The study of the Middle East has become very topical recently. Terrorism, fundamentalism, Islamism has become the issues associated with the region. At the same time, the Middle East is not only about Islam. It is a very diverse region with a rich history and culture. Along with Muslims there are various Christian and Jewish communities living side by side with Muslims. Different languages are spoken such as Turkish, Persian, Kurdish as well as European languages.

The course will provide an anthropological introduction to the Middle Eastern region. It will discuss such issues as history, religion, ethnicity, the importance of kinship, family and tribal relations, folk culture and printed media. Specific classes will address the position of women in the Middle East and the challenges the society and people in the region face today.