The NITLE Arab World project is divided into ten modules, listed below. While the modules are organized by theme, you will find many cross-links between items in different module, which you can follow at your leisure. While all of the material is presented for an English-speaking audience, you can learn more about the Arabic language in our module on the subject.
This is an account of the forces that have shaped the Arab world into the kind of society it is today. Although the emphasis is on modern history since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, some materials, most notably our timeline, will provide historical background since the rise of Islam.
Ethnicity and Identity
This unit begins with the question, "Who are the Arabs?" It then moves on to address the status of those Arabs who are not Muslim, as well as the status of those non-Arabs, both Muslim and not, who form the minority communities of the region.
By far the vast majority of Arabs are Muslim, yet most non-Muslims in the West know very little about the religion. This unit will introduce you to the basic principles of the Islamic faith, as well as a sense of how it functions on a social level.
This unit provides a history of Arab communities in the United States, their accomplishments and the challenges they have faced. It also addresses the concerns of the Arab-American community in a post-September 11 context.
Literature and Philosophy
This unit will introduce you to the literary and philosophical tradition of the Arab World, both by providing sample readings of translated primary texts and by providing critical and historical analyses of the Arabic literary tradition. You will also find samples of writing by Arab-Americans, of the Francophone tradition in the Arab World, and even writing by non-Arabs who use Arabic as their literary language.
Popular Culture and the Performing Arts
This unit focuses on music, film, theater and dance, with lots of video clips, audio files and images to bring it all alive for you.
Family and Society
This unit looks at the role of the family in Arabic society and the changes it has undergone in recent history. In this unit, as well, you will find discussion of gender roles in the region.
Art and Architecture
This unit provides an introduction to the aesthetic and artistic traditions of the Arab world, especially calligraphy, architecture, and other visual arts.
The Arabic Language
Few cultures place more emphasis on their language as a unifying factor than do the Arabs. In this unit you will find resources about the language, its structure and development, as well as materials to help those who wish to study the language.
Geography, Demographics, and Resources
This unit focuses on the land and its people, to provide a basic sketch of the physical, social and economic geography of the region, both as a whole and in terms of specific nations.
Satellite television, the Internet, and "new media" in general have had a major impact on the Arab World, just as they have globally. This unit analyzes the uses to which these new media have been put and the changes they have brought about in the region.
About the Site
A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.