Introduction to the Middle East

Course Code: HIST 2300

Academic Year: 2023-2024

The Middle East occupies considerable space in the media in relation to topics such as terrorism, war, oil, women's rights, Islam, democracy, human rights, and dictatorship. But is this all the Middle East is? Why has the region become associated with turmoil in contemporary consciousness? Although it is often portrayed in headlines and pop culture as a monolithic giant desert, the Middle East is actually a complex, diverse and culturally rich region. This course traces the region's history from pre-Islamic times to the present, focusing on global influences which have shaped what we call the "Middle East" today. Through a survey of the region's history, culture, and involvement in international affairs, students will gain a better understanding of this fascinating and intricate region, its complex history, and its vital place within the global community.