Studies & Degrees in Middle Eastern Studies
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Middle Eastern Studies Study Programs
Basically, the program Middle Eastern Studies is a subset of Asian studies that focus on the study of the region’s politics, culture, economy, and geography. Geographically speaking, Middle East region is an area that covers a wide range of nations that extend from North Africa to the west of the Chinese frontier. Countries namely Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and Palestine are part of the Middle East region.
Some academic institutions include Islamic Studies of the program’s curriculum to give students wider breadth and scope of learning since Middle East is dominated by the Muslims. Moreover, the program is also considered to be a language study since learning the predominant languages in the region would be essential to students aspiring for more comprehensive understanding of the Middle East. The major and modern languages that are being covered by the program include the study of Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian. While there is a legitimate need to discuss modern history of the Middle East, the ancient languages, and the study of the Islam and Judaism, students should become more aware of the present issues pressing the Middle East and the modern world.
The course’s curriculum highlights the need to equip students with literary theories and cultural studies to help them cope with contentious issues being addressed to learners of the degree. One issue that is often emphasized is the bias perspective towards Islamic people due to their religion and culture. The book entitled Orientalism published by Edward Said is a sensational book that later on became a standard text of the study as it defends the Middle East region against prejudice caused by Western Imperialism.
Another issue worth noting for Middle Eastern Studies is the threat caused by Islamic terrorism as perceived by detractors of the program. As a result, universities and other academic institutions need to be sensitive and critical enough to tackle Middle Eastern studies programs to prevent serious and substantive occurrences of inconsistencies.
At present, there is a serious problem linked to the study of the course itself as more and more professionals, organizations, and communities perceive the need to neutralize the objectives set for the program. Such organizations and people believe that the mixing of politics with scholarship should be distinguished and not be used as a means to promote analytical failures among students. There shouldn’t be any abuse of power over students who view things differently but encourage them to study the discipline with extra care and sensitivity.
Middle Eastern Studies embraces history-related studies, from classical periods to current and modern approaches required in exploring the depth of social, cultural, religious, and literary characteristics of the theories and approaches used in gaining a broader knowledge of the course.
Other topics under the course include the modern Islamic thought, the role of women in the world dominated by Muslims, translation studies, the classic and modern Jewish thought, Shiism, rabbinic Judaism, the Turkish linguistics, the Pre-Islamic and the history of Christianity in the Middle East, the relationship of Europe and the Arab Middle East, and the Israeli Culture among others.