Middle East

In addition to writing your own essay, you need to comment on at least two other students’ essays. I am hoping that this way we will generate intelligent discussions by which you will have an opportunity to share your concerns and views with your fellow students. Please post your essay before the assigned deadline. After posting your own essay you have a couple of days to respond to other students’ postings. In addition to your textbook you need to utilize at least two other outside sources to conduct the necessary research for this assignment. Make sure to cite your sources at the bottom of your essay.

Your Critical Thinking Essay (CTE) should be analytical and relevant to the topic, a minimum of 500 words (15 points for your essays, and 10 points for your comments on at least two other essays by your fellow students.) Your comments on other essays should be substantial in content and around 100 words long. (See your syllabus for more detail.) Any sign of plagiarism will result in zero grades.

Note: in addition to your textbook you need to utilize at least two outside sources as well. You are not allowed to use the Wikipedia as your main two sources. At the bottom of your essay cite at least two outside sources that you have used to complete your assignment. Give the author (s)’ names, publication date, name of article, and the source where you found the article (i.e. printed books, journals or Internet web site) respectively. Follow the APA writing style for your essay and references.  Read Your Syllabus for further instructions.

Select one of the following questions and after watching assigned documentaries and conducting necessary research answer to the best of your acquired knowledge. Before writing your essay, please read the assigned readings from your textbooks, watch assigned documentaries, and do some preliminary research utilizing relevant academic outside sources (i.e. books, articles, Internet sites.) You need to make references to your textbooks, assigned documentaries, and outside sources within the body of your essay.

Question 1. Turkey is the only Muslim country that for more than a decade did not allow its female population using some public governmental buildings while wearing their Islamic veil (hijab). What are your thoughts on such a policy? Do you think Turkey has a crisis of identity? Elaborate on your answer.

Assigned documentaries

1.Turkey lifts ban on Islamic head scarves, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131011-hijab-ban-turkey-islamic-headscarf-ataturk/

2. PBS Frontline: Muslims: This site explores Islam and Muslims examining the different faces of Islam’s worldwide resurgence and the fundamental tenets of the faith. Allowing you to read reporting from Iran, Nigeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Turkey, and the United States, and drawing on the perspectives of leading scholars this site provides you with stories of Muslims struggling to define how Islam will shape their lives and societies. This is only a reading site. The documentary itself is available through PSU Middle East Center and major public libraries.(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/muslims/)

3. Women and Veil (PBS Frontline 2002): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRy_F08kMQM&feature=related

4. Religion in Secular Turkey  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fighwkDVlfA&feature=related)

Question 2. Should Iran have access to nuclear power technology? Why? Why Not? Elaborate on your answer and give specific examples.

Assigned documentaries

Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif explains Iran’s nuclear program (September 2013)


U.S., Israel, Iran, and the Bomb: 

Showdown with Iranhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/showdown/view/This report focuses on the tumultuous U.S.-Iran relations since 9/11,and examines how U.S. efforts to install democracy in Iraq have served to strengthen Iran’s position as an emerging power in the Middle East.

Moving Beyond War: US-Iran Relations (2012): Once again we hear in America the drumbeat for war in the Middle East. Now, the bull’s-eye is on Iran. In this documentary Bill Moyers interviews Andrew Bacevich , a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran and now a professor of History and International Studies at Boston University