For your convenience, compiled here and organized by category, are digital aids found across the website.


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Primary Source Documents

The Middle East 1916-2001: A Documentary Record: Documents in law, history and diplomacy from the Yale University Avalon Project.

Oslo Accords and Related Agreements

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, the sets use letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide.

The African and Middle East Reading Room 
The African and Middle East Reading Room is part of the African and Middle Eastern Division area studies program of the Library of Congress with African, Hebraic, and Near East sections. Primary sources and easy access make this collection a genuine treasure trove of information. A current resource contains a collection of websites covering the 2011-12 Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. In the Near East section alone, more than 35 languages are found are represented from Arabic to, Persian, Turkish, Central Asian (non-Cyrillic only), Armenian, and Georgian.

Ottoman Era

Constantinople Protocol of 1913Created the Iran-Iraq border.

World War I and Aftermath: Partition of the Arab World and Creation of a Jewish State

Paris Peace Conference (Versailles Peace Conference): set the terms for peace post-WWI

Treaty of VersaillesPeace treaty that ended WWI

Balfour Declaration: Allocation of a dedicated Jewish state

Sykes-PicotPartition of Arab world into mandates

Fourteen Points (Woodrow Wilson): Wilson’s principles for world peace. 

King-Crane Commissioninvestigated how Palestinians and Syrians felt about the settlement of their land post WWI

Treaty of SevresPost-WWI treaty between the Allied powers and Ottoman Turkey; abolished the Ottoman Empire.

Husayn-McMahon CorrespondenceSeries of letters exchanged between the British and Saudis which outlined the trading of British support for an independent Arab state for Arab support in defeating the Ottomans during WWI.

Balfour Declaration: Allocation of a dedicated Jewish state (1922)

1939 White Paper: Acted as the governing policy for Mandatory Palestine between 1939 and 1945. The paper called for the establishment of a Jewish national home in an independent Palestinian state within 10 years, rejecting the idea of the creation of a Jewish state and the idea of partitioning Palestine. It also limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 for 5 years, and ruled that further immigration was to be determined by the Arab majority (section II).

San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate [for Palestine] under the League of Nations to Britain

World War II

Other 20th Century

Algiers Agreement of 1975: A set of agreements between the United States and Iran to resolve the Iran hostage crisis

21st Century

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal): Nuclear framework between Iran and P5+1 that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon in exchange for removal of sanctions.

Kyoto Protocol: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

R2P (Responsibility to Protect)

JASTABill allowing families of victims of 9/11 to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. Overturns centuries of precedent of sovereignty.

Websites by Theme

ArchNet is an online community focused on the architecture of the Islamic world. You will have free access to thousands of photographs of monuments and art objects from across the Islamic world.

Art of the Islamic World: The Taj Mahal, a silk carpet, a Qur‘an; all of these are examples of Islamic art. But what exactly is Islamic art and architecture? Provided by the Khan Academy.

Art of the Islamic World: A Resource for Educators includes essays, images, lesson plans,  and podcasts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Arts of the Islamic World: A Teacher’s Guide
Designed by the Education Department of the Smithsonian Institute’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, this unit highlights three categories of art: the book, mosque, and portable object.

Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, curated by, covers art created in the Middle East since roughly 1980; given the region’s incredible diversity and breadth, spanning from the eastern Mediterranean to Pakistan, the category is necessarily general. Organized by artist, comprehensive.

Discover Islamic Art
The online Museum with No Frontiers is a collaboration between many museums and offers 18 virtual exhibitions on a variety of dynasties and topics, ranging from the Umayyads and the Normans in Sicily to women, water and the role of gardens and flowers in Islamic art. It has exquisite photos of Islamic architecture and artifacts from the Mediterranean world and engaging online activities for students.

Islamic Art and Culture (A Resource for Teachers): National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Middle East Garden Traditions
A product of rigorous, collaborative work that was undertaken from 2004 to 2007 by an international roster of scholars of “Islamic” garden traditions from the eighth century to the present, this web-based research tool offers selected catalogues, glossaries, and bibliographies on Umayyad, Abbasid, Andalusian, Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid gardens. These garden and landscape historians have culled invaluable inventories from temporally and regionally diverse primary source materials, which they believed would be indispensable to researchers in the early stages of their academic inquiries or course design.

Montada Project
Funded by the European Union, this website provides fun games for kids to learn about the intricacies of North African mosaics and architecture.  So far, the website is only in Catalan, French and Spanish, but Google Translate does offer the option to convert the text into the English language.

Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art and Voices
An online exhibition from the International Museum of Women featuring visual arts, stories, and short films from contemporary Muslim women around the globe. Browse the exhibit by world region and by topics such as power, faith, and stereotypes.

Collectives/Art Spaces

ArtTalks | Egypt is a Cairo-based art space dedicated to showcasing and promoting Egyptian modern and contemporary art. Founded in 2009, the gallery has rigidly selected a roster of emerging artists to work exclusively with and has established itself as an authority on high quality secondary market works by twentieth century masters.

Athr is a contemporary art project space and gallery in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, which since 2009 has enabled artistic dialogue between contemporary artists across the world.

Barjeel Art Foundation is an independent, United Arab Emirates-based initiative established to manage, preserve and exhibit the personal art collection of Sultan Sooud Al Qassem. Contemporary Arab artists are a priority of the foundation.

Edge of Arabia was founded by a small collective of artists who met in the mountains of Aseer, Saudi Arabia, in 2003. What began as a border-crossing collaboration, against the backdrop of the last Gulf War, is now an established platform for artistic exchange, grown bold through the realization of international projects and the grassroots support for its mission.

The Fondation Behnam Bakhtiar has been created to support Iranian contemporary art and culture, facilitating its advancement on a global scale. It is a true example of social responsibility and commitment, contributing to the development of creativity for Iranian artists of all communities.

Sharjah Art Foundation brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programs to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region.

11 Overlay Maps That Will Change The Way You See The World

PBS Global Connections – Geography: PBS resource on Geography and the Middle East. Provides an overview on geography-related subjects in the Middle East along with great background essays designed for use in the classroom.  Also includes a list of resources for classroom use.

National Geographic – Geography Awareness Week: Contains resources for students and teachers in recognition of Geography Awareness Week, November 15-21, 2015.

Environmental Issues in the Middle East

Geography of the Middle East

40 Maps that Explain the Middle East

National Geographic – Map Machine

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

World Atlas Travel:

5 Middle East Maps/Infographics


Access Islam

The African and Middle East Reading Room
Webpage managed by the Library of Congress featuring the prominent works of literature from the MENA region.

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!

Asia Society
The Asia Society has resources on the South Asian countries that are included in the Near East – Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran – as well as an overview of conflicts, religions, trade, and cultures. Good lesson plans, found under the Education & Learning then Resources for Schools section, include units on the Silk Road, Indian Ocean, geometry and Islamic art, and Persian painting.

CIA World Factbook
This is an indispensible and up-to-date resource giving political, demographic, and other information on every country. Note that information, especially on ethnicity, may vary between country profiles, so that one country considers its population “Arab”, another “Bedouin,” another “Emirati,” etc.

Department of State – Bureau of Near East Affairs
Current events on the State Department interactions with the Middle East North Africa region.

Explore the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf
National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Muslim Journeys” webpage with sections on history, religion and literature.

Global Voices

Middle East Complexities: Culture and Conflict
Resource website including country profiles, news, and resources for teachers.

Middle Eastern American Resources Online
This site offers teaching resources on Middle Eastern-Americans including:

  • Teaching modules designed to incorporate the Middle Eastern American experience into the coverage of U.S. History and Geography, Government, and English Language Arts in junior and senior high schools.
  • Video modules illustrate Middle Eastern Americans at work, talking about their identity, celebrating their heritage in public, and telling stories about their pioneering grandparents.

A particularly interesting curriculum module for high school English-Language Arts instruction, Voices from the Heartland: Young Yemeni Americans Speak, uses interviews and oral histories to look at one community’s history and cultural practices.

PBS Global Connections – Middle East: Though no longer producing new content, 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 extremism, roles of women, U.S. foreign policy, stereotypes, natural resources, nation-states, geography, science, culture, faith, and the politics and economy 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.

Saudi Aramco World
This magazine features articles on not only the Middle East, but 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.

Turkish Cultural Foundation
This website offers portals into the culture, cuisine and music of Turkey. Each portal offers great images, slideshows and essays.

WebChron – The Web Chronology Project
This web page features a spectacular array of hyperlinked chronologies for the whole world. There are particularly includes a chronology of Islam and of other religions, of the Middle East and Southwest Asia, of technology, art, music, literature and speculative thought.

Best of History Websites
With links to over 1000 sites that have lesson plans, activities, games, quizzes and solid information, Best of History is a rich resource of tools and information. This is a project of the Center for Teaching History with Technology.

Bridging World History
This is a free Annenberg Media set of videos, activities, lesson plans and more related to North Africa and Southwest Asia, specifically exploring Egypt and Israel. The content is appealing to students and features a World History Traveler section with activities. Explore the website; the Social Sciences discipline section has useful resources.

Children and Youth in History 
Developed by George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Children and Youth in History is a free website with four key features:

  • A Primary Source Database with 350 resources along with guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources;
  • 60 Website Reviews that focus on valuable online resources for studying and teaching the history of childhood and youth in world history;
  • 11 Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources drawn from the Primary Source Database; and
  • 25 Teaching Case Studies by experienced scholars and teachers that model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth

Ibn Battuta’s Hajj: Experience in Maps and Timelines
Ibn Battuta was one of history’s greatest travelers, journeying through much of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. What most people don’t know is that his journeys began as the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Explore his journey through an interactive map and timeline.

Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean
This site provides a world history curriculum about the Mediterranean region. Modules include Becoming Global and Staying Local: The Mediterranean from 300-1500 CE and Mediterranean Transformations in a Changing Global Context, 1450-1800.

Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center Indian Ocean History
This site provides an interactive tour through the history of the Indian Ocean trade routes.  (The many lessons which go with it cover world history, economics, geography, and literature standards.

PBS Global Connections – Foreign Policy: PBS resources provides background information, and videos covering the role and effects of U.S. foreign policies and actions in the Middle East.

United States Department of State – Bureau of Near East Affairs
An up-to-date resource providing information on current events and regional topics, as well as the Middle East Digest, a collection of excerpts from the U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefings that are related to U.S. foreign policy interests in the Middle East.

Access Islam: Funded by the U.S .Dept. of Education, this site gives students and teachers access to Internet-based videos, lesson plans, a glossary of important terms, timelines, and associated materials aimed at educating grades 4-8 about Islam.

Being Muslim in America: Published by the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), Being Muslim in America offers profiles of American Muslims who have contributed to the mosaic of everyday life in the United States. In English and Arabic.

Council on Islamic Education: This research institute is comprised of Muslim scholars and professionals aiming to strengthen American public education through detailed lesson plans, online forums and publications.

Explore the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf
Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a carefully curated collection of resources recommended and reviewed by distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, and world literature, as well as interdisciplinary fields such as Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies. Six public libraries hosted focus groups to review many of the titles, and all titles were reviewed by librarians and other humanities practitioners with extensive programming experience.

ING (Islamic Networks Group): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Muslims
These 104 questions are explored from the perspective of the American Sunni population. Islam, like all religions, does not live or speak apart from the people who practice it. There is therefore no monolithic Islam, since, like any other religion, Islam exists only as it is understood and practiced by its adherents. The answers to these questions might differ depending upon specific region or sub-groups. ING has other useful resources on multi-faith issues.

Islamicity: The Islamicity site provides a wealth of information about Islam and also has a quiz about Islam. Be sure to check out their variety of Quran recitations in Arabic, along with some oral renditions of Quran interpretations in different languages.

Muslim Heritage: Discover the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization
This repository of information and historical data on the role of the Muslim world’s contribution to science, technology and world civilization uses visually engaging multi-media and is cross-disciplinary.

Muslims for American Progress: An Impact Report of Muslim Contributions to Michigan
The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding has released a case study report that shows the kind of impact being made by Muslims throughout the United States. This initial report combines hard facts with human faces to show the how engaged Muslims are in their communities. The results are staggering and example a collective strength that truly makes America great. Did you know that almost 40,000 jobs are indirectly supported by Muslim physicians? What about the fact that the average Michigan Muslim household spent 18 percent more on charity in 2015 than the average household nationally? The data can be used to combat stereotypes about Muslim Americans.

Frontline examines Islam’s worldwide resurgence through the stories of diverse Muslims defining the role of Islam in their lives and societies. Includes FAQs and a Teacher’s Guide.

PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
Grade-level specific lesson plans introduce K-12 students to today’s most important religious and moral issues. Using stories and online video, they address a broad range of current events from bioethics and the role of faith in politics to Islam and terrorism.

The Shared Visions project highlights excerpts from different faith communities’ holy texts, showing how the world’s religions share many core values. The classic shared vision, the Golden Rule, is available as a downloadable PDF in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew and Spanish.

Teaching Tolerance: Taking a Closer Look at Religions Around the World
Dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving inter-group relations and supporting equitable school experiences, Teaching Tolerance offers lesson plans such as the one linked above – a starting point for exploring religions and faith traditions and creating an ongoing respectful dialogue about religious tolerance.

Together Muslim Voices – The New York Council for the Humanities’ Muslim Voices program is a set of book lists and public programming designed for children and teens, which pair books featuring Muslim protagonists with humanities themes such as courage, community, faith and freedom. Muslim Voices aims to create a space for children and teens—both Muslim and non-Muslim—to recognize the common bonds that unite us all and learn about various Muslim cultures and traditions throughout the world.

What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers [PDF]
Created by the Interfaith Alliance Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center

1001 Inventions: This global educational initiative that features more than sixty interactive exhibits to promote the awareness of scientific and cultural achievements of Muslim civilization, and how those contributions helped build the foundations of our modern world.

Science and Technology in Medieval Islam

Science in the Middle East

Website - Educator Tools

Abd el-Kader Project: A unique education project to encourage students to read and reflect on the life of Emir Abd el- Kader, the subject of an acclaimed new biography by John W. Kiser, Commander of the Faithful. Known today as the Algerian George Washington, this famous 19th century warrior-saint was honored at the peak of his fame by President Abraham Lincoln, Pope Pius IX, Queen Victoria and countless Muslims for his courage in defending Christian lives in the name of Islamic law and human rights.

Model Arab League Leadership Development Program
This diplomatic simulation program allows students to take a walk in the shoes of Arab world leaders in order to attempt to resolve some of the region’s most pressing issues. Conferences are available for high school and university students across the country and both individual and teams can participate.

The Arab Review is an independent online journal exploring the contemporary Middle East through the culture and art of its people. So much of the coverage of the Arab world is shaped by current affairs and political controversy, often sensationalized by western media outlets.

Arab Women Writers is a digital bibliography initiative developed by Boston University Libraries. This is a great resource providing access to works by lesser-known authors from the Arab world. Women writers whose works have been translated into English are included in the bibliography. The writings span the subjects of nationalism, resistance to misogyny, celebration of women’s achievements, religion, and affirmation of women’s empowerment in times of war and peace. The styles vary from the real to the surreal. Translations into English began mainly in the latter part of the twentieth century. Some writers mentioned here have stories and novels written in Arabic and/or French that may one day be translated into English. Some women writers from the Maghreb area of Africa are included. Many novelists have short stories that have not been included.

Cobblestone Press: The publisher of engaging periodicals including FACES, Appleseeds, Cobblestone and Calliope aimed at elementary and middle school audiences. You can search back issues for topics such as Afghanistan, Islam, oil, Ibn Battuta, the Silk Road, and others. There is also a teaching guide for Islam under the “Theme Packs” section.

The Muslim American Experience Bibliography has been developed by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding to promote access to greater understanding and awareness.  The books listed address Muslims or Islam in the United States between 1966–2016, and are organized categorically (anthropology, biography, health, history, law, political science, reference, and sociology). Very comprehensive!

40 Maps that Explain the Middle East
Maps can be a powerful tool for understanding the world, particularly the Middle East, a place in many ways shaped by changing political borders and demographics. Here are 40 maps crucial for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today.

National Geographic – Map Machine:  Create interactive maps online to highlight any area you choose.

The Qantara project, which is part of the Euromed Heritage program, is an excellent resource for the history, culture, geography, and art of the Mediterranean nations. An exciting infographic looking at themes, histories, and materials related to the Mediterranean countries can be found on the homepage, though it is in French! The astrolabe video is one standout item.

The Tangled Web in the Fight for Syria’s Future – Infographic

UT Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
The University of Texas at Austin map collection contains maps of the Middle East from various time periods.

World Atlas Travel: This resource has a map and summary of the major landforms in the Middle East.

The Art Institute of Chicago Teacher Resources

Khalili Collection
The Khalili Collection has a variety of Islamic art, from miniatures and tapestries to ceramics and fine examples of calligraphy. The eight collections comprise 35,000 pieces and are available for loan to institutions. The private collection is expansive:  Islamic art (700–2000); Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage (700–2000); Aramaic documents (353–324 bc); Japanese Art of the Meiji period (1868–1912); Japanese Kimono (1700–2000); Swedish Textiles (1700–1900); Spanish Damascene Metalwork (1850–1900) and Enamels of the World (1700–2000). The website offers profiles of the 8 collections and has an impressive variety of videos about the specific items.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
This site provides a lengthy chronological survey of Islamic history and art through its collections. Its digital collection of Contemporary Art of the Middle East sheds light on modern social issues throughout the region.

The Louvre
The Arts of Islam section has excellent information about Islamic art from both ancient and modern times.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Online
The Timeline of Art History on the MMoA website is an excellent resource for Near Eastern art.

Newseum – This site allows students to search newspaper and archives from around the world. They print the front page of 800 newspapers daily. It is a great resource for research and place to go to get multiple perspectives on issues.

Smithsonian slideshows and presentations:
Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade
The Adventures of Hamza
Caliphs & Kings: Art and Influence of Islamic Spain
Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones): A Royal Persian Manuscript by Jami
Iraq and China: Ceramics, Trade, and Innovation
Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey

Smithsonian: The Freer Gallery
This Smithsonian Museum’s website features online versions of past exhibitions of ancient Near East and Islamic artwork the stories behind them.

The Victoria & Albert Museum
Touted as the “world’s greatest museum of art & design”, the V&A Museum, located in London, has a well-developed engaging resource for teachers, Voyage Through the Islamic Middle East, with creative projects, interactive lessons and learning objectives centered on Islamic art.

Cairo: Living Past, Living Future: An online curriculum unit from the University of Texas Middle East Outreach Center.

The Brown University Watson Institute for International Studies is developing project-based teaching units for high school classes, many of which are free for teachers to use. There is a focus on teaching with the news, allowing students to think critically about current events and the media. Check out their recent material on ISIS, Iran and the Nuclear Issue, and the U.S. Role in a Changing World.  

Edsitement: This collection of excellent lesson plans has a number of excellent resources on the Middle East. Try searching for Middle East and for Islam. You’ll find, for example, a guide to reading Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and a mapping activity for elementary students called “On the Road with Marco Polo: From Venice to Hormuz,” among many others.

EdSitement – National Endowment for the Humanities
Specific EdSitement features like Teaching the Middle East have been mentioned elsewhere, but their general site deserves a looks for its huge variety of lessons and resources on all sorts of history, culture and language. The strongest Middle Eastern resources are those on the ancient world.

Education World
The mission of this website is to connect educators to what works, offering PD materials, lesson plans, and lists of resources that give accurate information about a multitude of subjects. Type “Islam” in the subject into the search box to access tools for teaching about the religion in your classroom.

Educators for Social Responsibility Online Teacher Center: ESR provides teaching resources and lessons about conflict resolution, peacemaking, stereotyping and social responsibility.

The First Amendment Center (Newseum Institute)
The First Amendment Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms by clarifying and educating the public on this subject. The Center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of issues relating to freedoms of expression, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press and religion, the right to assemble and to petition the government. Through its Religious Freedom Programs, the Center helps schools and communities throughout the nation address issues concerning religion and values in public education.
What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers
Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools
Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Schools [2007]
Teaching About Religion in American Life: A First Amendment Guide
Living With Our Deepest Differences: School Curriculum
A Discussion Guide to First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America [2011]
Learning about World Religions in Public Schools: The impact on student attitudes and community acceptance in Modesto, Calif. [2006]

Interfaith Explorers
The Maimonides Interfaith Foundation has produced is a free online learning resource, supported by UNESCO, which helps pupils understand the world around them as well as respect cultural and religious diversity. It adheres to UK standards but has some great digital resources.

Islamic Art and Culture (A Resource for Teachers): National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Media Construction of the Middle East: A Digital Media Literacy Curriculum
The Ithaca College School of Humanities and Science created Project Look Sharp. The site provides useful lessons with visuals and the use of primary sources which high school/college students analyze to understand the role of the media in interpreting Middle East issues. Log-in is required but content is free; the issues covered are stereotypes, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the 2003 Iraq war, and Muslim “Militants.” More recent events are not covered.

National Geographic – Educational Resources
The site offers a vast site encompassing all geographic areas of the globe, including the Middle East and North Africa. National Geographic supports geography education through high-quality lesson plans, daily blogs, professional development opportunities, current maps and map outlines, a teacher store and much more.

PBS Global Connections – Lesson Plans: K-12 lesson plans include three lessons that treat the role and effects of U.S. foreign policies and actions in the Middle East. Lesson plans cover issues relating to Middle Eastern nation-states, U.S. foreign policy, roles of women, stereotypes, and natural resources.

Religious Freedom Center (Newseum Institute)
The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment. Find some of their publications listed under the First Amendment Center above. 

Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to 9-12 U.S. Curriculum about the Middle East and North Africa
Developed in 2014 with support from the British Council and the Social Science Research Council, this curriculum resource contains a full downloadable curriculum with themes on Women & Gender, Plural Identities, Empire & Nation, Political & Social Movements, and Arts & Technology.

Smithsonian Freer Sackler Gallery Arts of the Islamic World: A Teacher’s Guide (PDF)

Teaching the Middle East: A New Online Resource for Teachers
Edsitement, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings you a variety of practical curricular materials. Within one well-designed, user-friendly interface, Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators presents scholarly perspectives, downloadable imagery, related links from across the Internet, textual resources, as well as selections from the Oriental Institute Museum’s own collection of Middle Eastern art and artifacts in a clear and logical online format. Because typical World History teachers are generalists, Teaching the Middle East allows a teacher to “brush up” very quickly using scholarship from an institution that leads in the field of Middle Eastern studies. Moreover, from a “use in the classroom” perspective, a teacher can assign students to use the website or make copies of any of the individual “essays” as readings for a thoughtful classroom reading-discussion format.  5 themes contain a total of 14 teaching modules. The five themes are Writing and Literature, Rulership and Justice, The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender, Empires to Nation States, and The Middle East as Seen Through Foreign Eyes.

Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators
Nine learning modules developed by scholars at the University of Chicago in partnership with high school educators. Each module has scholarly essays, lesson plans, and links to related resources.

Teach UNICEF provides educators with global learning resources and programs. Through a focus on global citizenship and child rights, TeachUNICEF engages students in an exploration of humanitarian issues and inspires them to take action to improve their world.

World Savvy MonitorProvides lesson plans, activities, readings, discussion questions for deepening content knowledge of world issues and giving middle and high school students a global education.

Georgetown University: Georgetown’s Community Resource Service (CRS) is an educational outreach program for K-12 teachers and educators in the District of Columbia and its suburbs. The program seeks to break stereotypes and give a more realistic view of Arabs and Muslims. Its website offers curriculum aids and background modules to assist teachers.  The CRS also offers access to a lending library, workshops, consultations and informational emails.

Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Though the CMES Outreach Center was discontinued in 2014, several valuable resources have been archived and made available for teachers. Organized under the headings, Teaching about Religion, History, and Culture; Teaching Geography and Government; Technology Tips for Educators; Visual Culture and Pop Culture; content is as varied as Hip Hop and Education in the Middle East to Teaching about the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nowroz, the Iranian New Year.

Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC)
Established in 1981, the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) is a national nonprofit organization working to increase public knowledge about the peoples places, and cultures of the Middle East, including the Arab world, Israel, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. MEOC’s target audience is non-specialists at the K-12 and college levels, although its services are also relevant to broader community needs. MEOC operates an active list-serve for educators and also awards exemplary works in children’s and youth literature on the Middle East and Islam.

National Resource Centers for Foreign Language, Area & International Studies
Funded by the US Department of Education, through Title VI, this is a database of university-based Arab, Near East, Middle East & North Africa area studies centers at institutions across the United States. Many of these resource centers provide outreach programming for K-14 students and educators, as well as for the local community. Curriculum modules and age appropriate material. Some outreach centers may engage in topical presentations upon request.

The University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies: The outreach website provides several interactive education sites and many curriculum units, covering conflict, Arab culture, women in the Arab world, religion, and art. Michigan also has some excellent simulations, including ones on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Earth Odysseys.

The University of Texas Austin Center for Middle Eastern Studies: The University of Texas’ Center for Middle Eastern Studies produces interactive web units designed for students and educators that allow you to explore such interesting topics as the historical importance of Cairo, Turkish Jews, and Cyprus.

The University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies discusses common misconceptions and stereotypes of the Middle East, its people, geography, and religions in an easy-to-navigate flyer. This is suitable for students as well as teachers who may be less familiar with the region.

The Backlash Against Teaching About Islam
It’s been a rough year for some social studies teachers who teach lessons about Islam—and the administrators who support them. Kimberly Keiserman, Education Program Associate, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, examines why this is happening now and provides resources on best practices for teaching about Islam and other world religions. (Subscription required.)

Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination Against Muslims [PDF] The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe produced this resource for addressing Islamophobia through education. The document includes some great links for further information and support.

How Social Bias Can Transfer From One Generation To The Next
From an early age, children are sensitive to social cues from adults, peers, media and their surrounding environment. A closer look at adults’ nonverbal signals — including their tone of voice, facial expression and body language — found that children can “catch bias” simply by observing adult actions.

How to Help Diverse Students Find Common Ground 
Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu identifies principles that promote a truly inclusive university. These guidelines can be adapted for any age or grade level.

Inside the Writers’ Room: Teaching Controversial Issues (SoundCloud)
An audio conversation with Choices Program writer, Mackenzie Abernethy and Moses Brown School teachers, Graham Holland and Jonathan Gold, about how to approach teaching controversial issues in the classroom.

Uncomfortable Conversations: Tools to Teach Current Events and Controversial Issues
It is no mystery to teachers that learning continues outside of the classroom. Differing opinions arise naturally at home and among community members. For students learning to navigate controversial topics of discussion, teachers act as an important resource and guide. 


Teaching with the News: The Iraqi Refugee Crisis
From The CHOICES Program at Brown University. Includes video resources and a student handout.

Middle East Complexities: Culture and Conflict
This resource guide, created by a librarian at St. Louis Community College, provides resources to help understand and analyze the often conflicting cultural, religious, political, and historical forces at work in the Middle East. There is a special focus on the history and recent events of Syria, and the conflict caused by the Islamic State.


The Map That Shows How Complicated Syria’s Front Lines Are
Syria’s conflict gets even more complicated when you put three armies and an enemy force within hand-grenade range of each other.

Teaching with the News: The Conflict in Syria
From The CHOICES Program at Brown University. Includes links to news articles and classroom handouts.

Teaching in Times of Crisis from Vanderbilt University considers different ways to process traumatic events with students in the classroom.

PBS Cheat Sheet to the Conflict in Syria

Audio and Visual Resources

Global Voices: Global Voices is an online resource that brings together a variety of these voices, showcasing blogs from throughout the region. You can follow the struggles of musicians in Bahrain, the life of Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian blogger who is currently in jail facing the death penalty and Samar, a Saudi Arabian girl who has been imprisoned for disobeying her father. Rather than having just one blog on a subject, they compile several blogs and comments to provide a more informed view of an event, for example on the blog about Samar, there are comments that push for her freedom, while other people have made posts that are skeptical of her and her story. These blogs are not all political; they also address social and economic concerns.

Suzee in the City: Art on the Streets of Cairo: Soraya Morayef is a journalist and writer based in Cairo who maintains a blog where she posts images of street art, with captions and analysis

Blog Baladi (meaning “my country”) is based in Lebanon and is a fun news and lifestyle e-zine that also includes commentary and opinion pieces by author, Najib. The blogwaladi (waladi means “my son”) section is all about his young son, Brian, demonstrating that parents endure the same tribulations wherever they live.

Since 2008, Afrah Nasser has been telling the untold stories about Yemen. She has been a political refugee in Sweden since May 2011 after receiving death threats for her anti-regime writings during Yemen’s 2011 uprising.

Mahmood’s Den is “an Arab man’s attempt at bridging the cultural gap and trying to make a difference. Failing a lot. Succeeding once in a while.” Based in Bahrain, Mahmood has a detailed list of other blogs in the country.

Saudiwoman’s Weblog is maintained by Eman Al Nafjan, a mother of three and assistant professor of linguistics at a university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A Tunisian Girl is a blog is written in French, Arabic, and English by a prisoner rights, women’s rights, and human rights activist.

Hummus For Thought is written by Joey Ayoub who says this about himself: Originally from some village somewhere in Mount Lebanon, I am currently living in London for my studies. I have been a freelance writer for most of my adult life which, admittedly, isn’t that long. He has been the MENA editor for Global Voices since August 2016.

The Black Iris began as a blog back in 2005 and today is an English-language “blogazine” addressing Jordanian issues, ranging from the social to the political, and cultural. The Black Iris seeks to chronicle the ups and downs of the nation’s evolution, and shine a spotlight on the stories that slip through the cracks.

Live from Gaza: Reflections on Motherhood, Motherland and Poetry

Maya’s Amalgam is a webcomic blog created by Maya Zankoul, a Lebanese author, visual artist, blogger and television personality.

Sharqawiyah fi’l gharb translates to “an Easterner in the West” and is written by Samia Errazzouki, a Moroccan-American writer based in Washington, DC. Her blog focuses on political economy and reform in Morocco.

Nawaat is an independent,  award-winning collective blog created in April 2004; blocked in Tunisia until 13 January 2011. In English, French, and Arabic. The goal of Nawaat’s founders was to provide a public platform for Tunisian dissident voices and debates. Nawaat aggregates articles, visual media, and other data from a variety of sources to provide a forum for citizen journalists to express their opinions on current events. is the fastest growing site in Lebanon and offers engaging Lebanese content. The aim of the The961 is to promote and show the positive side of Lebanon.

 972Mag is a blog-based web magazine that is jointly owned by a group of journalists, bloggers and photographers whose goal is to provide fresh, original, on-the-ground reporting and analysis of events in Israel and Palestine. +972 is the country code for Israel. The collective focuses on human rights and freedom of information, and is against the occupation.

MadaMasr is an Egypt-based media organization interested in producing intelligent and engaging journalism, and more generally in re-examining the role of media in relation to its public. Mada is the Arabic word for span or scope, which is the field of coverage we want to construct and reconstruct. It is also an old word for the groove holding the stone of a gem in its setting a symbol of the act of taking a position. Masr is the Arabic word for Egypt. (English and Arabic)

OasisMag is a blog-style site featuring events, art, culture, profiles, fashion, travel and more from the Middle East and Arab world. Learn more about the contemporary arts scenes across the region.

Your Middle East is an independent and alternative grassroots news and information source that uses its media platform, events and educational initiatives to connect people within and outside the region and put a spotlight on key issues shaping its future.

10 Years After the Lebanon War: The Photos That Moved Them Most
Time Magazine speaks with 18 photographers who reflect on their time covering the 2006 Lebanon-Israel War.

Mideast Images – Lessons from the Past for the Future
An online archive of images from the Middle East concerning topics of religion, people, design and architecture, and historic events, this site also includes a showcase of ancient cities – Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Palmyra, parts of which were recently destroyed (August-September 2015) by the Islamic State. Given the erosion of cultural heritage in the region, this website is especially valuable right now.

Muslims for American Progress is a research and educational project developed by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The goal of the project is to reconcile the reality that the American media portrayal of Muslims in America is predominantly negative but very few Americans actually know a Muslim. Photo narratives profile the experiences and reflections of Muslims in the state of Michigan representing such areas as civics and democracy, economic development, medicine, sports, arts and entertainment, and STEM. The images and interviews shed light on the value and contributions Muslim Americans have added to society.

Saudi Aramco World
This magazine features articles on not only the Middle East, but 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.

The University of Chicago Middle East Library Archive
The Middle East Department of the University of Chicago Library maintains an archive of early photographs of the Middle East, which have been scanned and made available online. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the spread of the art of photography and the influx of Europeans into the lands of the Middle East conjoined in the creation of a large number of photographs produced by professional photographers. Enjoy this glimpse of the past which features images of iconic sites as well as daily life in the region.

10 Good Video Sources for Social Studies Teachers and Students  – primarily history

TED Talk: A Thousand Times Nograffiti project in Egypt. Art historian Bahia Shehab has long been fascinated with the Arabic script for ‘no.’ When revolution swept through Egypt in 2011, she began spraying the image in the streets saying no to dictators, no to military rule and no to violence.

Al Jazeera Shorts: short videos that help explain the Arab world

Arab American Stories is an Emmy Award-winning 13-part series presented by Detroit Public Television that explores the diversity of the Arab-American experience. Each half hour features three short, character-driven documentaries produced by a variety of independent filmmakers which profile Arab Americans making an impact in their community, their profession, their family or the world at large. The series features people of all walks of life whose stories illustrate the Arab-American experience: artists, scientists, musicians, chefs, actors, businessman, cops, teachers. In addition to the vivid shared experiences, the website offers a history of Arab Americans, an outline of the community demographics and home countries, a list of additional resources and a special section For Educators.

Divorce in Lebanon is an Al Jazeera documentary that profiles five women who struggled with the country’s complex systems of divorce. The diminutive country, which borders the Mediterranean as well as Syria and Israel, officially recognizes 18 religious denominations, each with the freedom to administer marriage, divorce and alimony matters to those of their faith. Civil marriage is an increasingly popular option for people of all denominations. The 45-minute video gives insight into how the different interpretations of religious law can significantly alter individual women’s lives.

How Muralists are Changing the Face of Kabul

Beirut Postcards – narrated animated/live postcards of landmarks/sites in Beirut by cartoon artist Sarah Glidden

TED Talk: How Women Wage Conflict Without Violence

The Pluralism Project
In a study of today’s multi-religious society, Fremont, U.S.A. offers a portrait of the new religious communities of Fremont – Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Muslim – as they interact with the city and other religious groups. A study guide encourages educators and their students to look at the issues presented in the film.

Project Hijab
Published by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, this is a set of interviews with women from the Muslim world about why they do or do not choose to wear hijab, or veil.

PBS, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet: The PBS website for the film Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet includes a “virtual hajj” with maps and explanations of the hajj. It includes a video clip on the introductory page that can give students a good idea of the sheer numbers of pilgrims engaged in hajj.

Unity Productions Foundation
Produces films for worldwide broadcast and long-term educational campaigns that increase understanding and dialogue among the world’s spiritual and cultural traditions. Current projects are focused on creating greater understanding about Muslims and Islam. Lesson plans and teacher resources are available for selected films.

Audio Clips

Mideasttunes features over 9,000 tracks from musical acts across the region, searchable by country and genre.

A Selection of Music Videos

A-WA * Habib Galbi
(Israel, 2016)
A-WA is a trio of 3 Israeli sisters of Yemeni descent who mix traditional Judeo-Arabic musical traditions with hip hop and electronic genres.

Alaa Wardi * Evolution of Arabic Music
(Saudi Arabia, 2016)
Alaa Wardi is a Saudi Arabian a cappella artist, who became an online YouTube sensation in the Arab world and Turkey. Born to Iranian parents in Riyadh, in this clever video, he makes his way through 42 of the most popular Arabic songs from the past 100 years.

Cheb Khaled * Aïcha
(Algeria, original release 1996, live performance on Arab Idol 2013)
This song was a hit throughout the Arab world and remains popular to this day. In the track, an enamored, forlorn man tries to woo the titular Aicha wth praise and gifts.

DAM featuring Amal Murkus * If I Could Go Back In Time
(Palestine, 2012)
DAM is a Palestinian hip-hop group based in Lod, Israel. The group and its individual members, particularly Tamer Nafar, are vocal about issues of oppression, the Israeli occupation, racism, poverty, drugs and women’s rights from the perspective young male Arab-Israelis, occasionally resulting in conflict with the Israeli political establishment.

Oum Kalthoum * Amal Hayati (Hope of My Life)
(Egypt, 1965)
Recognized across the world for her extraordinary vocal ability and style Oum Kalthoum was one of the greatest and most influential Arab singers of the 20th century. An icon in Egypt and beyond, she delivered improvisational performances that could vary in duration depending on the interplay with the audiences; some lasted for hours with multiple renditions of the same song. She was always backed by a traditional Arabic music troupe.

UT Austin’s 15-Minute History Podcasts
Take a listen to these 15-minute podcasts on different historical topics, many of which are Middle East-related, such as an episode on Islamic Extremism in the Modern World.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!