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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sargon Donabed

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Sargon Donabed is an associate professor of history at Roger Williams University. He holds a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto and a MSci from Canisius College in Anthrozoology/Animal Studies. 

 

Donabed is one of the foremost experts on the perennial history of Assyria-Mesopotamia and its heritage. His recent focus consists of indigenous and marginalized methodologies concerning the development of Assyrian Studies as an anti-orientalist and anti-colonialist field, as well as issues of cultural continuity. Currently, his studies in animal studies touch upon storytelling and folklore and issues of re-enchantment of reality through myth and panentheism. Sargon is also at present working on two major fantasy epics.

 

In addition, he is a TAARII (the American Academic Research Institute in Iraq) recipient, serves on the advisory board of the journal Chronos, published by the University of Balamand and is also the editor for the book series Alternative Histories: Narratives from the Middle East and Mediterranean with Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/series-alternative-histories.html

 

Donabed is also published in a variety of journals from Folklore to National Identities and Perspectives on History and is the author of Reforging a Forgotten History: Iraq and the Assyrians in the 20th Century (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and co-editor and contributor to numerous works including The Assyrian Heritage: Threads of Continuity and Influence (Uppsala University, 2012) among others. Currently, he is under contract to write a comprehensive history entitled The Assyrians: A Cultural History from Empire to Endangered Existence (Cambridge University Press). He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School and Brown University and lectures in various universities around the world.

Ruth Kambar

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Ruth Kambar is a public school English teacher and adjunct professor at the State University of New York, Westchester Community College. Dr. Kambar earned her doctorate from New York University in 2013. She has created a verbal testament to Assyrian Americans called “A Family Archive: Construction of Identity in the Assyrian American Diaspora.”

 

Her work stemmed from an NEH Fellowship in the study of Folklore, resulting in her process of recording Assyrian American life narratives, which eventually laid the foundation for her doctoral research. Ruth analyzed a collection of life narratives and complementary texts, which provided a unique window into an immigrant Assyrian family and its Assyrian American identity. A Family Archive: Construction of Identity in the Assyrian American Diaspora sought to identify personal myths, pedagogical indicators, intertextuality, geographical and historical references in oral narratives that the community employs to establish and perform identity. 

 

Additionally, in 2017, Dr. Kambar played an instrumental role in curating photography and narrative for the art exhibit Assyrians in Yonkers at the Blue Door Gallery. In 2019, Dr. Kambar released Assyrians of Yonkers, a title among the Arcadia Images of America Series. The book the history of the Yonkers community of Assyrians and how generations of them have come together from different nations and settled in Yonkers to live and to contribute to the American mosaic. Many of the Yonkers Assyrians have fled different periods of genocide. 

Önver Cetrez

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Cetrez is Associate Professor in psychology of religion, at Uppsala University. During 2017-2021 he was the coordinator and PI for the Horizon2020 project RESPOND – Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond (www.respondmigration.com). During 2014-2016 he held the position as deputy director at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. Before that he has led several research projects on migrants and refugees, mainly Assyrians, but also other minorities from the Middle East, as well as coordinated master programs in Religion, Peace and Conflict at Uppsala University. Cetrez’ peer reviewed articles, chapters, and scientific evaluation reports link to topics on migration, refugees, psychosocial health, meaning-making/religiosity, resilience, coping, acculturation, and youth, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in a mixed-method fashion.

 

He has edited several books and peer-reviewed articles in his field of expertise. He is an ordinary member of the Swedish Ethical Review Authority, the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), and board member in CRS – Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on Religion and Society as well as CEMFOR: Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism. See more: http://katalog.uu.se/profile/?id=N96-5719.

Anobel Odisho

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Anobel Odisho, MD, MPH received his undergraduate training from the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a degree in Molecular Biology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations with high honors. He then earned his MD from the University of California, San Francisco with an Area of Distinction in Medical Humanities.

 

He stayed at UCSF for his General Surgery and Urology training. During residency, he earned a Masters of Public Health degree at the University of California, with an emphasis in epidemiology and biostatistics. He completed his Urologic Oncology fellowship training at the University of Washington.

 

In 2017, Dr. Odisho was recruited to join the faculty at UCSF and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Specializing in urologic cancer care, he is part of the multidisciplinary urologic oncology team of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, located primarily at the Mission Bay campus. He also maintains privileges at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Nahrain Bet Younadam

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Dr. Nahrain Bet Younadam is the Inaugural Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. In June 2022,

Dr. Bet Younadam completed her PhD in political science from the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in comparative politics and international relations.

 

She is a Peace Scholar alum at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and an Alumni Fellow at the American Political Science Association's Middle East and North Africa (APSA MENA) section. Dr. Bet Younadam’s work explores issues of human rights including local ethnic minority representation, marginalization, and mobilization. She conducted multiple rounds of fieldwork research in Northern Iraq and compiled the first dataset of protests by Assyrians in Iraq since 2005. Her projects are currently under review at multiple scholarly journals.

Michel Shamoon-Pour

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Michel Shamoon-Pour is a molecular anthropologist specializing in population genetics and paleogenomics. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor with the Binghamton University's First-year Research Immersion program. His research primarily focuses on the genetic histories of the Middle East and Caucasus populations. Shamoon-Pour has worked with members of Assyrian communities in the United States to reconstruct genetic matrilineages and patrilineages of pre-Genocide Assyrian settlements. A microbiologist by training, Shamoon-Pour's research also includes the diagnostics of Lyme disease. As an educator, he emphasizes the health impact of socioeconomic disparities and systemic racism in the United States.

Mariam Georgis

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Dr. Mariam Georgis is an Assistant Professor of Global Indigeneity in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University. Prior to this, she completed a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Political Studies and Mamawipawin: Centre for Indigenous Governance and Community Based Research at the University of Manitoba. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Alberta specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics of the global South. Her research uses Indigenous and decolonial feminist approaches to global politics, critical security studies, race and Indigeneity, global colonialism and decolonization, violence and nation-building, and politics of southwest Asia (Middle East), with a focus on Indigenous politics. Georgis has published in journals such as Millennium, Meridians, and Third World Quarterly and is the author of "Traversing disciplinary boundaries, globalizing Indigeneities: Visibilizing Assyrians in the present" (2024) and  “Nation and Identity Construction in Modern Iraq: (Re)inserting the Assyrians” (2017). She is also the co-author of “Indigenizing International Relations: Insights from Centring Indigeneity in Canada and Iraq” (2021), “Violence on Iraqi bodies: decolonising economic sanctions in security studies” (2019). Georgis has been awarded the SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her upcoming project, "Innovating an Assyrian Indigenous Feminist Framework: Decolonial Conceptualizations of Nationhood and Sovereignty" where she will make multiple trips for fieldwork research in now-called northern Iraq.

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