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Contemporary Middle East in Context

Educators in the U.S. and around the world attended "Contemporary Middle East in Context," a three-part webinar series exploring certain current issues with a focus on historical context. Each 90-minute session featured a different issue that demonstrated how understanding the past is essential for comprehending today’s Middle East. Attending teachers gained a deeper understanding of the region’s history and current events, as well as ideas about incorporating this understanding into classrooms.

This was a Title VI collaboration between two National Resource Centers dedicated to Middle East Studies: CMENAS at the University of Michigan and the Consortium at Duke University-The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

February 8: “Land and Water in the Holy Land: The Role of Natural Resources in Arab-Israeli Relations”

Dr. David Katz, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at University of Haifa 

An exploration of the role that natural resources, especially water, have played in the recent development of the Middle East, including how concern over access to resources formed the borders of the current states in the region, how they fueled conflict, inspired innovation, and how they are still playing a significant role in the region’s interstate relations.

March 15: “Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis and War in Context”

Dr. Dana Moss, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame

An overview of Yemen's rich culture, its ongoing war, and why it is home to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations. Watch the recording: "Yemen's  Humanitarian Crisis and War in Context"

April 5:” The Unwinnable War: The U.S. in Afghanistan”

Ms. Rozina Ali, Journalist and Fellow at Type Media Center

The U.S.'s 2001 invasion of Afghanistan led to its longest war, and cost $2.3 trillion. How did the Taliban, the enemy that the U.S. wanted to eradicate, end up taking power in Kabul? And what is the U.S. relationship with Afghanistan now? Watch the recording: "The Unwinnable War: The U.S. in Afghanistan