Middle East
Teacher's Guide

February 23, 2000 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Abeja - Ho Ho Hold on a Minute! This Isn't the North Pole! Finding St. Nick in the Strangest Places!
Kids' version available

Abeja visits the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Demre, Turkey, and tells the history of the Byzantine saint, the controversy around his existence and the permutations his myth has gone through over the years. In typical Abeja style, she encourages charity and gift-giving as something human beings should do, whether they believe in Santa Claus or not.

Assign the class a research project, each student picks a holiday that they no very little about and researches it to determine: 1) the holiday's origins (both geographic and cultural), 2) what they like about it or don't, and 3) how they could make it better or recapture that which made it worth celebrating in the first place!

Jasmine - Dare To Dream!

This dispatch discusses the time after the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. It also discusses the importance of commemorating the past to move towards the future.

For hundreds of years conflict has been addressed by violence and war, but also by some amazingly ingenuous strategies: i.e. sit-ins, hunger strikes, letter writing campaigns and advertising campaigns. Assign an essay topic: how creative could you be in solving the world's problems?

Jasmine - Big City Living: Taking The Soul Train To Izmir

Jasmine and Abeja visit Izmir, the second largest Turkish metropolis after Istanbul. Jasmine discusses Izmir's historical significance and introduces students to our next segment "Development of the Turkish State."

The team visits the home of our inspirational source, Homer's residence. Ask the class to consider and report on the similarities and differences between our odyssey and The Odyssey, with an eye to our respective motives, protagonists, and ultimate goals. (As a suggestion the class might want to check out the individual (or their favorite) trekker's bios, or write them, to find out more about why they decided to be a "Trekker"!)

Kavitha - The Hunchback of Bursa

Kavitha visits Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, and discovers the traditional folk art of shadow puppet theater, Karagoz.

Have the class write a paper contrasting and comparing both Hunchbacks, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Bursa's Hunchback Karagoz. As enduring cultural figures and icons, how has each changed or affected their respective cultures and what have they contributed to our global literature?

Team - The struggle to adapt to "temporary" environments

The team looks at the devastating 1999 earthquake in Turkey. They uncover the suffering that is still going on, and how relief agencies continue their work in the hard hit regions.

Assign a research project for the class examining the efficacy of research efforts in Turkey and efforts here in similar catastrophes. What can we learn from the efforts of the agencies mentioned in this dispatch? What can they learn from our efforts? Ask the students to write a "mini-dissertation" on this question and submit to the agency of their choice.

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