Middle East
Teacher's Guide

February 26, 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:

Monica - Tea Time Is Not Just at Four O'Clock Anymore!
Kids' version available

The team visits Konya, learns a bit of Turkish history and is treated to warm hospitality. Includes information on Seljuk Turks and Turkish carpets.

Using the anecdotes of Turkish hospitality from Monica's dispatch and other dispatches you have read, compare Turkish notions of hospitality with that of other nations. What is polite in one country may not be polite in another. On the other hand, there are gestures that are universally recognized as friendly. During the discussion, draw from your own cultures' ideas and customs on hospitality.

Andrew - Innocents Abroad: Following Mark Twain's Footsteps Through Istanbul

This dispatch recounts some of the adventures satirist Mark Twain wrote of in his 1869 book, Innocents Abroad. It compares and contrasts the Istanbul of today with the Istanbul of Twain's era.

In this dispatch, Andrew only has space to relate a small portion of Twains text, the parts which fit most closely with his own experiences. Perhaps you and your students could read aloud other sections of Twain's "Innocents Abroad". Keep in mind Andrews observations about the time period and Twain's American cultural perspective affected the things he wrote.

Brian - Check It Out!

This is a day in the life of a trekker's trip by public transit in Istanbul, with introductory info on Anadolu Hisari (Mehmet the Conqueror, conquest of Istanbul) and the Hippodrome. Intro to Sultanahmet neighborhood which includes Aya Sofia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul is a geographically interesting city because of its setting right on the Bosporous and all of the sights to be found here. To get more familiar with this world capital city, take a minute to go over the map of Istanbul and retrace the path Brain and Kavitha follow in this dispatch. Find: the neighborhood where the trekkers are staying on the Asian side of the Bosporous (where the crossing is narrowest), Sultanahmet and all the sights there, including the Aya Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.

Kutahya: A City That Has Triumphed Through It All

The team visits the Central Anatolian town of Kutahya, a city with an international reputation for designing and manufacturing exquisite colored tiles. While in Kutahya they visit the significant ruins of an ancient Ottoman fortress and discuss Kutahya's historical role in the development of the Turkish state. Most highly noted is the pivotal battle fought during the War for Turkish Independence just outside of Kutahya on the Battlefield of Dumlupinar.

Prominent in this dispatch is the figure of Attaturk, widely recognized as Turkey's founding father. You can tell a lot about a nation by its founding fathers. Spend some time discussing Attaturk and the historical importance of his actions, for Turkey and the rest of the world. Perhaps you could ask your students to do some research of their own and write a 1-3 paragraph summary of what they learned about him. As Jasmine notes, understanding this key bit of Turkish history will greatly improve your students understanding of the nation as a whole.

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