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

The Aftermath of 9/11: David Schanzer, associate professor of the practice at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy University and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, discusses the impact of September 11 on foreign relations, domestic policies, and American Muslims.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/l85H-4KKDLI
Click here to download the: Teacher’s Guide | Student Viewing Guide

***more videos in the series coming soon!