Middle East Explained

middleeastexplained The Middle East Explained is a video series aimed to launch students on to new Middle East-related topics, inspire creative thinking, and encourage discussion.

  • Videos are just 5-10 minutes long and are accompanied by a discussion framework for use in middle and high school classrooms.
  • Video content is consistent with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and/or current news items.
  • Videos feature Duke and UNC scholars.


miriamThe Historical Roots of the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Dr. miriam cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures at Duke University, provides the historical context key to understanding why so many Syrians have fled their homes.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR2laJSOLGw&list=PLSdIeNHvfGHOtitmAtuBzkfsedc18vDP3&index=1
Click here to download the: Teacher’s Guide | Student Viewing Guide


The Iraq War: Causes and Ramifications: The modern histories of the United States and Iraq are closely intertwined. Louis Yako, Iraqi-American poet, writer, and PhD candidate at Duke University, explores the relationship between the two countries in the context of the Iraq Wars.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhzjhUgT850
Click here to download the: Teacher’s Guide | Student Viewing Guide

CharlieUnderstanding the United States and Iran: There has been much discussion about tensions between the United States and Iran.  Dr. Charles Kurzman gives an overview of the complex relationship between the two countries.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbC2BfruYDQ
Click here to download the: Teacher’s Guide | Student Viewing Guide

***more videos in the series coming soon!