The Middle East is arguably one of the most newsworthy areas of the world. For the uninitiated, entrenched stereotypes and recurring sound-bites reduce the diversity of this vitally-important region to a simplistic “one-size-fits-all” monolith.
“Current Issues in the Middle East,” one of the longest-running and most popular courses in ILR’s 55+ program, is an ongoing series, designed to uncover the mystique that is associated with this region. Each week the latest news from the Middle East is presented and analyzed. The instructor, a recognized area specialist, will highlight current issues as they unfold, framing them in a historical context, identifying key players, exploring the tangled web of interrelationships, and analyzing their impact on regional dynamics and world order.
Among the issues under consideration for the 2019 fall term are escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, unprecedented turmoil within the Israeli government, the fall of ISIS and the so-called “caliphate,” the Trump administration’s Palestinian-Israeli “deal of the century,” the escalation of authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, and the future of Yemen. In every discussion the role of the United States in the Middle East, both historically and currently, will be considered.
Through lectures, selected readings, films, guest speakers, and group discussion, it is expected that after taking this course participants will be better equipped to understand and address, with a greater level of confidence, some of the most important issues of our time.