May 24, 2024 Special Announcements No. 1480

MEMRI Mourns The Passing Of MEMRI Senior Analyst Emeritus Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli

May 24, 2024
Special Announcements No. 1480

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
– Khalil Gibran

With a heavy heart, MEMRI mourns the passing, on April 16, 2024, of MEMRI Senior Analyst Emeritus Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, at the age of 91.

Born in his beloved Basra, Iraq, Dr. Raphaeli's was forced to flee with his family to Israel. There he attended university, coming to the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship for graduate studies in 1960, completing an MPA at U. Pitt., and a Ph.D and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at U. Mich.

Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli

In 1966, he moved back to Israel to join the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in 1969, the family returned to the U.S. and he began a distinguished career at the World Bank. At the World Bank, Dr. Raphaeli headed technical assistance and development planning divisions; later, he moved into central operations, focusing on operations policy and coordination with other international organizations. In 1995, he became the World Bank's representative to the United Nations. He also served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). During his time at the World Bank and at the IMF, Dr. Raphaeli travelled all over the world, from Africa to Asia. He was also frequently interviewed by the international media on issues concerning politics in his home country Iraq and the economy of the Middle East.

After retirement, in 2000, Dr. Raphaeli joined MEMRI as Senior Analyst of Economic Studies. Because of his great expertise, he also served as MEMRI Special Advisor in a range of fields, from Middle Eastern Studies to Russian and Chinese Studies.

At MEMRI, he conducted groundbreaking work on Iraq, and was the first to translate the "Oil for Food" list of 270 prominent individuals and companies who were helping Saddam Hussein subvert UN sanctions against him. He then focused on the fall of Saddam and the fledgling democracy in Iraq, including the historic elections in which he assisted in voting campaigns for Iraqi expatriates. He also authored an Economic Blog for MEMRI, and continued contributing pro bono to MEMRI's work until his passing.

Dr. Raphaeli was fluent in Arabic (his mother tongue), English, and Hebrew, and conversant in several Arabic dialects.

He will be remembered by all of us at MEMRI for his wisdom, sharp intellect, elegance, dedication, resilience, generosity, and vast knowledge, and as a mentor to many. He will also be remembered for his deep love for his home country Iraq, which he never forgot despite being separated from it, and for his passion for classical Arabic language and literature.

But legacy is not just about leaving something behind for others. It is primarily about leaving something in them, Dr. Raphaeli will be remembered most of all as a great, true, caring, loving, and inspiring friend.

Dr. Raphaeli after voting in the Iraqi elections (left) and with former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani and former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations and to the U.S. Samir Sumaida'ie

His sagacity, wit, and insights are deeply missed by all at MEMRI. Our deepest sympathies go out to Dr. Raphaeli's family, that over the years became an important and integral part of the MEMRI family. We will forever cherish Dr. Raphaeli's memory and hold him dear in our hearts.

Read Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli's obituary in The Washington Post here.

Visit the archive of Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli's writings and analyses on the Middle East economy, policies, and social issues studies on here.


Share this Report: