Prime Minister Abdelillah Benkirane and King Mohamed VI

The Arab Spring

In this article, Rashid Khalidi comments on the “sea change in perceptions about Arabs, Muslims and Middle Easterners” due to the Arab Spring. An excellent article–a must read for anyone learning or teaching about the Arab Spring.

psu logo edited Backgrounder on Syria: Protests

Background information on Syrian protests.  Written in December, 2011.

From Exotic to Demonic: Images of Iranians in the US Media

This article explores the changing images of Iran in the American media.

How Come Syria Controls Lebanon?

Explaining the interesting relationship between Syria and Lebanon.

Inside the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s sleeping giant has awoken. But what path will it follow now? Here are some readings that offer insight and analysis on who the Muslim Brotherhood are — and what they want.

Mideast Politics

This online course from Saylor.org offers great readings about the Middle East divided into 16 units.

Ten Steps to Syria-Lebanon Ties

Presents an explanation of 10 stages through which the two purportedly fraternal Arab countries have passed since they both gained independence after WWII.

The Middle East Channel (text)

Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel is a vibrant and decidedly non-partisan site where real expertise and experience take priority over shouting, where the daily debate is informed by dispassionate analysis and original reporting all too often lacking from the stale and talking-point-laden commentary that sadly dominates most coverage of the region today. Its contributors range from academics to former policymakers, from journalists on the ground to established analysts — with an emphasis on introducing voices from Middle East itself. Most importantly, the Middle East Channel comes to you doctrine-free, open to political viewpoints of all kinds — but demanding honesty, civility, and genuine expertise.

U.S. Policies and the Middle East

This article answers the question: What have been the role of U.S. foreign policies and actions in the Middle East.

Global Voices: Amira al-Hussaini (text)

Amira al-Hussaini, GLobal Voice’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, is not just an excellent blogger–she also harnesses the regional online community to help aggregate some of the best content produced by Middle Eastern writers.

Islam and Democracy (audio)

Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights? Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world? Georgetown’s John L. Esposito demolishes some common negative stereotypes about Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world

Mahir Zeynalov: Diary of a Skeptic (text)

This is the blog of a Turkish report for Today’s Zaman newspaper based in Istanbul, Turkey. He regularly posts analysis based on his own reporting.

Syria Protests: What You Need to Know (video)

A quick video breaking down the important news in Syria.

The Wael Abbas Daily (text)

This blog offers an aggregation of traditional media, blogs, NGO sites, tweets, videos and more.  It is written by Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger.

Voices on Foreign Policies (audio)

What is the role of the U.S. in perpetuating or resolving conflict in the Middle East? Examine the history, current events, and the future from all sides with some of the boldest opinion makers in the country, including Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell and Dinesh D’Souza.

psu logo edited 100 Years in Mesopotamia: A Century of Conflict in Iraq, 1914-2014

This two-week unit plan was created for 9th grade Modern World History. In this lesson, students will analyze the effect of World War I on present day Iraq and consider the larger question, “How did WWI and its aftermath shape conflict in the Middle East today?”

Arab Israeli Conflict Simulation

The Arab-Israeli Conflict / Middle East Simulation (AIC) is a political and diplomatic character-playing simulation run by Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) at the University of Michigan. Its purpose is to immerse participants in the dynamics of national and international politics — and thereby help them to become aware of the complex nature of political reality.

Crisis Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

An in-depth, multimedia look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its geopolitical repercussions.

Elif Shafak and the Armenian Genocide

In this lesson, created by Primary Source, students study about the Armenian genocide and its controversy in Turkey.

psu logo edited  Freedom of Speech and the Arab Uprisings

This lesson was created by Jacqueline Pope and Tammy Hodgson at the Middle East Studies Center Summer Institute 2013: The Arab Uprisings.  This lesson could be used in the US History classroom in the unit about the Bill of Rights or in the World History classroom in a unit about the Arab Uprisings

Morocco’s King Proposes Constitutional Reforms

This lesson gives ideas for discussing current political reforms in Morocco.

Navigating a Crisis

This powerpoint presentation provides a brief history of Iran and valuable resources for teaching about the country.

Oil, OPEC and You

Students will examine the reasons for the existence of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). They will consider the impact of this particular multinational economic organization on the world economy

Political Cartoons: Differing Perspectives on Veiling and the Ban on the Burqa

Political cartoons are an excellent vehicle for exploring different perspectives on veiling and the ban on the burqa (the most conservative type of veiling) which has been implemented in some European societies since 2010, including France and Belgium. In this lesson, students are invited to explore some of the reasons behind laws on religious dress in some Muslim-minority societies as well as the multiple opinions surrounding these laws. They will analyze these comics in order to question particular points of view and begin to develop their own opinions about veiling.

Developed by University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, ReOrienting the Veil

Reading Political Comics

In this lesson, students will learn to recognize visual stereotyping in political cartoons and to analyze its use.

psu logo edited Roots of Revolution

by Kwen Peterson (Arab Spring-6th grade-History). In this lesson, students consider what causes a revolution by looking at revolutions through history and comparing them to 2010-2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

psu logo edited Security or Separation? Analyzing the West Bank Barrier Through Soccer

This lesson explores varying perspectives on the West Bank Barrier through two short commercials.

Syria’s Role in the Middle East

This lesson will help students understand the role Syria has played in Middle East politics over the past century and how now it might be at a crossroads of fulfilling it’s goals for a pan-Arab state and preserving its very survival. By developing a timeline on Syrian history and examining historical maps, students will gain an understanding of how Syria has had to adjust to outside influence and pressure against its goals.

Teaching about Refugees

This page hosts sample lesson plans and resources for teachers to use in designing a unit about refugees and forced displacement. The project derives itself from field research completed in Jordan and Lebanon during May and June 2013. These lessons are aimed at secondary school students.

Teaching about Rights: Historical Context, Contemporary Challenges

Comprehensive curriculum materials produced by the University of Texas at Austin. This lesson covers the history of human rights around the world, including the Middle East and North Africa.

Teaching About War

A teachers guide on how to approach the subject of war in the classroom.

Teaching September 11: A Film Guide for High School Teachers

This teaching guide provides  films that can help students understand domestic and international politics in the decade following the September 11 attacks.

Teaching With the News: After Mubarak

This lesson helps students consider the implications of a leadership change in Egypt on the protests for democracy throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Teaching With the News: Egypt’s Uprising

This lesson introduces students to the protests in Egypt, helps them consider the role of the media, and asks them to analyze the role of the United States in Egyptian politics.

Teaching With the News: Protests, Revolutions, and Democratic Change

This lesson helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

Teaching with the News: The Costs of War

In this lesson, students explore the human, economic, social, and political costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Teaching With the News: The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

This lesson plan teaches the causes and scope of Iraqi refugee crisis.

Teaching With the News: The Lessons of Iraq

In this lesson plan, students compare and analyze various texts stating the many lessons we can learn from the war in Iraq.

Teaching with the News: The United States and the Iranian Nuclear Program

In this lesson students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran.

Teaching with the News: U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Analyzing Political Cartoons

In this lesson students explore current issues in the Middle East and their relation to U.S. policy by interpreting political cartoons.

The Price of Gasoline: What’s Behind It?

In this lesson, students investigate the variables that contribute to the cost of gasoline. They learn that while OPEC nations do influence the price of oil and thus the price of gasoline, other factors also influence the price.

The Prospect for Democracy in Iran

In this two-day lesson, students will analyze the unprecedented events after the June 12, 2009 presidential election on Iran. The lesson provides teachers with background information on Iran’s political history and level of democracy. Students make an in-depth examination of events after the election by viewing various news segments. Students will then discuss the details of the historic importance of the events and write an op/ed essay on the chances for substantial democratic reform as a result of the events surrounding the June12th election.

The Southeastern Anatolia Project

This case study was created to help students understand the complexities of large-scale construction and development projects. Such projects often inspire an optimistic outlook; students will get a better sense of the many different benefits that such projects can have and the ways in which the quality of living can be dramatically improved. At the same time, students will gain an understanding that such projects have side effects, both positive and negative, that can extend across geo-political boundaries.

Developed by the University of Texas at Austin

The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives

A two-period lesson plan focuses on role-play and deliberation exploring four Policy Options concerning U.S. policy toward Iran today.

The Whole World is Watching: Iran 2009

In this two-day lesson, students will look at the phenomenon of citizen journalism and the role it played in Iran during massive public protests that followed the June 12, 2009 presidential election. They will examine how the use of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are filling in the news void left after the Iranian government barred mainstream media coverage after the election. Students will take a critical look at the effectiveness and reliability of this new media on reporting the news and promoting political activism in Iran. They will then develop their own citizen journalism report. This lesson provides students ample background information on the historic roots of a free press and the use of citizen journalism.

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iran

This is a collection of student readings that provides an overview of Iranian-US relations from 1945-1997. Discussion questions and student activities supplement the readings.

psu logo edited Who cares if you vote? And who cares if you don’t vote?

In this lesson, students understand that the way electoral systems are implemented in a country affect the citizens of that country by comparing/contrasting with the U.S. electoral system

This lesson was created by Martha Kemple and Julie Johnson for the Middle East Studies Center 2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings