History of the Modern Middle East

Clearly the Middle East is an extremely important part of the contemporary political world, but too many Americans have little understanding of the area.  This course will help give students a sense of contemporary issues in the Middle East, and how the area’s history informs those issues.  Beginning with a brief introduction to Islam, the course will cover the major developments in the area since the decline of the Ottoman Empire with a particular focus on Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Israel/Palestine.  While the class will focus on political history, the readings will primarily be memoirs to help give the history a human face and to give students a more textured sense of life in this part of the world.

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