The Emergence of the Modern Middle East - Part I

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About this course: This course will discuss the emergence of the modern Middle East from the fall of the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the First World War to the present. It will discuss the Ottoman legacy in the region and the Western imperial impact on the creation of the Arab state system. The course will discuss the rise and retreat of Arab nationalism, the problems of internal cohesion of the Arab states, issues of religion and state, and the evolution of Islamist politics. It will also focus on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on the region and will conclude with an in depth analysis of the “Arab Spring” by placing these contemporary revolutionary events i…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course will discuss the emergence of the modern Middle East from the fall of the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the First World War to the present. It will discuss the Ottoman legacy in the region and the Western imperial impact on the creation of the Arab state system. The course will discuss the rise and retreat of Arab nationalism, the problems of internal cohesion of the Arab states, issues of religion and state, and the evolution of Islamist politics. It will also focus on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on the region and will conclude with an in depth analysis of the “Arab Spring” by placing these contemporary revolutionary events in their historical context.

Created by:  Tel Aviv University
  • Taught by:  Professor Asher Susser, Senior Research Fellow

    Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
Commitment 2-3 hours/week Language English, Subtitles: Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

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Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv University (TAU) is Israel's largest institution of higher learning – with over 30,000 students and more than 125 schools and departments in nine faculties. Global in outlook and impact, it is consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities, as well as the top 20 institutions in terms of scientific citations. A spirit of openness and innovation is evident in all of TAU's teaching and research activities, breaking down barriers between disciplines, and boldly striving to address the twenty-first century's most pressing challenges.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Intro



In our first lesson, we will locate the Middle East in time and space. We will get to know the 19th-century Middle East, the structure of its society and economy as well as the dynamics of its politics. We will then look into the dramatic change that took place in the last quarter of the 18th century, that is the widening gap between Europe and the Middle East as we will dwell on the impact this change had on the future of the region. We will conclude our first lesson with a discussion on the "Eastern Question," which refers to the fate of the Ottoman Empire and the balance of power in Europe.


9 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 1.0 This course is about....
  2. Reading: About us
  3. Reading: Week 1
  4. Video: 1.1.1 What and Where is the Middle East? (part 1)
  5. Video: 1.1.2 What and Where is the Middle East? (part 2)
  6. Video: 1.2 What is the Modern Era?
  7. Video: 1.3.1 The Middle East in the 19th Century: The Structure of Society
  8. Video: 1.3.2 The Middle East in the 19th Century: The Economy
  9. Video: 1.3.3 The Middle East in the 19th Century: The Politics
  10. Video: 1.4 The Changing Balance of Power with Europe
  11. Video: 1.5 The "Eastern Question"


WEEK 2


Modernity, Tradition and the Age of Reform



Our second lesson is a discussion on the forces of modernity and tradition in the Middle East. The filtering of European ideas into the Middle East engendered a process of reform in the region throughout much of the 19th century. We will analyse two centres of reform in this respect, namely the Ottoman Empire and Egypt. This analysis will take us next to the Islamic responses to the crisis of modernity as a result of the inherent tension between faith and secularism. We will see how various Islamic thinkers tried to find a compromise between these obvious tensions and at times went in more fundamentalist directions.


11 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: II. Modernity, Tradition and the Age of Reform
  2. Reading: Week 2
  3. Video: 2.1 The Ottoman Empire
  4. Video: 2.1.1.1 Traditional World View and Opposition to Reform (part 1)
  5. Video: 2.1.1.2 Traditional World View and Opposition to Reform (part 2)
  6. Video: 2.1.2.1 The Tanzimat (part 1)
  7. Video: 2.1.2.2 The Tanzimat (part 2)
  8. Video: 2.2.1 Muhammad Ali in Egypt (part 1)
  9. Video: 2.2.2 Muhammad Ali in Egypt (part 2)
  10. Video: 2.3.1 Islamic Reform or Modernism (part 1)
  11. Video: 2.3.2 Islamic Reform or Modernism (part 2)
  12. Video: 2.3.3 Islamic Reform or Modernism (part 3)

Graded: Quiz 1

WEEK 3


The Rise of Nationalism; The Demise of Empire



In lesson three, we will witness the rise of nationalism in the Middle East, as it became a much more acceptable idea in the late 19th and early 20th century among an intellectual, elitist, urban minority, who were the graduates of western-style schools (remember lesson two and the process of reform!). We will concentrate on the emergence and development of three nationalist movements; Turkish, Egyptian and Arab. Lastly, we will speak about the First World War and how it brought the end of the Ottoman Empire as well as the end of 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule in the Arab countries. We will also see how the Middle East began to take its current shape following the First World War.


9 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: III. The Rise of Nationalism; The Demise of Empire
  2. Reading: Week 3
  3. Video: 3.1 Turkish Nationalism
  4. Video: 3.2 Arab Nationalism
  5. Video: 3.3.1 Egyptian Nationalism (part 1)
  6. Video: 3.3.2 Egyptian Nationalism (part 2)
  7. Video: 3.4.1 World War One and the Demise of Empire (part 1)
  8. Video: 3.4.2 World War One and the Demise of Empire (part 2)
  9. Video: 3.4.3 World War One and the Demise of Empire (part 3)
  10. Video: 3.4.4 World War One and the Demise of Empire (part 4)


WEEK 4


The Creation of the Middle East State System



In our fourth lesson, we will be speaking about the creation of the Middle East state system in accordance with British and French designs after the First World War. First, we will discuss Egypt and how its distinct historical development gave way to a unique liberal experiment in Egypt during the 1920s and 1930s and consequently to a steady shift toward Islam and Arab nationalism. Second, we will discuss the area of the Fertile Crescent in comparison to Egypt and the creation of British (Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Iraq) and French mandates (Syria, Greater Lebanon) in this region. Our attention will then shift to the non-Arab states. We will learn about the creation of the Republic of Turkey on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and the sweeping process of modernising reform under Mustafa Kemal. Lastly, we will take a look at Iran, which was, like Turkey, not a new state created by the Great Powers but a country with a long history and cultural tradition. Our discussion on Iran will include an overview of its history from early 16th century onwards as well as the basic principles of the Shi'a which shaped greatly the political culture in Iran.


15 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: IV. The Creation of the Middle East State System
  2. Reading: Week 4
  3. Video: 4.1 Egypt
  4. Video: 4.2 The Fertile Crescent
  5. Video: 4.3.1 The French Mandates: The Establishment of Greater Lebanon
  6. Video: 4.3.2 The French Mandates: The Establishment of Syria
  7. Video: 4.4 The British Mandates
  8. Video: 4.4.1 The British Mandates: The Palestine Question
  9. Video: 4.4.2 The British Mandates: Trans-Jordan
  10. Video: 4.4.3.1 The British Mandates: The Kingdom of Iraq - Part 1
  11. Video: 4.4.3.2 The British Mandates: The Kingdom of Iraq - Part 2
  12. Video: 4.5 The Saudis and the Hashemites in the Arabian Peninsula
  13. Video: 4.6.1.1 The Non-Arab States: The Republic of Turkey (part 1)
  14. Video: 4.6.1.2 The Non-Arab States: The Republic of Turkey (part 2)
  15. Video: 4.6.2.1 The Non-Arab States: Iran (part 1)
  16. Video: 4.6.2.2 The Non-Arab States: Iran (part 2)

Graded: Final Exam
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