Middle East
Teacher's Guide

March 29, 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:

Team - Tamerlane : Not a Very Nice Guy
Kids' Version available

The life and times of the Middle East's fiercest ruler. Discusses the military campaigns of the brutal Mongol leader of the Middle Ages.

Do a report on the life of this fierce leader; make a study of the area in the present day; make a time-line from the Middle Ages to the present day - connect it with significant events for our own area of the world.

Andrew - A Tale of One City Divided

Andrew discusses the divided city of Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Includes information about the Bosnian War, Croatians, Bosnians, Serbians, ethnic and religious conflict.

Write to the students via e-mail, either as groups or individually. Ask the students about their lives and share yours with them. Research specific topics about the history of the Balkans, i.e., how WWI began in Sarajevo; the importance of the Old bridge in Mostar; the role of the Ottoman Empire in the formation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in its present state; how was life during the Austro-Hungarian Period; the dangers of landmines and what possible action students could take in helping to eliminate them from our world.

Team - Party on, Iran!
Kids' Version available

Against the backdrop of Iran's New Year, the dispatch gives an account of the ancient history of Iran. More specifically, it talks about the Indo-Iranians, the Median Empire, and the Achaemanid Empire.

Discuss and research different holidays for different people around the world. Find out about different calendars, New Year celebrations, and ways of celebration that different groups of people throughout different places and times have celebrated. What is the same and what is different about these groups and their ways of celebrating? Make up your own holiday and celebrate it, with ritual, props, symbolism, and meaning.

Team - An Ugly Picture: On One Side Is the Bad Guy But on the Other Side Is... the Other Bad Guy

An Iraqi artist, now a refugee here in the United States, tells of the suffering endured by his friends and relatives under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Includes information on the U.S. government and the uprising near Basra.

Locate and interview Iraqi families living in your area. If this cannot be done, then contact an Iraqi organization in your country, which can put you in touch with Iraqis who have chosen to leave their homeland in search of life elsewhere. Ask them how it feels for them to leave home, if they would ever like to return how life is different there and here. Invite a person from Iraq to speak to the students, making sure that questions have been prepared in advance and helping students to explore and exploit this valuable resource.

OK, That Didn't Work... Now What?
Rethinking Economic Sanctions Against Iraq

This letter to Congress by the head of Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) says that U.S. sanctions on Iraq in the wake of the Persian Gulf War have caused great humanitarian suffering in that country. Includes information on the conflict in East Timor and Indonesia, the United Nations, Saddam Hussein and "no-fly zones" over Iraq.

Decide what governmental issues are important to your students. Brainstorm topics to find this out. Pollution? Crime? Child Abuse? Whatever it is, make a list of the things that are important to your class about the issue, and then together, write out a letter to the people who can make a difference. Part of this exercise will be finding out who those people or groups are.

Team - Reading+Writing+Arithmetic = Omar Khayyam

A brief history of the life and time of Omar Khayyam the famous Iranian mathematician and poet.

Do further reading on Omar Khayyam, and make presentations on his life and work. This can be done in the form of a song, a play, video, book, speech, or any other way that the students choose to demonstrate. For math: choose some of his work and work it out for yourself, explaining the process to the other students.

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