The Modern Middle East

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 1125
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
The Modern Middle East is a survey of the political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual developments of the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with a survey of the Ottoman Empire in 1800, the course charts the development of national movements and the emergence of nation-states after World War I. The course covers Egypt, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia Minor, the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Afghanistan. Canada’s relations and policies toward the region will also be examined.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

*Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1.  Introduction: Land, People, Climate
  2. The Ottoman World
  3. Egyptian Reforms, Ottoman Tanzimat, and Islamic Reforms
  4. National Movements: Arabism, Turkism, Zionism
  5. World War I and Lines in the Sand
  6. The Palestinian Mandate and the Emergence of the State of Israel
  7. Oil, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pan-Arabism
  8. Lebanon: Society and Sectarianism
  9. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1948-present
  10. Canada & The Middle East: Foreign Policy, Peacekeeping, and Diasporas
  11. Islamism and the Iranian Revolution of 1979
  12. Afghanistan: Peace, War, and Intervention
  13. Authoritarianism, the Revolutions of 2009, 2011, and current conflicts
  14. Sectarianism, Gender, and Health
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills. Course instruction may be delivered in-person, online, or in a hybrid format.


Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans. 

There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation. 

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

Any combination of the following totalling 100%:

  • Participation 10%
  • Quizzes and Map Tests 10%
  • Primary Document Analysis Essays 30%
  • Portfolio 20%
  • Midterm Exam 15%
  • Final Exam 15%
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically:

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned.


Ansary, Tamin. Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes. New York: Public Affairs, 2009.

Ansary, Tamin. Games without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan. New York: Public Affairs, 2014.

Barfield, Thomas. Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. 

Cleveland, William and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East, 5th ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2013.

Delisle, Guy. Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2015.

Fisk, Robert. The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East. London: Harper Perennial, 2006. 

Gelvin, James. The Modern Middle East: A History, 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Ghattas, Kim. Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East. London: Picador, 2021.  

Goldschmidt, Arthur and Lawrence Davidson. A Concise History of the Middle East. Boulder: Westview Press, 2012.

Hourani, A. A History of the Arab Peoples. London: Faber and Faber, 1991.

Hubbard, Ben. MBS: The Rise to Power of Muhammed bin-Salman. Danvers, MA: Tim Duggan Books, 2020.

Julius, Lyn. Uprooted: How 3,000 Years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight. Chicago: Vallentien Mitchell, 2018.

Keddie, Nikki (Editor) and Beth Baron (Editor). Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries in Sex and Gender. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. 

Lozowick, Yaacov. Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars. Toronto: Doubleday, 2003.

Lust, Ellen, ed. The Middle East, 19th ed. Washington DC: CQ Press, 2019.

Mansfield, Peter. A History of the Middle East, 4th ed. London: Penguin Books, 2013.

Mikhail, Alan. Osman’s Tree: The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and Environmental History. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2017. 

Ochsenwald, William and Sydeny Nettleton Fisher. The Middle East: A History. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences, 2010.

Pappe, Ilan. The Modern Middle East. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Said, Edward. The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After. New York: Vintage Books, 2001.

Sorenson, David S. An Introduction to the Modern Middle East: History, Religion, Political Economy, Politics. Boulder: Westview Press, 2013.


Sourcebooks and Readers:

Amin, Camron Michael, Benjamin C. Fortuna, and Elizabeth B. Frierson. The Modern Middle East: A Sourcebook for History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Clancy-Smith, Julia and Charles Smith. The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Documents. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Gettleman, Marvin and Stuart Schaar, eds. The Middle East and Islamic World Reader: A Historical Reader for the Twenty-First Century, 3rd ed. New York: Grove Press, 2012.

Khater, Akram Fouad. Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East Boston: Wadsworth Publishing, 2010.



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 1125
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX HIST 1XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU HIST 2XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 1XX (3)
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN HIST 1XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR HIST 1XX (3)
Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU HIST 1XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 1XXX (3)
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) No credit
North Island College (NIC) NIC HIS 1XX (3)
Northern Lights College (NLC) NLC HIST 2XX (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC HIST 1XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 151 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 1XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 1XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW HIST 1XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 1st (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 1XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 277B (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU HIST 1st (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023

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New Westminster - North Bldg.
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