Sunday, April 22, 2012

What my students took away from History of Islamic Civilization

I just finished grading the final exams for History of Islamic Civiliztion. Half of the exam grade was based on essays my students wrote on recent events in the Middle East. They could write on Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen or Iran, and were expected to touch on some of these phenomena: nationalism, sectarianism, Islamism, democracy, secularism, and foreign intervention. Here's what they actually wrote on (in no particular order, my summaries):

           Egypt -- ready for democracy?
           Egypt -- democracy, Islamism, Western concerns
           Tunisia -- instability threatens the revolution
           Iran -- nuclear program and foreign concerns
          Egypt -- significance of the revolution
          Iran -- society on edge, politics divided
          Iran -- if war breaks out
          Egypt -- a corrupt election?
          Egypt -- challenges of democratic transition
          Syria -- why the revolution may not succeed
          Syria -- effects of Syrian crisis
          Egypt -- religion and democracy
          Tunisia -- summary of revolution
          Iran -- the sanction regime
          Iraq -- attacks on Christians
          Iran -- counter-productive Western and Iranian policies
          Turkey -- AKP success
          Tunisia -- summary of revolution
           Iran -- domestic and foreign conflicts
           Iran -- what's at stake in current confrontation

And here's to those students: Well done. You rose to the challenge.

Image: Canadian students, but not actually mine.

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