For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies section in this catalog.
Coordinator: Fitzpatrick. Professors: Brashler, Cole, Goode, Kopperl; Associate Professors: Al-Mallah, Roos, Schaub, Dogru, Fitzpatrick; Assistant Professors: Danielson, DeMuth, Gasim, Lingwood, Maisel, Schwartz; Visiting Professor: Cataldo.
In the tradition of liberal education at Grand Valley State University, courses in this minor introduce students to the heritage, problems, and perspectives of Middle Eastern cultures, thus helping them to better understand their own culture. Michigan, for example, is home to the nation’s largest Arab American community, half Christian, half Muslim, with substantial Jewish congregations.
The Middle East Studies program focuses on the area stretching from Morocco in the west to Oman in the east, from Iran and Turkey in the north to Sudan in the south-a region inhabited by more than 350 million people. Not only does the history and art of this region form the basis of Western civilization, but the Middle East today is central to issues of global peace and prosperity. This area incorporates largely Muslim lands, but Christians and Jews have also made important contributions. All receive appropriate attention in this program.
Study-abroad programs in Egypt and Jordan are offered during spring term. There is a partnership program with the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, where students may study for a semester or a full year. Students may also study in Tunisia and Turkey through COUNCIL programs. For more information, consult the Barbara H. Padnos International Center (PIC) or the director of the Middle East Studies program.
Students come from anthropology, business, communications, criminal justice, geography, history, and international relations-indeed, from all those disciplines in which there is increasing interest in the non-Western world. For example, for aspiring teachers, knowledge of Islamic civilization provides tools for understanding and teaching about areas far removed from the Middle East, such as South Asia, Indonesia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Business majors who can demonstrate some understanding of regional customs, cultural practices, and language, can gain advantage with the many local firms with Middle East trade links. For aspiring teachers, knowledge of Islamic civilization provides tools for understanding and teaching about areas far removed from the Middle East, such as South Asia, Indonesia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Business majors who can demonstrate some understanding of regional customs, cultural practices, and language, can gain advantage with the many local firms with Middle East trade links.
Student Organizations and the Model Arab League
Students are encouraged to join the Arab Culture Club or the Muslim Student Association, which sponsor a variety of activities during the academic year. They can also participate in the Model Arab League simulations held annually during the winter semester and in field trips to points of cultural interest locally and in the Detroit area.
The following program is available:
Middle East Studies Minor