Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East
This course examines the diverse mosaic of the Middle East peoples and culture through the prism of various societies along the MESP journey. Jordan will provide the primary everyday context for this course, but recent semesters have also included life in Israel/Palestine and travel to Morocco, Turkey and Jordan. While the selection of travel locations depends upon safety conditions prevailing at the time of travel, the course nonetheless seeks to introduce students to patterns of thought and behavior that characterize the region generally without losing sight of important national and religious differences. The Middle East is a multiethnic, multiconfessional region and student travel allows them to observe and study a great variety of social, religious and political groups. In addition, students learn about pressing issues related to gender, conflict, economic development and cultural identity that currently animate the many religious and political communities they visit.