Choices Blog

A Vote on Turkey’s Future

Susannah Bechtel

On April 16, Turkish citizens will go to the polls to vote on a package of constitutional amendments. The package proposes fundamental changes to Turkey’s parliamentary system of government—it would expand the powers of the presidency and dissolve the position of prime minister, among other changes. Public opinion is split on the referendum, and many […]

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Login to Learn—The Global Refugee Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

Andy Blackadar

Login to a talk on the global refugee crisis with the Choices Program Leadership Institute, Friday, July 15, 1-2:30. Expert Madeline Campbell will discuss her work with refugees from Iraq and Syria at camps and communities throughout the Middle East, the confounding global circumstances, and strategies for addressing this growing crisis. The UN reports that a tragic record […]

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Refugee Stories—Mapping a Crisis

Susannah Bechtel

“I was just a mother taking care of her children and living in Homs…. I enjoyed life. One day I’d spend an evening with my friends, another day I’d go to a birthday party. That was our life…. Now it’s all gone.” —Umm Ala’a, Syrian refugee in Lebanon What does a ten-year-old boy, working alongside […]

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Can We Trust Iran?

jdf@brown.edu

“If the nuclear crisis is ever to get resolved, now is the time for it to get resolved.” —Payam Mohseni, Director of Iran Project, Harvard University With the deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program drawing near, The New York Times put out a video today outlining what is at stake in the Iran negotiations.   […]

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Yemen

Andy Blackadar

The New York Times video reporting from the Middle East over the past few days has been terrific. This piece on the Houthi forces in Yemen is interesting and vivid, focusing on the experience of ordinary people as the country changes. The reporter includes two video “sidebars.” (You can access them simply by clicking in […]

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Scholars at the 2015 Leadership Institute

Jo Fisher

One of the highlights of our Leadership Institute is hearing from Brown University scholars.  This year’s scholar presentations will investigate both the recent history of the Middle East and multiple perspectives on current U.S. policy towards the region. Read on to see who will be joining us this summer. Institute applications are due Monday, March 16th.  […]

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The United States, Iran, and Flipping the Coin on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Danielle Johnstone

For many this November, anticipating the outcomes of soon-concluding nuclear negotiations with Iran seems impossible. The idea that we could only predict the resolution (or lack thereof) with a “coin toss” is complicated by this video by Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares fund. This concept of the interdependence of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament brings […]

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Global Issues Since the Fall of the Wall: A Course Made for Choices Materials

Jo Fisher

Blog Post by Choices Teaching Fellow Deb Springhorn For 30 years I have lamented the lack of time to teach the current global situation in the context of a world history course that is supposed to go from the prehistoric to the present in one year!  Given the global paradigm shift after the fall of […]

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Update: Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

lmelliot@brown.edu

“When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory. But these things happened. The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the United States of America, and the international community, is prepared to do about it.”       —President Obama […]

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Evolution of the Recent Conflict in Syria

Jo Fisher

Two years after popular demonstrations began, an estimated 70,000 Syrians have died and several million more have been displaced from their homes. As Brown University Professor Beshara Doumani remarks, “The optimism of the Arab Spring…has been replaced by the horror of protracted military conflict.” In this interview from the Watson Institute for International Studies, Professor […]

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Using Infographics for Policy Deliberation on Afghanistan

Jo Fisher

by Amy Sanders Yarmouth ME High School Teacher & Choices Teaching Fellow Infographic 5 © Newsweek I incorporate the CHOICES curriculum, The United States in Afghanistan, into my Middle East Studies course. The curriculum is an excellent resource that provides helpful information about Afghanistan’s history, geography, and people, and is the framework around which I build […]

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Teaching the U.S. Role in the Middle East in 11th & 12th Grade Social Problems

Jo Fisher

By Guest Blogger Hayley Vatch Choices Teaching Fellow The U.S. role in the Middle East is a surprisingly popular topic of interest for students in my 11th and 12th grade Social Problems class.  Although the class is focused on U.S. domestic social issues such as poverty and racism, I also make time to address more […]

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Great Resource on the Green Line

Andy Blackadar

An upcoming vote in the General Assembly of the UN on recognizing a Palestinian state is going to be getting more and more attention in the coming days. Here’s a useful resource from the New York Times on the role of the Green Line in Israeli-Palestinian relations. There’s a terrific animated map, four short videos […]

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New in Scholars Online: Charles Tripp

Tanya Waldburger

In November 2002, a team of Iraq experts was assembled to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair and advise him on the consequences of going to war in Iraq. Charles Tripp, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of London, was a member of that team. Here he gives a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account […]

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Maine Teachers Use Lesson for Innovative Project

Sarah Massey

Media coverage of pro-democracy protests across the Arab world – collectively known as the Arab Spring – has captured the world’s attention. Amy Sanders (Social Studies teacher) and Cathy Wolinsky (Instructional Technology Integrator) at Yarmouth High School in Yarmouth, Maine, seek classroom partners for a collaborative study of the Arab Spring. The project, modeled after […]

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Keep Your Eyes on Yemen and Syria

Andy Blackadar

While the media focuses on Libya, events in Yemen and Syria also deserve our attention. I think that the scale of the protests there suggest that change is coming soon. Al Jazeera English is giving it good coverage.

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Teaching with the President’s Libya Speech

Andy Blackadar

President Obama’s speech last night had a few media pundits talking about an “Obama Doctrine.” Below is an excerpt from The U.S. Role in a Changing World that helps students think about the role of presidential doctrines in U.S. history and what an Obama Doctrine might actually be. Have students read the excerpt below and […]

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The Arab Spring

Emmett Fitzgerald

Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year. It occurs each year on the vernal equinox (around March 21st) and is celebrated by Iranic peoples throughout the world. Nowruz is the holiday of spring, and people come together to celebrate light and renewal by cleaning out their homes, having bonfires, and feasting. This Nowruz, […]

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The path of protest

Tanya Waldburger

The Guardian has put together an excellent interactive timeline that tracks the events in the Middle East over the past few months.

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