Middle East Explained

The Duke-UNC Consortium for the Middle East Studies recently launched a new video series, “Middle East Explained” aimed to provide digital teaching tools for middle and high school teachers. Emma Harver, the Consortium for the Middle East Studies Program and Outreach Coordinator, conceived of the video series after surveying a group of North Carolina educators about teaching the Middle East last spring.

“71% (of the educators surveyed) said they would likely teach more about the Middle East if they has more resources,” said Harver. The digital pedagogy project plans to provide free, creditable, expert teaching modules with each 5-10 minute video packaged with a downloadable guides for both teachers and students. The Middle East Explained premiered its first video, “The Historical Roots of the Syrian Refugee Crisis” on September 7, 2016. In the video, Dr. miriam cooke, the Braxton Craven Professor Arab Cultures at Duke University, provides the historical context key to understanding why so many Syrians have fled their homes.

Harver plans to create more “Middle East Explained” modules throughout the academic year that align with the North Carolina curriculum. The series intends to develop modules on the Iraq War, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Arab Spring, and more. “My hope is that this project will deepen understanding of this important region in an approachable manner by sharing the expertise of the Duke and UNC with the greater North Carolina community,” said Harver.

The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, founded in 2005, is a collaboration between the Duke University Middle East Studies Center and the Carolina Center for the Studies of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina. The “Middle East Explained” project is made possible by the support of the John Hope Franklin Center and a Title VI grant from the United States Department of Education.