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Western Africa/Egypt - Teachers Guide

On this Teachers Guide page you will find:

1 - Title of every update the Team has posted during this part of the Trek. NOTE: You can click on this for the Teachers' Tips - quick summaries of each of the dispatches that were posted in that update, along with activity suggestions.
2 - A brief list of the key topics covered in the update.

Click here for free Mali Lesson Plans!

Click here for free Egypt Lesson Plans!

Mali Stay
(Aug 15 - Sept 30)
Morocco Stay
(Sept 30 - Oct 16)
Egypt Stay
(Oct 29 - Dec 10)

Mali Stay
(August 15 - September 30)

The Ancient Empires - Weeks 1 and 2

Click here for corresponding National Standards

French Mali and Independence - Weeks 2 and 3
Click here for corresponding National Standards

The Diverse Cultures of Mali- Weeks 4 and 5
Click here for corresponding National Standards

The Challenges of Modern Mali- Weeks 5 and 6
Click here for corresponding National Standards

Weeks 1 and 2 - The Ancient Empires
(Updates Aug. 21, 25 & 28)

August 28, 1999: It's a Different World Than Where We Come From
Click for summaries and activities!

  • Kavitha wakes from her slumber to discover the daily devotion of Muslims in Mali
  • Is rain good or bad? Jasmine learns firsthand about its affects on West Africa
  • Monica finds out how UNICEF is making the world a better place for children
  • Monica and Kavitha give and receive language lessons in Mali

August 25, 1999: Over the Hills and Through the Woods (well, sort of!) The Team Reunites in Mali
Click for summaries and activities!

  • Finding incredible hospitality in one of the poorest countries in the world
  • How traveling on a budget is part luck, part generous strangers
  • In Bamako, tourists, especially 'white people', are expected to pay higher prices
  • Monica looks back on the Odyssey, one year later

August 21, 1999: Trekkers Take on West Africa! Tales from Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire
Click for summaries and activities!

  • Women's role in Ghana and what Dr. Ocloo is doing to empower them through industry and agriculture
  • Abeja learns that West African cultures don't like their pictures taken
  • Kevin rides an African motorcycle in Burkina Faso
  • A brainstorming activity helps students to examine the interrelationships and value of the individual, community and work

August 18, 1999: New Faces, Places and Experiences in West Africa
Click for summaries and activities!

  • The African Slave Trade
  • West African Culture
  • Difficulties of Traveling in West Africa
  • Newest World Trekker Joins Team

August 14, 1999: Off Limits: There are Some Places in Africa You Just Can't Go
Click for summaries and activities!

  • Monica gets sick in Ghana and reflects on viruses in Africa
  • The dangers of travelling through Zaire
  • Greed associated with the wealth in Angola makes travel unsafe
  • A humanistic look at gorillas speaks out against poaching in Africa
  • A close look at the deadly Ebola virus

Weeks 2 and 3 - French Mali and Independence
(Updates: September 1 & 8)

September 1, 1999: Traditional Living in the Third World; It Ain't Easy!

Click for summaries and activities!

  • A cultural comparison between Mali and the United States
  • Ruins of Djenne-Djeno, one of Mail's oldest cities
  • Myth and history in Djenne
  • Traveling complications in Timbuktu

September 8, 1999: The Places We Go, The People We Meet

Click for summaries and activities!

  • Kevin's long mosquito ridden journey to Timbuktu
  • Jasmine observes life along the Niger River
  • Monica meets 3 peace core volunteers in Mali
  • Abeja goes shopping in Djenne, the city of mud
  • Abeja checks out the ancestral cliff homes of the pygmy people
  • The story of King Sudiata from medieval Mali
  • Making a Difference looks at the destruction of Nigeria by American oil companies

Weeks 4 and 5 - The Diverse Cultures of Mali
(Updates: September 11, 15, 18 & 22)

September 11, 1999: Magic in the Middle of Nowhere

Click for summaries and activities!

  • The legendary City of Sand, Timbuktu
  • The nomadic culture of the Tuareg
  • Trekker's visit to a Bozo Village (from local child's viewpoint)
  • Boat ride up the Bani River (poem)
September 15, 1999: Much to Learn, Many Tales to Tell
  • Life in a Dogon Village
  • African Animals
  • Mosquitoes and Malaria
  • Mali's SAGE (Strategies for Advancing Girls Education Organization)
  • "A Girl Named Fanta" - Two-part Fiction Story
September 18, 1999: Getting Cultural and Cultivating Girls
  • French colonization of West Africa
  • Cultural revelations in the novel, Segu
  • The amazing traditions of the Fulani people
  • Organizing and educating women
  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
September 22, 1999: Trekker Trials and Tribulations in Mali (say it five times fast!)
  • Young people volunteer for their own country through Corps des Volontaires Maliens
  • Comparison of life in Mali and modern Western Culture
  • The real dangers of dehydration
  • Re-newing resources is a plan, not an option
  • Baby formula is killing babies in the third world

Weeks 5 and 6 - The Challenges of Modern Mali
(Updates: September 25, 29 & October 2)

September 25, 1999: From the Sahara to the Sea, the Team Keeps Truckin'
  • The obstacles faced when trying to get across the Sahara desert to Casablanca
  • Lac Rose in Dakar and the inspirations it inspires
  • Experiencing the music of Mali through poetry
  • Being a Filipino-American and trying to travel to Morroco
  • Travelling conditions in Africa
  • The perils of trekking through the Sahara to get to Morocco
  • Having Malaria in a Dakar hospital
  • Snipets of the good and bad experiences in Mali

Morocco Stay
(September 29 - October 23)

September 29, 1999: Au Revoir Mali, Bonjour Morocco
  • Kavitha tells us about Senegal's most famous spiritual leader who was known to be bulletproof and pray on water!
  • Jasmine takes us on the journey to Morocco where she finds birthday cake at the end of the trail!
  • She's got the beat! Roving reporter, Monica, brings us the latest news from North English and French!
October 2, 1999: The Road to Morocco is paved with History, Tribes and Carpets!
  • The Saharawi people of Western Sahara (fight for independence)
  • The many languages of Morocco
  • Historical journey of the Moroccan Berbers
October 6,1999: The Magical, Moroccan, Mystery Tour
  • Join Jasmine as she wanders the red, dusty road to the real land of Oz!
  • Kavitha spins a tale of magic, snake charmers and snails
  • Abeja will lead you through the belly button of Atlas
October 9,1999: The Treasures That Lie in the Beauty of the Streets
  • Ancient Roman ruins and the history of the city of Volubilis
  • Modern day monarchy in teh medieval town of Fes
  • The city of Meknes and the notorious Moulay Ismail
  • How the city of Asilah is transforming with the help of the community
October 13, 1999: A Moroccan Culture Trip: Tattoos, Tribal Chiefs, Hidden Heads and Wandering Jews
  • Hijab - Muslim Woman's Head Covering
  • The Straits of Gibraltar
  • Muslim Control of Spain
  • Tradition and Symbolism of Henna Tattoos
  • The Culture of the Jews of Morocco
October 16, 1999: Morocco: Tradition, Glory and Change
  • Moulay Idriss, Morocco's Most Holy City
  • Morocco's new king, to King Mohammed VI
  • Who gets claim to the Sahara desert - the Moroccans, Algerians, or desert natives?
  • A last look at Morocco
October 20, 1999: A Sea of Discovery in Spain
  • Barcelona Culture, Politics and Gothic Architecture
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spanish History: Spanish Inquisition, Christopher Columbus, the New World and Spanish Wars
  • Marine Research Boat, Toftevaag (study of dolphins and whales)
  • Making a Difference - Saving the Whales Discussion
October 23, 1999: Of Ancient Greeks and Innovation: Travelling through Time with the Odyssey
  • Greek gods and mythology: "Find the God or Goddess in you!"
  • Greek, the Greek alphabet, ancient Greek, and Greek influence on the English language.
  • The story of Odysseus and the story of our website told side-by-side.
  • Barcelona, Modernism, and the technology gap between developed and undeveloped countries.
October 27, 1999: Greek Myth, Game and Legend - Olive This and More!
  • A brief history of the olive and the Olympics
  • Two "Making a Differences" - the Parthenon and Nike
  • Meet the Goddess Athena

Egypt Stay
(October 29 - December 11)

October 30, 1999: An Egyptian Halloween - The Team Tangles with Mummies
  • Cairo, the City of the Dead and Mummification 101
  • A modern day look at Egypt's Cairo and the river Nile
  • An in depth look at the Nile River and history, myth and importance as a natural resource
  • A trip to Egypt's great pyramids
  • Study of relations between US and Libya
  • Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt
  • Politics in Algeria
November 3, 1999: Egypt IS an Ancient Wonder!
  • A little modern day insight on culture in Cairo and a trip to the pyramid of Sahu Ra
  • A visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza, considered one of the seven wonders of the world
  • New, Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt; modern Luxor and ancient Thebes
  • Recovering from malaria and dysentery in Tel Aviv, Israel
November 6, 1999: Exploring Egypt: The Gift of the Nile
  • Women's lives in Egypt
  • Tombs of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt (including King Tut), the famous Valley of the Dead, and the ancient Egyptian view of death
  • Information about ancient Egyptian society, hierarchy and stratification. Information about the lives of ordinary Egyptians during Pharaonic times
  • Facts about Egypt today and a description of everyday life on the streets of Cairo
  • The story of the Tuthmosis Dynasty of ancient Egypt
November 10, 1999: Education Egyptian-style: Tombs, Hieroglyphs and Spirits
  • American University in Cairo (Education/Student life)
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods, Goddesses and Religion
  • Hieroglyphics (the Rosetta Stone)
  • Temple of Hathor in Dendara
  • A look ahead to: 2001 - International Year of Volunteers
November 13, 1999: Of Queens, Conquerors, Saints and Saviors: The Team Relives the Legends of Egypt
  • Christianity in ancient and modern Egypt
  • The Daily life of an Egyptian monk
  • The history of the city of Alexandria, including the stories of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra
  • A profile an NGO, The Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization (AAPSO)
  • A report on a conference on the liberation of women in Egypt
November 17, 1999: Egyptian Women, Sufism, and more!
  • Arranged marriages and Egyptian culture
  • Modern day Egyptian women
  • 50 centuries of Islamic history
  • Rumi and Sufism
  • Interview with Dr. Zeinab Safar, one Egypt's successful professional women
November 20, 1999 - From Reckless Sultans to Polluted Streets: Cairo's Challenges Through the Ages
  • Pollution in Cairo
  • The Citadel in Cairo - and its many rulers
  • The story of Shagarat ad-Durr, female Egyptian warrior
November 24, 1999 - From Engineering Marvels to Ancestral Homelands, the Team Treks On
  • A visit to modern-day Aswan, ancestral homeland of the Nubian people
  • The History of the Egyptian people's efforts to control the Nile River
  • The History of the Suez Canal
  • A discussion of sexual harassment and discrimination
December 1, 1999 - The World Trekkers Join the Fight for Women's Rights
  • Women and Memory Forum (Group of Egyptian women who have re-written many Egyptian fairytales)
  • Women's Rights in Egypt
  • Interview with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights/EOHR
  • Cairo's City of the Dead
  • Egyptian death and burial customs
December 4, 1999: Egyptians Young and Old, Bright and Ambitious
  • Interview with nine young Sudanese refugees in Cairo.
  • Unsolved mysteries of Egypt: the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), and the carvings in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos.
  • Information on modern and traditional practices in women's health in Egypt and medical school for women in Egypt.
December 8, 1999: Egyptian Travel through the Desert, the Sky and History
  • Egyptian History 101-First-half 20th Century
  • Plight of Poor, Illiterate Egyptian Women
  • Sinai Peninsula
  • Sinai's Wildlife Project
  • Bedouin Nomads
December 11, 1999: The Odyssey's Final Words from Egypt!
  • A Nubian reminisces about his homeland which was destroyed when Lake Nasser was created
  • Inside a grassroots charity for disadvantaged women in a poor Cairo suburb
  • The colonial histroy of Egypt under Britan
  • An explaination of Jihad, an important tenet of the Islamic faith
  • Information about Mt. Sinai and its historical and religious significane

The following is the anticipated itinerary for the rest of the Egypt visit.

Note that dates are approximate. The Team was, for example, one week late arriving in Peru, and two weeks late in reaching Machu Picchu during the Peru stay. The Team is back on schedule at this point, but given the uncertainties of the kind of travel they are conducting, you cannot count on a particular topic being covered exactly as cited here.

The Rise of Islam - The Arabs, Mamluks and Turks - Weeks 3 and 4

Click here for corresponding National Standards

British Occupation - Week 5

Click here for corresponding National Standards

Independent Egypt and Modern Challenges -
Weeks 5 and 6

Click here for corresponding National Standards

Weeks 3 and 4 - The Rise of Islam - The Arabs, Mamluks and Turks
(Updates: November 17, 20 & 24)

As the Team visits these sites, the following themes in particular will be explored:

  • How did the Muslims spread Islamic beliefs and establish their empire?
  • What are the significant aspects of Islamic civilization and belief?
  • What were the influences of Islamic ideas and practices on social behavior?
  • What were the significant scientific, literary, and artistic contributions by the Islamic civilization?

Fustat - seat of government of the first Arab conquerers

Ibn Tulun Mosque - one of the largest in world, this was erected by Ibn Tulum, the Mamluk leader who ended the Abissids' rule from Baghdad

  • Mosque of Qijmas al-Ishaqi - master of sultan's horses and took charge of annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Best example of architecture from 15th century Mamluk period.
  • Mosque of Sultan Hassan - built 1363 AD during Mamluk rule, with stones taken from one of the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Mausoleum of Shagarat ad-Durr - the only Muslim sovereign in hostory

Cairo - this city was founded under the Fatimid rulers

  • Al-Azhar Mosque - one of the world's greatest centers of Islamic studies, the oldest university in the world, was built in the new city of Cairo
  • Mosque of Salih Talai - best example of Fatimid style of architecture
  • Bab Zuweila - one of three original remaining gates of medieval Cairo, last Mamluk sultan Tumanbay was hanged here 3 times - survived first 2 attempts.

Mausoleum of Imam ash-Shafi'I - founder of one of the four major schools of Sunni Islam, that most practiced in Egypt today

The Citadel - first built by Salah ad-Din to fortify against the Crusaders (who he eventually drove from Jerusalem), this fortress was home to most Egyptian rulers from the 12th to the 19th century. It was also the site of the massacre of 469 Mamluks by Mohammed Ali to seal his control.

Mosque of Sayyidna Al-Hussein - the grandson of Mohammed, involved in the schism between Sunni and Shi'ite

Mausoleum of Qait Bey - tomb of the last Mamluk with any real power, and rated as one of the greatest buildings in Cairo

Abu Qir - site of a battle in which the French defeated an army of Turks, backed by the British

Suez Canal - opened by the grandson of Mohammed Ali, who also led the country to independence from the British

Sphinx - during the period of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks usd the Sphinx for target practice, knocking off its nose and beard

Week 5 - British Occupation
(Updates: November 27)

During WWI, Egyptians joined Allies. Formation of nationalist political party called the Wafd (Delegation), and a monarchist party. WWII - Egypt served as vital British base in Middle East.

Ismailia - town on the Suez Canal that flourished under British and French influence

El Alamein - scene of a decisive Allied victory over the Axis in WWII, which altered the course of the war in North Africa

Weeks 5 and 6 - Independent Egypt, and Modern Challenges
(Updates: November 31, Dec 4 & 8)

The Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser - constructed by President Gamal Abdel with funding from the Soviet Union. Will include a visit to the Temple of Philae.

Arab League headquarters - the current home of this organization which helped set up the PLO and was part of the pan-arab movement, which Nasser headed for many years.

Abu Atwa war museum - features five captured Israeli tanks and displays about the 1973 October War.

October War Panorama

Tomb of Anwar Sadat - leader of Egypt who signed Peace Accords with Israel in 1979

Site of Anwar Sadat's assassination

Imbaba - slum neighborhood where 12,000 suspects were rounded up in response to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism

Northern and Southern Cities of the Dead - home to thousands of detitute and homeless people

Meditteranean coastal areas - where over 540,000 migratory birds are netted for food each year

Visits to Khan al-Khalili - largest bazaar in world, and a visit to the Birqash Camel Market

Visits to Berber, Bedouin, and Nubian communities (Kharga Oasis, Al Arish, and Elephantine Island)

Visits to agricultural sites affected by decreasing water supplies and lack of siltation

Arab Music Festival - early Nov, classical, traditional and orchestral Arabic music, 10 day festival at Opera House.

Luxor - Opet Festival, Nov 4. recreation of ancient festival in which images of local deities were paraded from Karnak temple by boat to Luxor temple.

Teacher's Guide: Mexico Guide - Belize/Guatemala Guide
Central/South America Guide - Southern Africa Guide
Western Africa Guide - Middle East Guide

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