Introduces the richness and variety of Middle Eastern cultures, with an emphasis on Arab culture and the role of Islam in shaping the history and culture of the region. Arabs in the United States and in Dearborn, Michigan, are also examined, as well as American cultural perceptions of Arabs, Islam, and the Middle East.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
- Geographic, topographic, and political description of the Middle East
- Definition of the Muslim World
- Definition of the Arab World
- Identification of the major ethnic, religious, and linguistic subgroups
- Overview of Islamic history
- Similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity (and Judaism)
- Middle Eastern society and culture
- Social traits and cultural values
- Rites of passage
- Child rearing practices
- Women and gender issues
- Case studies
- Arab Americans
- History (national)
- Demographic distribution (national)
- Metro Detroit history and demographics
- Case studies
- Define/Describe the Middle East region.
- Distinguish the terms “Arab” and “Muslim.”
- Describe the major tenets of Islam.
- Compare and Contrast the relationship of Islam to Christianity and Judaism.
- Identify at least two subgroups of Muslims.
- Explain how Middle Easterners see the role of women in society.
- Identify at least two non-Muslim communities in the Middle East.
- Describe several misconceptions and/orstereotypes of Middle Eastern society.
- Describe the major sub-groups comprising the Arab-American community.
- Describe some of the main divisions of Arab Detroit.
- Using what you have learned in the course about Middle Eastern cultures a) analyze why dating would be frowned on by Arab Americans living in the United States or b) infer the various reasons why Muslim American women might wear a headscarf or related item of clothing.
Assessment and Requirements
Methods of assessing student achievement are left to the discretion of instructors.