Skip to main content

The Middle East Explained project is a video series aimed to launch students on to new Middle East-related topics, inspire creative thinking, and encourage discussion. Featuring experts from Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, videos are 5-10 minutes long and are accompanied by a discussion framework for use in middle and high school classrooms.

The Videos

The 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.
Watch 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.
Watch Teacher's Guide  Student Viewing Guide


Understanding 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.
Watch 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.
Watch Teacher's Guide  Student Viewing Guide


Women in the Middle East

Women in the Middle East represent an extremely diverse group of individuals. In this video, Dr. Didem Havlioglu introduces stories of three different Middle Eastern women to highlight the diversity of women’s experiences in the region.
Watch Teacher's Guide  Student Viewing Guide


Turkey from Empire to Republic

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I in 1918 led to its final dissolution, shifting from empire to republic a few years later. In this 10-minute video, Professor Erdağ Göknar discusses contestations between colonialism, nationalism, and the Kemalist cultural revolution in Turkey.
Watch Teacher's Guide  Student Viewing Guide