In this lesson students review an interactive timeline of events in Egypt over the past three years and identify core themes of Egyptian protest movements.
What values should shape U.S. policy in the Middle East?
3rd edition. February 2015.
The term “Middle East” can create an image of a group of similar countries and peoples with shared politics and histories, but this is deceptive. The people of this part of the world have diverse ethnicities, religions, languages, and understandings of their histories. They experience a variety of different ways of life. This diverse and complex region plays an important role in U.S. foreign policy.
The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy draws students into the policy debate on the issues that shape U.S. ties to the Middle East. The United States’ need for oil, its relationship with Israel, worries about ISIS, and Iran’s nuclear program make the Middle East an important region. A civil war rages in Syria and threatens to spill over borders. The long-term effects of these events remain to be seen, as does the U.S. relationship to evolving Middle East politics.
The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy provides students with the knowledge needed to take part in the debate on the U.S. role in the Middle East. Parts I and II of the student text offer a historical overview of U.S. relations with the region through the end of the Cold War. Part III focuses on the challenges facing U.S. policy makers today regarding the Middle East.
Looking at the Middle EastStudents analyze photographs of the Middle East as an introduction to the region. Students consider the benefits and limitations of using photographs as a source for learning about the Middle East.
The Creation of IsraelStudents use primary source documents to identify different views on the creation of Israel.
The Iranian RevolutionStudents form hypotheses about the causes of the Iranian Revolution by exploring significant events in Iranian history.
Political Geography of the Middle EastUsing historical maps that show border changes, students analyze the geographic conflicts between Israel and its neighbors.
Middle East Leaders' SummitIn small groups, students role-play a summit in which Middle East leaders analyze the U.S. role in the region, sharing their goals and concerns.
Graffiti in Egypt's RevolutionStudents assess the role of graffiti in Egypt's revolution and develop views on political protest and censorship.
The Options Role PlayWorking cooperatively to present different policy options to an undecided group of senators, students clarify and evaluate alternative U.S. policies toward the region.
Weighing Recommendations for U.S. PolicyArmed with historical knowledge and a sense of their own values, students deliberate the options presented. They articulate their own coherent recommendations for U.S. policy and defend their views in a letter to a newspaper or a member of Congress. Finally, students test their recommendations in hypothetical crises.
Middle Eastern LiteratureStudents read excerpts from four short stories and assess the interplay between literature, politics, and culture in the Middle East.
For use with the "Looking at the Middle East" activity.
This PowerPoint includes all of the maps in the readings of The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy.
Students tackle the difficult task of partitioning Palestine in 1947 using contemporaneous data.
For us with Graffiti in Egypt's Revolution.
For us with Graffiti in Egypt's Revolution, this video shows a woman protesting the erasure of graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud Street.
Additional reference material for added context and support.
Bowen, Donna Lee, Evelyn A. Early, and Becky Schulthies, eds. Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014). 504 pages.
Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East, Fourth Edition (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2008). 640 pages.
Dodge, Toby and Emile Hokayem, eds. Middle East Security, the US Pivot and the Rise of ISIS (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2014). 216 pages.
Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock. Remembering Childhood in the Middle East (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2002). 365 pages.
Lacquer, Walter and Barry Rubin. The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict, Seventh Edition (New York: Penguin Books, 2008). 626 pages.
Lynch, Marc, ed. The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). 352 pages.
Wright, Lawrence. Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat At Camp David (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014). 245 pages.
Wright, Robin B. Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011). 307 pages.