Introduces the various ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups as well as cultures of the Middle East with an emphasis on both the Arabs and Islam as two of the most powerful social forces to have shaped the history and culture of the region. Explores Orientalism and western perceptions of the Middle East, colonialism. globalization and identity, nationalism, and other popular ideological currents that continue to influence the region and its peoples. Also examines the history and experiences of Arabs in the United States with a special focus on the large Arab-American community in Dearborn, Michigan.
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/or stereotypes 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
Assessment of academic achievement may include (but is not limited to) exams, quizzes, homework, and projects.
- Social Sciences
- Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
- Category 4: Social Sciences