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In the spring semester of 2010 the Outreach Center put on a workshop looking at Hip Hop in the Middle East region and Africa, and this Online Resource is one of the culminations of that interdisciplinary academic inquiry. The workshop particularly focused on emergent global forms of Hip Hop culture that provide unique points of access into contemporary socio-cultural currents in the Middle East region. Some of the inspiration for this inquiry and initiative, which also comprised a Hip Hop performance on campus with Syrian-American artist Omar Offendum and a visit to a local High School by the Arabic Hip Hop Palestinian artists, DAM, is an appreciation for how contemporary art in general, and Hip Hop in particular, can generate unique learning opportunities about the Middle East region for students in America. There is a broad range of applications and uses of Hip Hop for secondary school courses including inquiries into contemporary issues and politics, youth culture and resistance narratives, race and gender politics, national [and trans-national] identity, globalization and media, literature and linguistics, and art and culture.

Produced by Judy Brodigan

This five-part lesson about Egypt is designed to help young students explore the similarities between themselves and the other humans who inhabit our planet.

High on the sands of the Sahara Desert stand the pyramids of Egypt, a visual reminder of a superior civilization that thrived along the Nile River beginning over 7000 years ago. This advanced civilization provided the world with a wealth of learning and inventions. The Middle East also gave birth to three major religions.

If we are to have world peace, we must learn to understand and accept one another. These lessons are designed to help young students explore the similarities between themselves and the other humans who inhabit our planet. It is my hope that this understanding will lead to increased tolerance.

This five part lesson about Egypt is designed for elementary level classrooms, and explores the following lessons:

Lesson One
Egypt: Where Is It and What Is It Like?

Lesson Two
Comparing Communities: How Long Have the Communities of Egypt and the United States Existed?

Lesson Three
Using Artifacts to Uncover Culture: What is This Item and What is its Purpose?

Lesson Four
Earning a Living: Farming and Tourism in Egypt

Lesson Five
Children in Egypt and the United States: What Do We Share?
Each lesson includes background information for the teacher, suggested activities, worksheets, audiovisuals, etc. A bibliography and resource list is enclosed.

Download files for this resource
Egypt: A Land of Firsts

This website has been launched by the governments of Oman and Singapore to cover the construction and voyage of a 9th-century Arab sailing ship.

A team of experts has built the Jewel of Muscat in a specially constructed shipyard on the beach in Qantab in Oman. They are using a range of historical sources, including archaeological findings from the ‘Belitung Wreck’, including the Tang Treasure, which was discovered in 1998 in Indonesia waters.

The ship has been constructed with the methods available to 9th-century Arab craftsmen. The planks have been sewn together using coconut fibre, and the square sails will be made of plaited palm leaves.

Once constructed, the ship set sail on an historic journey from Oman to Singapore.

In the summer of 2006, as the Iranian-backed Hezbollah fought off Israelis in Lebanon and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced down President George Bush at the United Nations, a bus full of Iranian pilgrims left Tehran on a journey to the holy city of Karbala, deep inside a shattered Iraq. “Pilgrimage To Karbala” follows this intense journey into the heartlands of Shia Islam, revealing how two ancient crimes — the murder of Muhammad’s grandson and the disappearance of a six-year-old imam became the founding legends of Shiism and increasingly dominate events and attitudes in the Middle East today.

In media representations of Muslim women in the Middle East, images of veils, exoticism and oppressive silence are often standard fare. However, if we explore individual experiences and perspectives, it becomes clear that Muslim women defy one-dimensional stereotypes and that no single image can adequately represent such a diverse population. By examining the lives and work of three Muslim activists living in the Middle East, we uncover stories that are rarely told in history books: stories that Muslim women tell, rather than the stories that are told about them. We see that instead of silently observing the world around them, these women use music, literature, and the Internet to affect social change both locally and internationally. The song, interview, and blog post featured in these activities challenge long-held stereotypes of Muslim women. These primary sources provide us with an inside look into the complex lives of Muslim women in the Middle East, and showcase their efforts to carve out spaces in which their unique voices can be heard.


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