - Duhok Governorate. Nezar Ismet Taib is a Founding Member and Senior Researcher of the Open Think Tank.

Dr. Amjed Rasheed

Board Member and Senior Researcher

Amjad Rasheed is a research fellow for the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI), funded by the AHRC in the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. His research interest is in Middle East Politics and Political Islam. His latest published articles are: “The Kurdish Cause in Iraq: From the Second Republic to the Fall of Kirkuk (2003–2018)”, In Iraq After ISIS, Palgrave Macmillan, and “Syria vs. Iraq: Clashes of Authoritarians”, Middle East Policy. He also contributed and co-edited a volume in the Syrian refugee crisis on Jordan and Lebanon. He is writing a co-writing book for Routledge on Political Islam and the regional order in the Middle East.

Dr. Juline Beaujouan

Board Member and Senior Researcher
  Juline Beaujouan is a scholar of Peace and Conflict Studies with expertise in non-state actors, Political Islam, local conflict management and peacebuilding in the Middle East. Besides OTT, she is a Research Associate with the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), based at the University of Edinburgh, where she researches local conflict management and trust-building in Iraq and Syria. Juline received her PhD from Durham University where she was awarded the al-Sabah doctoral fellowship and acted as a member of the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). She is the co-editor and contributor to the volume Syrian Crisis, Syrian Refugees - Voices from Jordan and Lebanon, and co-author of Islam, IS and the Fragmented State: The Challenges of Political Islam in the MENA Region. Research Interests
  • (Armed) conflict management
  • Peace agreements and peace processes
  • History and politics of the MENA
  • Political Islam
  • Non-state (revisionist) actors
  • Refugee studies

Dr. Abdullah Jasem Rajab Rekani

Founding board member
Dr Abdullah Rekani is a founding memeber of the Open Think Tank who has gotten his masters degree and PhD in Community Medicine. He has served as the head of many healthcare centers and hospitals, has taught in University and has been in many governmental positions. He has published 6 books (Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Essential Emergency Medicine Procedures, Medical Research Ethics, Health and Medicine Ethics, and Guidelines for Azadi Cardiac Center)
Posts and Positions:
  • Member of Kurdistani Regional Parliament-2013-2018.
  • Consultant at the Ministry of Health- Kurdistan Regional Government-2006-2013.
  • Director and Founder of the Continuous Medical Education Department in Duhok, 2005.
  • Director of Azadi Teaching Hospital, 2012.
  • Lecturer at the College of Medicine-University of Duhok, 2004-2006.
  • Head of Preventive health and Communicable Disease Control Program, 2004-2005.
  • Physician with the Japanese WPJ Organization, 1999-2000.
  • Head of Shiladizi Health Care Center, 1991-1999.
  • Head of Amedi Health Care Center, 1989-1991.

Yasa Masood Saleem

Research Associate, Board Member, and Project Manager

Yasa Masood Saleem (Chalki) is a young researcher who graduated from the American University of Kurdistan. He has gotten his Bachelor's degree in Security and Strategic Studies from the college of International Studies. During his university years, he served as the Student Ambassador Leader and also President of Student Government in the American university of Kurdistan. He is now the International Relation and Academic Advancement Coordinator at Nawroz University. He is also the head of Panels and Press Conferences in the Duhok International Film Festival. Mr. Saleem has been a lecture assistant at Nawroz University, College of Law and Politics. Yasa started as a student intern in the Open Think Tank and he joined the family of OTT right after his internship. Yasa, at OTT, entered the world of academia and participated in publishing an academic report in January 2021.

Research Interests

  • Politics of Identity in the Middle East
  • Modern History of Kurds and Kurdistan
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • MENA Strategic Security
  • Conflict, Resolution and Reconciliation
  • International Terrorism & Transnational Crime
  • Terrorism, Insurgency and COIN
  • Terrorist motivations and Radicalism

Dr. Bakhtyar Ahmed

Co-founder, Senior Researcher
Bakhtiyar Ahmed, born on 27 August 1970 in Sarsing, Amedye Duhok, completed secondary school at Kawa high school in Duhok City in 1987, in 1993 graduated from the college of Medicines, Mosul University. Worked at Azadi, Akre and Zakho Hospitals from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 to 2010 worked with a humanitarian health organization serving IDPs and refugees. From 2011 to 2016 worked at the Directorate General of Health in Duhok as head of technical and preventive health departments. He has accumulated long-standing experiences in emergency and humanitarian health contingency planning, response, and implementation throughout those years. In addition to technical experiences in planning and conducting various community-based health and nutrition surveys and studies
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