Literature

Books and Manuscripts

2011 Middle East Book Award Winners

The Middle East Book Awards, issued by  the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience.  Awards are given in three categories: Picture Books, Youth Literature, and Youth Nonfiction.

2012 Middle East Book Award Winners

The Middle East Book Awards, issued by  the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience.  Awards are given in three categories: Picture Books, Youth Literature, and Youth Nonfiction.

2013 Middle East Book Award Winners

The Middle East Book Awards, issued by  the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience.  Awards are given in three categories: Picture Books, Youth Literature, and Youth Nonfiction.

Arabic Books for Teens

A collection of Arabic books in translation appropriate for teenagers.

Arabs in America, Understanding and Articulating their ‘Arabness’

A book review of Nadine Naber’s new book, Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism (NYU Press, 2012), a great resources for the classroom.

Beyond Golden Age and Decline: The Legacy of Muslim Societies in Global Modernity, 1300-1900

This website is a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative on the Muslim World and the Humanities.  This project aims to reshape dominant thinking about the impact of Muslim societies in the formation of modern world, with focus on political, cultural, artistic, economic and social achievements between 1300 and 1900, an era still commonly described by the words “decline” and “stagnation” in popular culture.  The website includes presentations from a Scholars Forum, bibliographies, and other resources.

Bridging a Cultural Divide with Literature about Arabs and Arab Americans

An article by Tami Craft Al-Hazza & Katherine T. Bucher, published in The Association for Middle Level Education Middle School Journal, January 2010, volume 41,no. 3, pages 4-11

Bridging a Cultural Divide with Literature about Arabs and Arab Americans

This article by Tami Craft Al-Hazza & Katherine T. Bucher provides information to help middle school teachers understand the Arab immigrant and Arab-American young adolescents in their classrooms. After briefly describing Arab history and culture and discussing specific problems facing Arab American and Arab immigrant students, the authors  suggest literature about Arabs and Arab Americans to use in the middle school curriculum and place in the school library media center.

Literature from the Modern Middle East: Making a Living Connection

While the United States is deeply involved in the Middle East, most Americans, including students, lack knowledge about the region. Yet from Afghanistan to Palestine, from Morocco to Iraq, there is a vibrant and exciting literature by living authors that can bring the diverse experiences and perspectives of this vital part of the world to classes. In this article, the author offers resources, ideas, and strategies that other English teachers can use to integrate Middle Eastern literature into their classes.

Reading Lists from World Literature Today

Arab Literature, from Your Middle East (text)

Marcia Lynx Qualey is a Cairo-based writer and reader who runs a popular blog on Arab Literature, a subject that she also covers for Your Middle East in this biweekly column.

Arabic Literature (in English) (text)

This blog contains Arabic literature in translation as well as articles and commentary about the field.

Jadaliyya: Poetry (text)

A collection of articles posted on Jadaliyya about poetry in the Middle East

Suheir Hammad: Poems of war, peace, women, power (video)

Poet Suheir Hammad performs two spine-tingling spoken-word pieces: “What I Will” and “break (clustered)” — meditations on war and peace, on women and power. Wait for the astonishing line: “Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded.”

In her poems and plays, Suheir Hammad blends the stories and sounds of her Palestinian-American heritage with the vibrant language of Brooklyn to create a passionately modern voice.

2011 Middle East Book Award Winners

The Middle East Book Awards, issued by  the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience.  Awards are given in three categories: Picture Books, Youth Literature, and Youth Nonfiction.

2012 Middle East Book Award Winners

The Middle East Book Awards, issued by  the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience.  Awards are given in three categories: Picture Books, Youth Literature, and Youth Nonfiction.

Arab Culture through Literature and Film

Arab Culture through Literature and Film is a five unit high school curriculum that provides students with knowledge and tools to analyze and understand the Arab world. The materials utilize a student-centered pedagogical approach that promotes critical thinking and respect and encourages engaged global citizenship. Through this curriculum, students will recognize shared themes across the region and gain a sense of the rich diversity inherent to the multidimensional cultures of the Arab world. Students will study life and culture in the Arab world and engage with primary sources including films, short stories, and poems. Exposing students to Arab voices and putting human faces on the Arab world will increase understanding and tolerance in the American classroom.

Arabs in America, Understanding and Articulating their ‘Arabness’

A book review of Nadine Naber’s new book, Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism (NYU Press, 2012), a great resources for the classroom.

Are You Listening? Voices from the Middle East

This very popular anthology, produced by The Outreach Center, consists of short stories and excerpts from memoirs and novels written by indigenous authors and translated and adapted for the U.S. classroom.

Books about the Middle East

Annotated lists of books about the Middle East recommended for students by grade level:

Country of Men Assignment

Detailed assignment to accompany Hisham Matar’s novel Country of Men.

This resource was submitted by Betsey Coleman, English and Global Studies teacher at Colorado Academy

Day of Ahmed’s Secret

In this lesson for the elementary school classroom, students read Day of Ahmed’s Secret to learn about Egypt.

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet

This collection of teaching materials serves as a companion to the film Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, available online free.  Developed by the Center for Islamic Education.

Muslim Journeys Collection

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection consists of twenty-five books and three films, a collection of resources carefully curated to present to the American public new and diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

At this site, you can find the collection of books along with guides, discussion questions, and additional supporting resources

Middle East Themed Lessons and Ideas…Globalizing the ELA Classroom

This website contains resources and lesson plans to teach about the Middle East through literature.

Persian Poetry Through the Ages

A guide to Persian poetry.

Pictures Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis

Graphic novels, which tell real and fictional stories using a combination of words and images, are often sophisticated and involve new and intriguing topics. In this lesson, students examine the art and craft of the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and assess the impact of visual elements on their comprehension of the beginning of the story. The goal of the lesson is to get students started so that they can successfully read and analyze the rest of the book. They will also explore the recent history of the Middle East as presented by Satrapi.

psu logo edited Rebels By Accident

This resources has reading assignments, discussion questions, and essay questions about the book Rebel by Accident, by Patricia Dunn.

Resources for Teaching about the Middle East

A collection of resources organized by theme to support teaching about the Middle East.

Twice Upon a Time: Multi-Cultural Cinderella

The story of Cinderella is one of the most well-known fairy tales with hundreds of versions being told all over the world.  With nearly every culture touting some variation of this tale, the study and comparison of Cinderella stories is a great way to foster cross-cultural comparisons in the classroom while teaching literacy and making connections across the curriculum.  In this unit, students explore a wide range of multi-cultural Cinderella stories, reflecting on similarities and differences of the stories.  Finally, students create an illustrated Cinderella story based on their own self-defined culture.

The unit includes Cinderella stories from the Middle East and around the world.

Young Adult Literature about the Middle East: A Cultural Response Perspective

Incorporating literature from diverse cultures and with diverse points of view means more than adding new books to the reading list. Exposing students to literature from and about the Middle East requires particular sensitivity, as students may approach the text with incorrect, often negative, prejudices. This lesson supports the use of multicultural literature through modification of traditional literature circle roles using a cultural response perspective. Students read and share their responses and research in collaborative groups. At the end of the lesson, they write a letter about their book’s main character as if he or she has just moved to their school and community.

This lesson plan adapted from classroom ideas in Middle Ground: Exploring Selected Literature from and about the Middle East by Sheryl L. Finkle and Tamara J. Lilly.