Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Report 2: “Arab and Muslim contributiont Due on Feb. 14

Find an article on-line (preferably from a newspaper from the Arab or Muslim world) about  “Arab and Muslim contributions to world civilization.” Find information on a Muslim or Arab Noble Prize winner or someone who has invented something or had a huge impact on world civilization and write a short report on this person and what her/his contributions. Due on Sunday, February 14, by midnight.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Report 1: "Syria"

You can submit here your weekly summary of one article you have read in one of the newspapers or magazines listed on the syllabus. Keep in mind that you ought to use a different newspaper or magazine each week. Make sure you include the Internet address (URL) of the article you have read.

The topic for this week's weekly report is "Syria." What the heck is going on there? The latest news." Find an article on any non-American newspaper (from the Middle East or Europe) about the latest developments, especially about the peace talks in Switzerland that are goun on right now, and write a summary of that article and post it on your Blog. Make sure to add the URL of the source you have used. I'll ask 2 students (randomly) to report on what they have read.

This weekly report is due on Sunday, February 7 by Midnight.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reflection 1: Why did you choose to take this class?

Your first blog entry is a personal (subjective) reflection about the course and what you know about the Arab World. Please be as honest and direct as you can. I appreciate and respect every opinion, no matter whether I agree with you or not. Here are some questions, I want you to reflect about:

  • Why did you choose to take this class?
  • What are your expectations? What do you hope to get out of this class?
  • Have you ever been to the Arab World? When? What did you do?
  • What were your views about the Arab and Muslim world prior to 9/11?
  • Did the events of September 11 change your views about Arabs and Muslims? How and why?
Image Source:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Welcome to the Arab World - اهلا وسهلا في العالم العربي

Since 9/11 many people have lamented the lack of knowledge students and other people have about the outside world, especially the Middle East, the Arab and Muslim cultures. In ancient times, the present Middle East was the “cradle of civilization” and the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. What is the Arab World today? It is an unknown and misunderstood world in turmoil.
This course will offer an introduction to and an overview of the history, culture, politics and current events of the Arab world in the Middle East and Africa. The students will also be introduced to the Arab-American community and its contribution to culture and politics in the United States. One integral part of the class is a weekly discussion of current events in the Arab World, i.e. the situation in Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, US policy toward the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the US war on terrorism.
Required Books:

  1. Al Aswany, Alaa. The Yacoubian Building. New York, London, ... Harper. 2002
  2. Margaret K. Nydell. Understanding Arabs. A Guide for Modern Times. Boston: Intercultural Press. 4th Edition 2006
  3. Salih, Tayeb. The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid. On Blackboard under Course Documents
  4. Zepp, Ira. A Muslim Primer. 2nd edition. Fayettevile: University of Arkansas Press, 2000
  5. Films and other readings can be found on Blackboard under Course Documents or are on reserve at the library.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weekly Report 4: “Musicians of the Arab World" Due on Feb. 28

Weekly Report 4: Musicians of the Arab World." Write a report on any famous musician (dead or alive) from any country from the Arab world.  Due on Sunday, February 28 by 9 pm.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Evening Concert on Wednesday by Massamba Diop

Evening Concert on Wednesday by Massamba Diop, Forum, 7 pm. ALL MUST ATTEND THIS CONCERT.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Reflection 6: Lecture by Dr. Leahy Due on April 7

Reflection 6 What issues did Dr. Leahy cover in her lecture?  How does that relate to the relationship of the USA to the Arab World/ Middle East? Do you agree or disagree with her characterization. Why? Why not? Explain and elaborate! Due on Thursday, April 7, by midnight  
The USA and the Arab World: 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Paper #2: The Yacoubian Building. Due on April 21

Paper #2: Discuss one of the issues presented in the book The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany, e.g. How does the author portray Egyptian society in the 21st Society? Why do you think that the book was controversial in Egypt and the Arab World? What is the role of sexual desires and homosexuality in the novel? What are the roots of radical Muslim movements as portrayed in the book? Gender relations in the book; class differences; role of women in Egyptian society; police brutality and corruption in Egyptian society, etc. Paper is due in class on Thursday, April 21.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reflection 7: Lecture by Ms. Andrea Shalal. Due on April 28

Reflection 7 What and whom did Andrea Shalal talk about? Give specific examples of some of the writers she talked about. How did her talk change your attitudes towards and enrich your knowledge of Arab-Americans? Which writer did you like the most and why? Due on Thursday, April 28 by midnight.