Discussions

 
 









"In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful" Qur'an 1:1


Discussion 1, September 14, 2 pages

The Hatt-I-Seriff Decree Initiates the Tanzimat, p. 11-14
An Ottoman Government Degree Defines the Official Notion of a “Modern” citizen, p. 14-16
Jamal al Din Al-Afghani Answers Ernest Renan’s Criticism of Islam, p. 25-31
Treaty of Peace and Commerce, p. 36-40
The Concession for the Tobacco Monopoly in Iran, p. 43-45

1.    According to the first two documents, what aspects of the Ottoman Empire need reform or change in order for the nation to again be successful?

2.    Looking at the third document, what assumptions/accusations has Renan made against Islam?  How does Afghani counter these?

3.    In the last two documents, which parts of these treaties would be especially harmful to the economy of Iran?


Discussion 2, September 21, 2 pages


Rifa’a Tahtawi Reflects on Paris, p. 58-61
Qasin Amin Argues for the Emancipation of Women, 61-65
Teachers of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, p. 65-71
Bahithat al-Badiya Advocates Greater Educational and Economic Rights, p. 74-83

1.  By the end of the nineteenth century, both Europeans and Middle Easterners saw the other through the lens of stereotypes and prejudices.  What does Tahtawi see as the positives and negatives of Parisian society?  Are there any ways in which is own society has influenced these comments?

2.     By the late-19th century, people questioned not only Ottoman/Persian political and economic systems, but societal organization as well.  Examining the last three documents, what changes do these writers contend are needed for women?  Reading between the lines, what are some of the arguments against women’s rights? 

3.    Why do these authors believe that women are the linchpins to reform?


Discussion 3, September 28, In Class ONLY


Documents and Questions to be handed out


Discussion 4, October 5, 2 pages

Leo Pinsker Propses a Jewish Homeland, p. 89-97
Ahad Ha-Am’s “The Jewish State and the Jewish Problem”, 97-103
Newspaper article, to be handed out
The Husayn-McMahon Correspondence, p. 104-107
The Balfour Declaration, p. 107-112
Division of the Ottoman Empire, p. 112-118

1.    Why does Pinsker argue that a Jewish homeland is needed?

2.    What Does Ha-Am argue about a Jewish state?  How is this problem reflected in the newspaper article?

3.    The last three documents are still contentious.  Outline what was promised to the Arabs, what was promised to the Jews, and what the British and French wanted.


Discussion 5, October 21, In Class ONLY

The Zionist Organization's Memorandum to the Peace Conference, p. 150-58
The Resolution of the General Syrian Congress at Damascus, p. 158-60
The American King-Crane Commission, p. 160-67
British White Paper of 1922 (to be handed out)
British White Paper of 1939 (to be handed out)
The Arab Case for Palestine, p. 179-88*
President Harry Truman's Statement, p. 190-93

1.  What do the British say they promised to the Arabs and the Jews?

2.  What are the arguments presented by the Jews and Arabs for a state as found in these documents?

3.  Why does Truman support the idea of a Jewish state?


Discussion 6, October 28, 2-3 pages

Egyptian President Gamal Adbel Nasser Resigns from Office, p. 220-224
Sadiq al-'Azm Critiques the Arab State, p. 225-228
Egyptian Writer Sayyis Qutb Articulates A New Vision of Jihad, p. 269-278
Iranian Ali Shari'ati Examines Man, p. 278-286

1.  What reasons are given as to why the Middle Eastern countries (besides Israel) have not been more successful?

2.  Which ideas are similar and different to those examined in Discussions 1 and 2?

Discussion 7, November 4, 2-3 pages

Asadollah Alam's Diary, p. 200-208
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini Denounces the Shah, p. 229-232
Lebanese Civil War, p. 232-41
US Diplomat's Assessment of the revolution in Iran, p. 241-245
Report on Arab Israelis, p, 254-259
Articles to be handed out

1.  Looking at the documents about Iran, what do these reveal about Iranian-US relations?

2.  Why were people upset with the Shah's government?

3.  What ideas are presented by the two sides in the Lebanese Civil War?

4.  What are the complications of nationalism in Israel?


Discussion 8, November 11, 2-3 pages


Usama bin Laden Calls on Muslims to Take Up Arms, p. 293-300
Reflections on the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11, 300-306
George Bush Speaks about Freedom, etc, p. 348-356
Saad Eddin Irahim Believes Islam can Vote, p. 368-372
Sectarian Conflict, Who's to Blame, p. 372-376
Election of Obama, p. 376-380

1.  What accusations does bin Laden make against the US?

2.  What are the explanations for 9/11 contained in the two articles?

3.  What were some of the arguments for and against the Iraqi war?

4.  What arguments does Saad Ibrahim present for the rise of political Islam and how can it be countered?

5. What are some of the reasons for sectarian violence in Iraq

6.  Why did some people in the Middle East view the election of Obama as a positive development? 













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