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Teaching About The Middle East

Started by spork, May 01, 2024, 05:50:58 AM

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spork

Quote from: Ruralguy on May 13, 2024, 06:48:54 AMAlthough its a full book, I think you might want to take a look at Ari Shavit's My Promised Land. Its not at all what most people would think is an Israeli point of view on either historical Zionism or hope for a Palestinian state. Just an idea. I'm no expert.

I read Amazon's free sample of this book. Wow. What excellent writing. If I was teaching a history course specific to Israel, I would definitely use it, but alas, I am not.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

spork

Quote from: spork on May 15, 2024, 08:24:04 AM
Quote from: Ruralguy on May 13, 2024, 06:48:54 AMAlthough its a full book, I think you might want to take a look at Ari Shavit's My Promised Land. Its not at all what most people would think is an Israeli point of view on either historical Zionism or hope for a Palestinian state. Just an idea. I'm no expert.

I read Amazon's free sample of this book. Wow. What excellent writing. If I was teaching a history course specific to Israel, I would definitely use it, but alas, I am not.

My local public library had a copy, so I'm reading it now. What a great book.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

jimbogumbo

I don't have a specific reading in mind, but at least a short discussion on the economic impact on both sides of Palestinians being unable to travel to jobs in Israel would seem important. Pretty sure NPR had some short clips that are accessible and that your students could follow.

spork

Quote from: jimbogumbo on June 06, 2024, 02:58:57 PMI don't have a specific reading in mind, but at least a short discussion on the economic impact on both sides of Palestinians being unable to travel to jobs in Israel would seem important. Pretty sure NPR had some short clips that are accessible and that your students could follow.

Logical, but this is a one-semester course on the entire Middle East taught to undergrads who think Lebanon is a town in Illinois. I can't make the whole course about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

jimbogumbo

Quote from: spork on June 07, 2024, 01:08:56 PM
Quote from: jimbogumbo on June 06, 2024, 02:58:57 PMI don't have a specific reading in mind, but at least a short discussion on the economic impact on both sides of Palestinians being unable to travel to jobs in Israel would seem important. Pretty sure NPR had some short clips that are accessible and that your students could follow.

Logical, but this is a one-semester course on the entire Middle East taught to undergrads who think Lebanon is a town in Illinois. I can't make the whole course about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Got it! However, everyone knows Lebanon is the town in Indiana where basketball great Rick Mount is from.

fleabite

Did you see my recommendations on the previous page? I still think a chapter or so from the 9/11 Report would be an excellent  and very accessible introduction to Middle Eastern issues as a whole, as well as America's role. It's available here: https://www.govinfo.gov/features/911-commission-report. See Chapter 2, beginning on page 47.

Sun_Worshiper

This is a cool article from Foreign Affairs about industrial zones that let Egypt and Jordan export to the US duty free via the US-Israel trade agreement (really just Egypt these days, since US and Jordan have a trade agreement of their own now). The idea is that these countries will have to work together and will trade more, which will in turn improve the relationships between them. The author argues that it has worked and there is an interesting conversation to be had with students about whether it can be used elsewhere. The Abraham Accords have probably usurped this kind of thing, but it could be worth a look if you can get past the paywall: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2015-08-23/trading-peace-egypt-and-israel

spork

Quote from: fleabite on June 07, 2024, 01:39:00 PMDid you see my recommendations on the previous page? I still think a chapter or so from the 9/11 Report would be an excellent  and very accessible introduction to Middle Eastern issues as a whole, as well as America's role. It's available here: https://www.govinfo.gov/features/911-commission-report. See Chapter 2, beginning on page 47.

Yes, I did. I've read the 9/11 Report. It's succinctly written, which is great. But Al Qaeda and bin Laden were a generation ago, and the textbook I use (Gelvin's The Modern Middle East) does an adequate job, in my opinion, of discussing the history of U.S. involvement in the region. However, I do include some supplemental readings on this, and Chapter 2 might work, though I'd probably need to discard some material on the Arab Spring/the struggle for popular democracy to fit it in.

Quote from: Sun_Worshiper on June 07, 2024, 04:08:25 PMThis is a cool article from Foreign Affairs about industrial zones that let Egypt and Jordan export to the US duty free via the US-Israel trade agreement (really just Egypt these days, since US and Jordan have a trade agreement of their own now). The idea is that these countries will have to work together and will trade more, which will in turn improve the relationships between them. The author argues that it has worked and there is an interesting conversation to be had with students about whether it can be used elsewhere. The Abraham Accords have probably usurped this kind of thing, but it could be worth a look if you can get past the paywall: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2015-08-23/trading-peace-egypt-and-israel

Um, how should I put this . . . the Egyptian state is a corrupt military dictatorship that in part feeds from the trough of the American taxpayer while impoverishing its own citizens. In my opinion. Which is probably biased, given my experiences there.

Edited to add: I do try to openly communicate my existing biases to students and let them know that they shouldn't necessarily agree with everything they hear or read in the course.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

Sun_Worshiper

Quote from: spork on June 08, 2024, 08:40:48 AM
Quote from: fleabite on June 07, 2024, 01:39:00 PMDid you see my recommendations on the previous page? I still think a chapter or so from the 9/11 Report would be an excellent  and very accessible introduction to Middle Eastern issues as a whole, as well as America's role. It's available here: https://www.govinfo.gov/features/911-commission-report. See Chapter 2, beginning on page 47.

Yes, I did. I've read the 9/11 Report. It's succinctly written, which is great. But Al Qaeda and bin Laden were a generation ago, and the textbook I use (Gelvin's The Modern Middle East) does an adequate job, in my opinion, of discussing the history of U.S. involvement in the region. However, I do include some supplemental readings on this, and Chapter 2 might work, though I'd probably need to discard some material on the Arab Spring/the struggle for popular democracy to fit it in.

Quote from: Sun_Worshiper on June 07, 2024, 04:08:25 PMThis is a cool article from Foreign Affairs about industrial zones that let Egypt and Jordan export to the US duty free via the US-Israel trade agreement (really just Egypt these days, since US and Jordan have a trade agreement of their own now). The idea is that these countries will have to work together and will trade more, which will in turn improve the relationships between them. The author argues that it has worked and there is an interesting conversation to be had with students about whether it can be used elsewhere. The Abraham Accords have probably usurped this kind of thing, but it could be worth a look if you can get past the paywall: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2015-08-23/trading-peace-egypt-and-israel

Um, how should I put this . . . the Egyptian state is a corrupt military dictatorship that in part feeds from the trough of the American taxpayer while impoverishing its own citizens. In my opinion. Which is probably biased, given my experiences there.

Edited to add: I do try to openly communicate my existing biases to students and let them know that they shouldn't necessarily agree with everything they hear or read in the course.

Re the bolded: Of course, but the point of the article is not that Egypt is a transparent democracy, but that there can be some innovative strategies to improve relations between countries in the region. Those strategies may not work or may have another set of negative consequences, but they are worth discussing (at least they are for my class on globalization and regionalism - maybe not for your class).

spork

It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

apl68

Quote from: jimbogumbo on June 07, 2024, 01:29:32 PM
Quote from: spork on June 07, 2024, 01:08:56 PM
Quote from: jimbogumbo on June 06, 2024, 02:58:57 PMI don't have a specific reading in mind, but at least a short discussion on the economic impact on both sides of Palestinians being unable to travel to jobs in Israel would seem important. Pretty sure NPR had some short clips that are accessible and that your students could follow.

Logical, but this is a one-semester course on the entire Middle East taught to undergrads who think Lebanon is a town in Illinois. I can't make the whole course about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Got it! However, everyone knows Lebanon is the town in Indiana where basketball great Rick Mount is from.

I thought it was located east of Nashville, where they have lots of cedars.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
When this world's all on fire
Hide me over, Rock of Ages, cleft for me