Teacher's Guide

November 17, 1999 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 - Insha'allah: An Egyptian Love Story?

Abeja discusses love in the 90s Cairo style, with her friend Nivine. Nivine touches upon arranged marriages, the roles of men and women in traditional Egyptian marriages and what she sees in her future.

Abeja's friend Nivine says, "For us, the men are expected to take care of the women. We go through the pain of childbirth. We do the breastfeeding and raise the family. That's our end of the deal. The men better uphold their end of the deal, too. They bring home the money and make sure we have enough to eat. I feel sorry for American women who feel like they have to go out and get jobs. They are already doing so much work! With a job they do twice as much work as the men!" Discuss with class what they think of this statement? Do they agree or disagree? How does this differ from the "rules" and "roles" of men and women in their culture?

Abeja - Who's behind that Veil?

Abeja explores perceptions and realities of Arab women. Includes references to Arabia customs such as the hijab, and views of women, as well as references to various regions within the Arab World - Persian Gulf, Levant and Magrab.

Encourage class to discuss their previous perceptions of Arab women based on images in the media they've been exposed to. Ask them if they could generalize the characteristics of all the girls in your class. For instance, can they think of something to say about the dress or behavior of all the girls in your class that would be true (but not necessarily representative)? How many different "types" of women are there really, though, in your class?

Jasmine - 50 Centuries of Turbulent History Revealed

Jasmine and Kavitha tour mosques in Islamic Cairo and learn the ever-changing history of Egypt's past. Includes information on Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mamluks, Omayyads, Abbassids and Ibn Tulun.

Jasmine juxtaposes ancient history next to modern day events. What is revealed by relating the history of Islamic Cairo in this fashion? How has it changed or stayed the same? In some ways, is Cairo as turbulent as ever?

Kavitha - What Goes Around Comes Around: Those Whirling, Praying Dervishes!

Kid's version available

Kavitha and Jasmine take in the Al Tannoura dance troupe in Cairo. Includes information on the Madrassa of Al-Ghouri, music, dancing, whirling dervishes and Sufism.

  1. Discuss with class why they think other religions felt threatened by the Sufists? Try and find out more about Rumi and what happened to him.
  2. Read some Rumi out loud to the class. Discuss ideas and meaning around the poetry. Have students try their hand at some of their own.
Monica - Dr. Zeinab Safar and Egypt's Working Women

Monica explores the roles of professional women in the Middle East, specifically as demonstrated by Dr. Zeinab Safar. Includes references to achievements, as well as struggles women face in advancement, the dual role of working women and working mothers/wives, and hopes for the future.

  1. How are professional women in your country treated? Do they work outside the home? Do they hold higher positions at work? Are there any women appointed to your government? How are the women who stay at home perceived? Who seems to have the better deal-professional women or stay-at-home women?
  2. Going further: Pick a "Superwoman" of your country. Find out all you can about her and make a presentation to the class.
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