The Arab Gateway : Calling itself “an open doorway to the Islamic world,” Al-Bab aims to introduce non-Arabs to Arabs and their culture. You can explore country guides, current issues, arts and culture articles, a reference section, and topics ranging from traditional Arab history to the importance of oil. Be sure to check out the music section!
PBS Global Connections: Middle East: Global Connections uses PBS material to supplement a rich collection of background articles, lesson plans, an interactive timeline, and other resources on the Middle East. Topics include religious militancy, roles of women, U.S. foreign policy, stereotypes, natural resources, nation-states, geography, science, culture, religion, politics and economics of the region. All materials are cross-indexed to help educators quickly find topics and materials that are most relevant for their classroom needs. PBS also has excellent lesson plans on the documentary Promises at the Point of View site.
Professor Alan Godlas’ Islam and Islamic Studies Resources: Vast website with annotated information for the study of Islam, with topics such as: Islamic texts (the Qur'an, hadiths, and Sunnah), Islamic history and philosophy, Shi'ism and heterodox movements, Sufism, Islamic art and music, and Arabic, as well as current topics like modern Islam, the role of women, and militant Islam.
Project Looksharp: A digital curriculum on Media Construction of the Middle East is available as a free download from Project Looksharp at Ithaca College. It is an extremely well-done unit, with slideshows and video clips to illustrate various points of view and persuasive techniques, teacher guides, and student handouts and worksheets (with answer keys). The four units are: Introducing the Middle East, the history of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, the War inIraq, and Militant Muslims and the US.
Saudi Aramco World: This magazine features articles on not only the Middle East, but on topics related to Muslim societies more broadly. There are excellent photos and classroom connections in every issue. The magazine is searchable online—all past articles are indexed and available free of charge (as are print subscriptions for teachers). An additional valuable feature is the digital image archive.
Where is the Middle East? Presentation: The Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations has created a presentation using maps to illustrate the lack of consensus among governments, international organizations, and scholars regarding how to define the Middle East or even whether to use that term.
Little Mosque on the Prairie: This Canadian sitcom features a Muslim community in a small Western town who hires a new, young imam from Toronto. Great way to introduce stereotypes, Islam, identity and assimilation in North American culture.
Aliens in America: Debuting last year on the CW, this comedy series features a Pakistani exchange student and his Wisconsin host family. Explores the impact of stereotypes and the power of friendship in overcoming them.
Esposito, John L. and Dalia Mogahed. Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. GallupPress, 2008.
This new book presents the results of the last 8 years of systematic polling of the Muslim world. Explores what issues drive Muslims’ opinions about the United States and its policies.
Halaby, Laila. West of the Jordan. Boston: Beacon Press, 2003.
This story is told from the interweaving perspectives of four cousins coming of age in Palestine, Jordan and America. It takes a sophisticated look at the problems of living between cultures, throwing light on both the Arab and American experiences.
Rifaat, Alifa. Distant View of a Minaret. Heinemann, 1987.
This collection of short stories presents various perspectives from inside Egyptian society on the lives, challenges and resilience of women.
Mahdi, Ali Akbar, ed. Teen life in the Middle East. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2003.
This book, which examines adolescence in 12 countries, has a high interest level for students. Topics include geographic, demographic, and historical facts; daily life; food; school; social life; recreation and entertainment; and religious practices and cultural ceremonies. Each chapter is written by a different set of authors, all of whom are teachers, journalists, or academics in the U.S., U.K., or Middle East.