Middle East
Teacher's Guide

April 22, 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 - Islamic Law: A First Hand Experience
NOTE: Kids' Version Available

The team gets robbed in Khorramshahr, Iran, and tells of their experience with the police, the judge, and the local families.

Almost everyone has had something stolen from them. The Trekkers had items that if not recovered could have had dire consequences. Discuss the role of private belongings. Some things that we own, like a stereo or a book, may be replaceable but hard work has to be traded for the money to buy them. Other things, like a special gift form a loved one, can never be replaced. Discuss the consequences of theft. What does a thief take from the person besides the items stolen?

Was the violence the police used to get answers from the teenagers appropriate? Discuss whether or not police have the right in your country to be violent in order to pressure a suspect.

Kavitha - Life is not a Picnic

This dispatch deals with the effects of the Iran-Iraq war upon the community of Esfahan. A memorial for casualties of the Iran-Iraq war was erected there. The physical and emotional effect war has upon an individual, community, and country is explored.

What wars have affected your country in recent years? What has the military involvement meant to everyday life? Has it had an effect on any of the students, personally? Are any of the students' parents in the military? How would your students like to have to serve in the military at the age of fourteen?

Abeja - A War with No Winners: Visiting the Iran-Iraq Border

The team visits the town of Khorramshahr, Iran, which is on the border with Iraq, along the Karun river in the province of Khuzestan. This is the area Saddam Hussein claimed as Iraqi property during the 8-year Iran-Iraq War. The city still remains destroyed, 12 years after the war. The team takes a ride up the river and describes their experience.

Have any of your students been to the site of a war? If there is a site near your campus, plan a field trip. Have a day if historical reflection at the site of a battle. Discuss the impact which that battle had on the families of the soldiers involved and on the course of the war.

Kavitha - Welcomed into the Folds of a Kurdish Village
NOTE: Kids' Version Available

The team visits a Kurdish village in Kordestan, near the Iraqi border. They are invited into a local village for lunch. Their new Kurdish friends perform a traditional dance for them.

The Kurdish population in the Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have been thrown from region to region. They have no country to call their own although they claim many areas as belonging to the Kurds. If the Kurds were to be given land, which regions would be allocated to them? Have your students take the roles of the leaders of the countries that hold Kurdish lands. Have the new "leaders" decide who will give up land for the Kurds. Make sure the "leaders" know what they will be losing by giving up land.

Monica - A Jewish Pilgrimage…to Iran!

A discussion of the Jewish community in ancient Persia and modern-day Iran; the team visits the tomb of Esther and Mordecai in Hamadan.

Are there groups in your students' area that are considered "outsiders"? Why is that so? In the case of the Jews in Iran, a long history of ties has been worn thin by recent politics. What other regions of the world are having similar strains between long time neighbors?

Jasmine - Achaemenians: In the Beginning...

This dispatch finds the team touring Southern Iran in search of remnants of Persia's founding Dynasty, the Achaemenian Dynasty. It discusses the rulers and the monuments that serve as reminders of the legacy they left behind. It highlights Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Xerxes.

What do your students consider to be their "founding dynasty"? Which culture or cultures do they draw their definition from? Were their similar events in the history of their lineage that can be compared to the Persian historical events?

Team - Earth Day: a Celebration and a Reminder

The Team discusses the plight of the environment at the hands of the human population. Consumerism, wastefulness, and poor management of lands are brought up as key players.

What did your students do for Earth Day? What parts of their life do they find to be excessive? Have them compile a list of things that they own which they know that they could live without. Discuss how to use money wisely. Developing good spending habits is key to avoiding waste and protecting the environment.

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