Video still of Barbara Petzen

Barbara Petzen

Middle East Connections

Barbara Petzen is director of Middle East Connections, a not-for-profit initiative specializing in professional development and curriculum development on the Middle East and Islam, global education, and study tours to the Middle East for American educators. She is also the director of Learning Experiences with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy at Center for Strategy and International Studies. She has also served as the president of the Middle East Outreach Council.

While serving as education director at the Middle East Policy Council, Petzen created, a comprehensive resource for educators seeking balanced and innovative materials for teaching about the region. She also served as outreach coordinator at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, starting just before September 11, 2001.

Petzen’s academic interests include Ottoman and Middle Eastern history, the history and present concerns of women in the Middle East and Muslim communities, the role of Islam in Middle Eastern and other societies, relations and perceptions between Muslim societies and the West, and the necessity for globalizing K-12 education in the United States and around the world. She has taught courses on Middle Eastern history, Islam, and women’s studies at Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Petzen’s videos are used in these Choices Program curriculum units:
Confronting Genocide: Never Again?
Empire, Republic, Democracy: Turkey’s Past and Future

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