MENA Resource Guide for Secondary Teachers


The MENA Resource Guide for Secondary Teachers is a Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) project. It was developed by the K–14 Education Outreach program at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) of Georgetown University. It forms part of the Secondary Education Module at, which is located on the MESPI website at

MESPI is a project of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University (GMU), CCAS at Georgetown University, the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut, and the Center for Global Islamic Studies at GMU.

The Education Committee of VCHR has reviewed, annotated, and expanded the existing MENA Resource Guide, which has resulted in the document presented here.

General Resources

Gaza Resources

World History

Literature and Multimedia

Media Literacy

Online Map Resources

University Resources and K–14 Outreach Centers

General Resources

A communal exploration of the histories and cultures of the Arab world, Afikra is is a global organization that aims to promote intellectualism and the diversity and richness of the Arab world’s cultures and histories. Through events online and around the world, Afikra has built a global community of volunteers, thinkers, and explorers.

The Academy tab includes the section Teacher Resources, which offers lesson plans and curricular material for high school teachers in the United States who are interested in supplementing their program with material on Arab histories and cultures. Titles: House of Wisdom: Inventions in the Islamic Golden Age; Stitching Identities: Palestinian “Tatreez” as Resistance; The Travels of Ibn Battuta; Between Two Worlds: The Mahjar Literary Movement; Rhythms of the Sea: Pearl Divers of the Gulf and Their Music; Egyptian Women’s Rights Movement.

The Media tab includes the section Explore our Library which is a landing page to archival material in the following categories: Art, Architecture, & Design; Important Figures; Food, Culture, & Traditions; Geography & Places; History; Language & Literature; Film, Music, & Pop Culture; and Science, Technology, & Industry.

The Podcasts section under Media provides links to Afikra webinars.

Balfour Project
The Balfour Project was created by British citizens to highlight Britain’s record in Palestine before, during, and after the Mandate, effectively from 1840 to 1948, to the present day. Through education and advocacy, the Project works to advance equal rights for all in Palestine/Israel regardless of race or creed and achieve greater public awareness of Britain’s current and historic responsibilities in Palestine/Israel. The Project seeks to persuade the British Parliament and Government to demand that the rule of law and fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination and the implementation of international law, are upheld in Israel/Palestine.

The Balfour Project asks the Government and people of the United Kingdom to:

  • Acknowledge Britain’s historical role in shaping 20th and 21st century Palestine/Israel, particularly in light of the Balfour Declaration and the policies of the British Mandate;
  • Support Palestinians and Israelis in building a peaceful future based on equal rights, justice and security for all;
  • Work for British Government recognition of the State of Palestine.

The Resources tab includes the section Resources for Educators, which has links to the following pages

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a nonprofit, bipartisan institution providing research, analysis, and policy advice on issues including defense, security, energy, trade, and global development. They no longer seem to provide resources aimed directly at educators, but the Books and Reports section of their Middle East Program may provide useful information for curricullum development.

Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan organization that shares information about global issues and foreign policy choices with government officials, business leaders, journalists, educators, students, and others. Educators visiting their website can explore resources to gain valuable background knowledge and/or share information with students. One can search by geographic region to see current resources related to the Middle East and North Africa or focus on the informative Explainers related to the region. CFR Academic includes Teaching Notes, which offer suggested discussion questions, essay questions, and activities and assignments for several relevant topics.

Institute for Palestine Studies
The Institute for Palestine Studies provides reliable information about the question of Palestine through its books, journals, and digital projects.

Journal of Palestine Studies. A quarterly refereed multidisciplinary journal that since 1971 has been the English-language academic journal of record on Palestinian affairs. It publishes original articles that span the humanities and social sciences, including, but not limited to, history, political science, international relations, law, economic development, geography, sociology and anthropology/ethnography, as well as gender and queer studies, literature, and the arts.

The Interactive Encyclopedia of the Palestine Question is an online encyclopedia tracing the history of modern Palestine, from the end of the Ottoman era to the present. It offers a chronology of events; essays on important events and concepts; biographical sketches of significant Palestinian political, military, and literary figures; information about the 418 villages and towns ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias in 1948 and 1949; and important documents.

MAKAN is a Palestinian-led political education organisation that strengthens voices for Palestinian rights.

MAKAN helps to transform the existing narrative on Palestine-Israel to one that upholds freedom, justice and equality for all by delivering educational workshops and trainings on Palestine, creating useful resources and tools for human rights advocates, and connecting people and organisations active on the issue to one another.

MAKAN helps strengthen the Palestine movement in the UK and, by extension, the global movement that is pushing for freedom for Palestinians.

The Educational Resources tab lists the following pages:

  • Palestine 101: A 5-minute video, “Palestine, a Story of Colonialism and Resistance,” explores the history of injustice faced by the Palestinian people, from colonialism to displacement to present-day apartheid.
  • Online Resources: An online course, “Understanding Palestine,” gives you a cohesive and complete story of Palestine through the lens of history, identity, and politics. Drawing on expert speakers and in-depth research, the course covers key issues such as the Nakba, refugeehood and Israeli apartheid that affect Palestinians today.
  • Virtual Talks: A landing page offers links to discussions that amplify voices not often heard on leading topics for the Palestinian movement and intersecting struggles. Topics include surveillance, policing, food sovereignty, and feminism and anticolonialism.
  • Historical Overview: Links on the page offer a historical account of the Palestinian rights struggle from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Glossary: Keywords and concepts relevant to discussion of the question of Palestine.
  • Hub: Visual resources to deepen understanding of Palestine/Israel. Fact sheets compiled from various sources provide information on topics such as the position of international law on the apartheid wall, water inequality, and online censorship
  • Palestinian Rghts: Detailed reports of human rights violations in Palestine. Materials provide information on freedom of movement, right to family, right to health, and other rights that Palestinians have been deprived of.

Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)
The Teach Palestine Project, a project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) based in Berkeley, California, is a resource by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into classrooms and schools. Units, lesson plans, and background materials include topics on immigration, Manifest Destiny, borders and walls, the juvenile justice system, water and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Teaching Palestine/Israel: A Multiple Narratives Approach
By Samia Shoman

High school. This unit, which exposes students to the idea that Palestinians and Israelis have different narratives about the same historical events, was developed by a Palestinian American teacher specifically for teaching about Palestine in situations where pushback from Zionist parents, administrators and/or organizations is likely. Despite years of attacks, Samia was able to continue promoting critical thinking about Israeli and Palestinian history and current realities. Based on critical analysis of primary documents, this multiple narratives approach unit, which covers history from the First Zionist Conference in 1897 through 2011, looks at history through four concepts: facts, perspectives, narratives, and your truth.

Borders and Walls: Stories that Connect Us to Palestine
By Jody Sokolower

Middle and high school English language learners and mainstream students. Description, lesson plans and materials for a unit designed to be integrated into US history, world history and ethnic studies classes. Begins with gallery walk of borders/walls around the world. Students compare texts and impact of Manifest Destiny rhetoric in US with Promised Land rhetoric in Israel through original sources, maps and poetry. Exploration of current realities through voices of Palestinian youth in the West Bank and English language learner researchers in the US. Includes options for final projects.

“Was She Really Going to Punch That Israeli Soldier?” A 6th Grade Unit Takes a Global Look at Youth Incarceration
By Simone Allen

Encouraged by student interest and participation in the Teach Palestine Teacher Trip, a 6th-grade teacher creates and teaches units comparing youth incarceration in the US and Palestine.

Determined to Stay Lesson Plans
Slideshows and Downloads by Samia Shoman and Jody Sokolower

These lessons are based on the young adult book Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village. Like the book, they focus on youth in the Palestinian village of Silwan, which is just outside the Old City in East Jerusalem. Because Palestinian history and current reality can seem “too complicated to understand,” centering on one village provides an effective and accessible introduction

Stolen Land: A Unit Comparing Palestine to the Americas
By Marcy Newman

High school (adaptable for middle school and/or English language learners). Description and resources for a unit that compares the impact of walls, borders, and forced migration on Indigenous peoples of North America and Palestine. Starting with class-generated questions, students develop vocabulary, study historical maps, and explore how the ongoing conflicts are expressed in poetry, hip hop and visual arts. Includes an example of street theater as a final project.

Palestine in English Class
An interview with Kristia Castrillo by Jody Sokolower

High school. San Francisco 10th and 11th grade English teacher Kristia Castrillo describes how she uses Guy Delisle’s graphic novel Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City to teach about Palestine. Includes slide show with daily assignments.

Teach Arab American Studies!
Webinar led by Samia Shoman

Samia Shoman, Palestinian educator and Teach Palestine Project co-coordinator, models an Arab American studies lesson and shares resources.

“Why Isn’t Palestine on Our Map?” An Introduction to the Middle East for Third Graders
By Christina Lagerwerff

Third grade (can be adapted for upper elementary). Description and resources for integrating Palestine and other countries in the Middle East into “the nooks and crannies” of third-grade curriculum. Creative use of maps, geography, age-appropriate literature, and “Al-Kwarismi’s Magic Function Machine.”

Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)
The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to inform the public about contemporary issues in the Middle East. MERIP offers analysis and informed perspectives on a range of issues, including the role of U.S. policy in the region. Educators may find it helpful to read the Current Analysis blog to enrich their understanding of issues. The Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict primer explains the modern origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC)
The Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) is a national nonprofit organization of educators working to increase public knowledge about the peoples, places, and cultures of the Middle East, including the Arab world, Israel, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. MEOC is dedicated to disseminating apolitical and nonpartisan information, resources, and activities furthering understanding about the Middle East. The site includes peer-reviewed teaching resources and a helpful member forum to ask questions and share resources. MEOC also established an annual Middle East Book Award for the best picture book, youth literature, and youth non-fiction book about the Middle East. MEOC is an affiliated organization of the Middle East Studies Association.

Middle East Policy Council | is an educational outreach initiative developed by the Middle East Policy Council and is designed to provide K-12 educators with information to teach about critical and complex topics related to the Middle East and North Africa.

There is a section devoted to resource guides as well as section with topics focus on the Middle East.

The Film Review section includes films from and about the region.

NaTakallam School Programs
NaTakallam School Programs are aimed at connecting primary and secondary school students with refugee educators for high-quality language learning and cultural exchange.

Immersive language and exchange programs for students increase students’ language skills and prepare young minds for a global career. NaTakallam's academic programs provide affordable and enriching opportunities that complement existing coursework. NaTakallam Language Partners have worked with over 300 educational institutions.

NaTakallam's products for schools include: Refugee Voices, Cultural Exchange, and Language Learning.

Resources of ING MidWest (Islamic Networks Group)
The Resources team of ING MidWest includes diverse Muslim professionals, educators, and K–12 parents, with input from various schools. RING MidWest shares K–12 resources that address issues related to diversity, inclusion, stereotypes, discrimination, identity, and Islamophobia.

The website includes a database of teaching resources searchable by topic and grade level. There are also bibliographies that provide background reading for teachers as well as book lists for children's literature.

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
As part of a global movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people, the USCPR works to stop US support for Israel until it ends its denial of Palestinian rights.

TThe Resources tab provides information in two categories: Activist Resources, which includes information ranging from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to Ethical Travel to Palestine; and Joint Struggles, which includes material on topics ranging from Black Palestine Solidarity to the political education curriculum “Palestine as a Model of Resistance.”

Visualizing Palestine (VP)
Visualizing Palestine was established in 2012 and is dedicated to using data and research to visually communicate Palestinian experiences to provoke narrative change. Visualizing Palestine envisions a liberated future for Palestinians in a world free from oppression.

Visualizing Palestine’s theory of change is centered on narrative change. Visualizing Palestine believes that dominant narratives serve to obscure, justify, and perpetuate oppressive power structures in society. Visualizing Palestine is dedicated to creating narrative interventions that shift these power dynamics, making Palestinian narratives more visible, widely accessible, and powerful as part of wider anti-colonial and anti-racist narratives.

VP graphics are available for download on a variety of topics, including US anti-boycott legislation; the Israeli settlement enterprise in Sheikh Jarrah; Israel’s control of Palestinian food; and New York funding of Israeli settler violence.

Visualizing Palestine together with Palestine Writes debuted its latest product at the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, titled "A Place of Many Beginnings: Three Paths into the History of Palestine." The landing page provides access to three sections: Many Beginnings, Palestine's Material Culture, Naming Palestine.

Gaza Resources

A communal exploration of the histories and cultures of the Arab world, Afikra is is a global organization that aims to promote intellectualism and the diversity and richness of the Arab world’s cultures and histories. Through events online and around the world, Afikra has built a global community of volunteers, thinkers, and explorers.

Afikra has recorded podcast episodes relevant to understanding the historical context to what is happening in Palestine. Four of them are included. Also included are some old podcast favorites, books, films, art, music and resources to learn more about Palestinian history and culture.

Special Podcast Series

Afikra hosts podcasts on various subjects related to the Arab world. Below are a number of Special Podcasts focusing on Gaza and Palestine.

Prof. Abaher El-Sakka

Author of "Gaza: A Social History under British Colonial Rule"

Omar Thawabeh interviews professor El-Sakka who paints a vivid picture of Gaza’s social and economic life from the Mamluk period to British colonial rule.

Prof. Beshara Doumani

Professor of Palestinian Studies at Brown University

Doumani gives us critical historical context for what's happening in Palestine right now, explaining why and how Palestine's colonial history is relevant today.

Brendan Ciarán Browne

Author and multidisciplinary scholar

The author of “Transitional (in)Justice and Enforcing the Peace on Palestine” joins us to talk about transnational solidarity, Ireland, the ICC, and what justice could look like in Palestine.

Mara Kronenfeld

Executive director of UNRWA-USA

Kronenfeld gives context about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza right now and the devastating impact the 17-year-long blockade has had on Palestinian life.

For a listing of additional podcast episodes on Palestine, follow this link.

Books We Love

The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017

Rashid Khalidi

Traces the 100 years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States. Original, authoritative and important, this book reevaluates the forces arrayed against the Palestinians, and offers an illuminating view on a war that continues to this day.

In Search of Fatima

Ghada Karmi

Karmi's acclaimed memoir captures her childhood in Palestine, flight to Britain after the Nakba, and coming of age in Jewish Golders Green, in North London. Speaking for the millions of displaced people worldwide who have lived suspended between their old and new countries – fitting into neither – this is an intimate, nuanced exploration of the subtler privations of psychological displacement and loss of identity.

Eye on Art

Would the Valleys Were Your Streets, 2017

Jordan Nassar is an American-Palestinian artist who creates a contemporary style of tatreez (Palestinian embroidery), borrowing traditional motifs from his Palestinian heritage and exploring the notion of landscape entirely from the imaginary. This one is a hand embroidered cotton on cotton.



Free Palestine poster

Free Palestine Project: Visual archive of Palestine posters.

Artists and designers from around the world are creating posters for Palestine and submitting them to this growing visual archive. They're free to use for non-commercial purposes, so browse the already extensive list – and if you're an illustrator, contribute your own work.

This artwork was designed by Rustungberto.

Links & Things

Palestinian Film Screenings Around the World [Nov 2]
Today is the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Aflamuna is organizing more than 90 Palestinian film screenings around the world to show unwavering support for Palestine & contribute to shifting distorted narratives.

London Palestinian Film Festival [Nov 17-23]
The festival is set to explore issues that are pertinent to the events unfolding today through a creative, cinematic lens. The program includes both recently released titles and archival favorites.

In The Shade of the Sun exhibition at Mosaic Rooms [until Jan 2024]
A multimedia exhibition that contemplates the relationship between politics and aesthetics through the work of a new generation of Palestinian artists.

Visualizing Palestine
Visualizing Palestine uses data and research to visually communicate Palestinian experiences and provoke narrative change. Listen to a podcast episode with their team from 2021.

American University of Beirut's Palestinian Oral History Archive
This digital platform is part of a project to digitize, index, preserve and provide access to an archival collection of approximately 1000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon.

For a Free Palestine: Films by Palestinian Women
Though the films are no longer available to watch for free, this is a good resource for discovering and learning about films made through the lens of female filmmakers.

The Palestine Chronology by the Institute for Palestine Studies
An interactive timeline of the day-to-day political and military events surrounding Palestine that took place from 1982 to the present day.

Six books to read about Palestine for free
Verso Books has made six e-books available to download for free, each of which challenges Zionist ideology and offers a clear history of the occupation, Israel's military industrial complex and the BDS movement.

American Friends Service Committee

The Companies Profiting from Israel’s 2023-2024 Attacks on Gaza
The companies listed here have provided Israel with weapons and other military equipment used in its attacks on Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria following October 2023.

Gaza in Context Project
The Gaza in Context Project, which is a part of the Palestine in Context Project, has the following two teaching modules.

Gaza in Context Project: A Collaborative Teach-in Series
In collaboration with 22 university and research centers, the Arab Studies Institute has produced and curated resources for anyone looking to learn more about Gaza. These weekly teach-in series cover a host of issues that introduce our common university communities, educators, researchers, students, and laypersons to the history and present of Gaza, in context.

The War on Palestine Podcast is a 20-minute weekly program with updates on events on the ground. It is focused on analysis on how to make sense of those developments.


MAKAN is a Palestinian-led political education organization that strengthens voices for Palestinian rights.
This page compiles previous Makan resources to make it easier than ever to access vital information and support your advocacy efforts. Whether you’ve been advocating for Palestine for a long time or are just starting to explore this important issue, this resource can help frame current discussions on Gaza.

South Africa’s Petition to the International Court of Justice

Teach Palestine Resource List
The Teach Palestine Project, a project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) based in Berkeley, California, is a resource by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into classrooms and schools. Units, lesson plans, and background materials include topics on immigration, Manifest Destiny, borders and walls, the juvenile justice system, water, and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Resources for learning more about the war in Gaza:

The resources below are designed to help educators understand current event in Gaza. They also include background information about Palestine to use with students at different grade levels. Resources are categorized under three themes:

  • News Sources & Social Media accounts on what’s happening in Gaza now
  • Background Information & Teaching Resources on the Roots of Current Events in Palestine
  • Infographics

Video Resources
Untold Stories from Gaza Dr. Tariq Haddad is a Palestinian-American cardiologist who has lost more than 100 family members in Gaza since October 2023. He immigrated to the US in his teens and has visited the West Bank consistently in recent years. Join Atif Qarni, Former VA Secretary of Education, for a fireside chat with Dr. Haddad to hear the untold stories of the civilians in Palestine who have lived under oppression for over 75 years. Topics addressed include a brief history of Palestine, the ethnically cleansed villages in 1948, what daily life looks like for Palestinians, the education system, unequal access to resources like land and water, contending with checkpoints and the Apartheid Wall, and much more. [1:19:41]
Al Jazeera podcast Center Stage: Interview with Israeli historian Ilan Pappé Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian and professor at the University of Exeter, is known for his outspoken views on the Israeli-Palestinian question. He’s the author of several books, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, in which he challenges the traditional Israeli narrative over the establishment of Israel in 1948. In this episode, Pappé discusses the dangers of the Zionist ideology and its impact on Israel and Palestine, the historical context of October 7, and his vision for a one-state solution. [25:03]

Zinn Education Project and Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change Resource List
These resources include lessons and teaching stories, news coverage, fact sheets, books, articles, calls to action, film clips, podcast, archives, projects and classroom stories.

World History

Children and Youth in History | World History Matters
Children & Youth in History
is a world history resource created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and the University of Missouri–Kansas City with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

It provides teachers and students with access to primary sources, website reviews, teaching modules, and case studies to learn about young people throughout history.

  • Website reviews by region: The Middle East/North Africa link offers content on Eternal Egypt, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Images of Empire, and Abdul-Hamid II Collection Photography Archive, among other collections.
  • Primary sources by region: The Middle East/North Africa link opens up pages of landing pages with such items as a podcast on education in a warzone, education in post-colonial Algeria, and Ibn Khaldun’s study of history.
  • Teaching modules: Primary sources on education in the Middle East.

Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Essays and works of art are paired with chronologies to tell a story of global culture. The following tabs may be especially useful:

  • Learn with us: Learning resources for kids and families; publications (use the search feature to find material on the thematic category or collection/department of interest); timeline of art history (more than 1,000 essays); workshops and activities; articles, videos, and podcasts
  • Dialogs and perspectives

Indian Ocean in World History
The Indian Ocean is presented as a vibrant region of exchange, technological advancement, and production of goods. This curriculum resource helps teachers incorporate this region into world history and offers students the opportunity to analyze primary sources like trade goods, artworks, artifacts, and travel accounts that illustrate historical interactions.

Included are lesson plans (e.g., colonialism, spread of culture), maps, and learning tools.

Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean
Our Shared Past is a collaborative grants program to encourage new approaches to world history curriculum and curricular content design in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and North America

The curriculum comprises six modules that examine the connections (ideas, commercial ties) between societies in northern Africa, western Asia, and Europe since 5000 BCE. Each module includes downloadable files: a teacher’s guide, topic breakdown, a bibliography, and student handouts.

Rethinking the Region
A curriculum resource related to the Middle East and North Africa for teachers of grades 9–12. It offers alternatives to traditional textbooks and draws on new scholarship to explore ways in which peoples and society interacted to more accurately reflect the region’s complex histories and identities.

  • Curricula: Downloadable lesson plans and handouts on the following topics:
    • Women and Gender
    • Plural Identities
    • Empire and Nation
    • Political and Social Movements
    • Arts and Technology
  • Additional resources: an annotated bibliography, educational resources, and maps.

Smarthistory publishes
videos and essays on art and cultural history from ancient times to the present.

  • For Learning: You can select material by geography and time period (e.g., Africa, Ancient Mediterranean and Europe, the Islamic World); by topic and course (e.g., history of photography, oppression and resistance in art); and through special topics (e.g., Across cultures)
  • Books: More than a dozen books are available, some of them designed for AP classes; titles include Guide to Byzantine Art and Guide to Ancient Egyptian Art.
  • For Teaching: a landing page provides links to past webinars and upcoming events; four syllabi (for teaching classes in world art history, history of global architecture, history of western art 1300–1800, and history of western art and civilization: prehistory through the middle ages); a guide to using works of art in classrooms for grades K–12.
  • Arts of the Islamic World shares information about a range of topics, including mosque architecture.
This site is aimed at K–12 history teachers.

  • Teaching materials: lesson plan reviews, teaching guides, English language learners, FAQ offering responses to requests from teachers on specific topics
  • History content: website reviews to help teachers find quality websites; beyond the textbook, which takes a question and then gives the textbook account, a historical account, and what the sources say.
  • Best practices: topics include Using Primary Sources, Teaching with Textbooks, etc.

World History for Us All | National Center for History in the Schools
World History for Us All is an innovative model curriculum for teaching world history in middle and high schools. Its distinguishing feature is that history is divided into so-called Big Eras.

The free online curriculum offers teaching units, lesson plans, and resources for grades K–12:

  • Presents the human past as a single story rather than unconnected stories of many civilizations
  • Helps students understand the past by connecting specific subject matter to larger historical patterns
  • Draws on up-to-date research
  • Helps teachers meet state and national standards.
  • Is adaptable to various history programs

Units include questions, themes, glossary, foundations of curriculum. Some examples:

  • Big Era 5:
    • Unit 5.1: Centuries of Upheaval in Afroeurasia 300–600 CE
    • Unit 5.2: Afroeurasia and the Rise of Islam
  • Big Era 6:
    • Unit 6.7: The Long Reach of the Major Religions 1500–1800 CE
  • Big Era 7:
    • Unit 7.5: The Experience of Colonialism, 1850–1914
    • Unit 7.6: New Identities: Nationalism and Religion, 1850–1914

Literature and Multimedia

AramcoWorld Magazine
is a print and online resource that aims to foster cross-cultural understanding by sharing the history, culture, and geography of Arabs and Muslims. A digital image archive includes virtual walking tours (ex: Al-Haram Al-Sharif or Temple Mount), events, books, back issues, photos, etc.

Features of the Classroom Guides:

  • Discuss formation of Muslim American identities in the modern world
  • Provide classroom guides (with interactive tools and activities for middle school to college-level)
  • Provide easy access to information by selecting “subject” or “region”, or by “keyword”
  • Many resources conform to U.S. common core academic standards
  • Discuss origins and provide stories
  • Texts, videos and exercises introduce social studies concepts while building close reading comprehension skills and use of digital media
  • Meet common core standards, such as:
    • “Spice Migrations” (cinnamon, pepper, ginger, cumin, cloves, nutmeg; times and routes of their migration from Asia to Europe)
    • Cooking (one cookbook from 10th-century Andalous; one recipe recorded in Akkadian cuneiform tablet…)
    • “Islamic Finance” (prohibition of “riba”—usury)
    • “Berlin’s Cultural Jam: A Study in Migration” (commingling of cultures, music, history of Migration to Germany and ways of integration into new cultures)
    • Ons Jabeur: Being a “First” (Tunisian professional woman tennis player)
    • “Central Asian Women Truckers: Analyzing Gender Stereotypes”
    • “Breaking the Shanidar Neanderthal Stereotypes: Evidence-Based Analysis” (based on recent archeological research)
      “Developing Inquiry Questions Around the Study of Infectious Diseases” (“detective” work based on work by epidemiologists during pandemic)
    • Cedar trees of Lebanon: How to save them and environment more broadly (problem solving)
    • Videos on Islamic Art (e.g., how to make Islamic geometric patterns)
    • Interviews with ‘oud player Alaa Zouitar (Berlin Cultural Jam); rapper Taha 6aha Aiwa (Berlin Cultural Jam); Percussionist Elias Aboud (Berlin Cultural Jam)

Book Café Podcast
Palestine in Israeli School Books by Nurit Peled-AlHannan Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is an Israeli philologist, professor of language and education and activist. She is a 2001 co-laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament. Her book Palestine Israeli School Books, published in 2012, presents research on Israeli textbooks, which she describes as anti-Palestinian. She discusses her findings on Book Café Podcast. [54:36]

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf | Muslim Journeys
The Muslim Journeys project is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. It provides resources representing diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

  • Includes collection of 25 books and three films—the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf (about history, religion, art and architecture, and literature, and interdisciplinary studies)
  • Provides resources that present diverse perspectives on people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world
  • Can be accessed by theme—readings develop these themes; a bibliography is provided. Examples of themes:
    • Stories of American Muslims since Colonial times (4 pages of text)
    • Connection between Islam and West since before Modern Age (includes video and annotated bibliography for more resources)
    • Literary reflections by Muslims on their faith as they adapted to the different places they migrated to: “What does it mean to be a good Muslim?”
    • Pathways of faith (Islam, Judaism, Christianity): readings
    • Points of view of Muslims’ daily lives in a diverse world (includes voices of non-Muslims living in majority-Muslim communities), memoirs, fiction, novel
    • Islamic Art: seven visual essays about art in Muslim societies (calligraphy, architecture, gardens, textile, trade and travel, geometry, miniature painting, arts of the Book)

A web resources page, which provides access to:

  • Images (photographs, works of art (such as calligraphy), illuminated books, textile
  • Audio-visual: recordings (of music and talks), video clips, interviews
  • Texts (primary documents, book excerpts, articles, literary texts—with annotated links for further exploration
    • Examples of books, with discussion points to facilitate conversation about each book:
      • The Story of an American Muslim
      • The Art of Hajj
      • Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhouse
      • The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance
      • Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (film)
      • The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christianity Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

Global Read Webinar Series and World Book Awards

The Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) has established a Middle East Book Award to recognize literature for children and young adults that helps readers develop a richer understanding of the Middle East. Awards are given annually for best picture book, youth literature, and youth non-fiction book.

  • Literature about the Middle East and other regions for children and young adults (Children’s Africana; East and Southeast Asia; Middle East)
  • Criteria for book awards:
    • Best picture book
    • Youth literature
    • Youth non-fiction
  • Regional awards
  • Free webinar; includes:
    • Presentation of a book by its author
    • Discussion about how to incorporate the book into the classroom
  • List of recognized titles (very useful)

Most recent awards were given to the following books:

  • Children’s Africana Book Award (CABA):
    • Too Small Tola, by Atinuke; Onyinye, illustrator
    • African proverbs for All Ages, collected by Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Nelda LaTeef; Nelda LaTeef, illustrator
  • Freeman Book Award (East and Southeast Asia):
    • A Bowl of Peace: A True Story, by Caren Stelson; Akira Kusaka, illustrator
    • Eyes that Speak to the Stars, by Joanna Ho; Dung Ho, illustrator
  • Middle East Book Award :
    • Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers, by Lina AlHathloul and Uma Mishra
    • A Sky-Blue Bench, by Bahram Rahman; Peggy Collins, illustrator

Haymarket Books
Teaching Through a Collective Liberation Framework in Our Schools and Communities This video is a recording of an event cosponsored by Haymarket Books, PARCEO, Rethinking Schools, and NYCORE. It features educators and organizers committed to just learning spaces and critical inquiry speaking about their work and challenges bringing urgent social justice issues into our schools and communities. [1:02:15]
Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine before the Nakba (2024) This video shows the launch event of the Haymarket Books publication Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba. Through its stunning collection of images of Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Against Erasure tells the story of a land full of people—people with families, hopes, dreams, and a deep connection to their home—before Israel’s establishment in 1948, known to Palestinians as the Nakba, or “catastrophe.” Denying Palestinian existence has been a fundamental premise of Zionism, which has sought not only to hide this existence but also to erase its memory. But existence leaves traces, and the imprint of the Palestine that was remains, even in the absence of those expelled from their lands. It appears in the ruins of a village whose name no longer appears in the maps, in the drawing of a lost landscape, in the lyrics of a song, or in the photographs from a family album. [54:28]

Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by the Arab Studies Institute and offers insights, analysis, and advocacy about topics related to the Arab world and the broader Middle East.

Information is organized both by country/region (Egypt, Iran, Arabian Peninsula, Palestine, Syria, Turkey) and by thematic topic (Refugees and Migrants, Cities, Culture, Law and Conflict, Political Economy, Pedagogy, and Media, among others).

Just Vision
Just Vision fills a media gap on Israel-Palestine through independent storytelling and strategic audience engagement.

They are a team of filmmakers, journalists, storytellers and human rights advocates who envision a pluralistic, just and rights-respecting future in the region. Just Vision places documentary filmmaking and journalismcoupled with strategic audience engagementat the center of their mission because they believe that stories have the power to shape public norms, equip audiences with vital information, undermine stereotypes, and inspire.

They offer seven films with discussion guides. Titles include the following: Boycott, Naila and the Uprising, The Wanted 18, My Neighbourhood, Home Front, Budrus, and Encounter Point.

Maydan is an online publication of Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, offering expert analysis on a wide variety of issues in the field of Islamic Studies for academic and public audiences alike, and serving as a resource hub and a platform for informed conversation, featuring original articles and visual media from diverse perspectives.

Maydan offers its readers diverse perspectives with articles and essays organized according to Islamic Thought, Arts and Culture, Reviews, Politics and Society, and Teaching and Learning.

Middle Eastern & North African Cinema & Film (Cornell University)
A guide to help users to identify, locate, and access resources at the Cornell University Library as well as online research tools related to Middle Eastern and North African moving-image visual media.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
PBS produces news broadcasts and documentaries. Their Middle East news stories may provide helpful background information for educators and/or students in their study of current events.

Some PBS productions related to the Middle East are the following:

  • PBS News Hour: How the autobiography of a Muslim slave is challenging the American narrative (2019) Omar Ibn Said was 37 years old when he was taken from his West African home and transported to Charleston, South Carolina, as a slave in the 1800s. Now, his one-of-a-kind autobiographical manuscript has been translated from its original Arabic and housed at the Library of Congress, where it “annihilates” the conventional narrative of African slaves as uneducated and uncultured and the erasure of the fact that up to 20 percent of enslaved Africans who were brought to this country were Muslim.
  • The Islam Project (multimedia; presented in all its complexity and diversity), correlates the curriculum with the National Standards for History.
  • A two-hour documentary “Muhammed” (aired in 2002; can be purchased)
  • A two-hour documentary “Muslims” (aired in 2002; can be purchased), which includes:
    • Guidelines and lesson plans for teaching about stereotypes, America’s ethnic diversity, and Muslim immigration
    • Preparatory materials
    • Background on Islam and Muslims
    • Islamic law and contemporary issues
    • Maps

Tribe Photo Magazine
Tribe is a non-profit publication focused on documenting photography and moving image from the Arab world. Invested in the creative culture of the arts industry, the magazine offers insight on the extensive talent within the region.

As a global platform, its core mission is to create an archive and to stimulate dialogue about both emerging and established artists who are defining their practice. With a focused circulation channel, the magazine partners and actively participates in art and photography fairs internationally.

Material is grouped into these categories: current issue, past issues, moving image, media partnerships, exhibitions, library, and contributors.

Unity Productions Foundation
The mission of Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is to create peace through the media. As part of this mission, UPF creates long-term educational campaigns to start dialogues among people of different faiths and cultures, especially among Muslims and other faiths. To assist teachers, UPF provides a variety of resources:

  • Free, streaming documentary films for different age levels
  • Companion curriculum materials developed by social studies teachers
  • Materials are designed to meet national and state teaching standards
  • Films available (some with extensive companion websites):
    • The Sultan and the Saint
    • Enemy of the Reich
    • Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think
    • Allah Made Me Funny
    • On a Wing and A Prayer: An American Muslim Learns to Fly
    • Talking Through Walls
    • Prince Among Slaves
    • Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain
    • Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet

Voices from the Holy Land Film Series
Voices From the Holy Land Film Series seeks to present informative and compelling documentary films by Israeli, Palestinian, American, and European film makers. It explores the complex, difficult, and emotional issues preventing peace in the Holy Land for over three generations.

Media Literacy

Center for Media Literacy
The Center is dedicated to promoting and supporting media literacy education as a framework for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating and participating with media content. Designed for grades from pre-K to college. Some resources require a fee.

  • Find Resources
    • Global on-Ramp to Media Literacy (free media literacy introduction)
    • Online courses
    • Evidence-based curricula with framework
    • Reading room
    • Professional development
    • Best practices and cases
    • ML moments free activities
  • Research the Field
    • Voices of Media Literacy: 20+ pioneers speak
    • Evaluation
    • Best practices and cases
    • Professional development

Project Look Sharp | Ithaca College
The mission of Project Look Sharp is to help K–16 educators enhance students’ critical thinking, metacognition, and civic engagement through media literacy materials and professional development. There are more than 500 free lessons spanning all grade levels and diverse topics, as well as demonstration videos of so-called Constructivist Media Decoding.

  • Free classroom materials:
    • Guides by Subject/Level, such as for Global Studies, Grades 9–12:
      • Rising Sea Refugees
      • Mapping Ancient Civilizations: Who’s Included and Who’s Not?
    • Lessons and kits
    • Featured topics
    • Handouts
  • Professional development
    • Constructivist media decoding: teaching through reflective dialogue
    • Key questions and handouts
    • Demonstration videos include US Wars in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and The Politics of Maps Israel/Palestine
    • Published articles and webinars
    • DIY Guide

A free resource of particular interest for study of the Middle East is Media Constructions of the Middle East, a 250–page kit with lessons addressing topics such as stereotyping of Arab people, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq, and militant movements.

Online Map Resources

Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem
The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem offers detailed and colorful maps related to Palestine in 10 categories:

  • Historical Maps
  • Water Resources Maps
  • Geopolitical Maps
  • Agricultural Maps
  • Food Security Maps (dated 2009)
  • Locality Maps
  • Tourist Maps
  • Survey of Palestine Maps
  • Jerusalem Maps
  • Physical Characteristic Maps

Each category of maps offers even more specific and detailed maps. For example, under Physical Characteristic Maps, one can find: Aridity Index of the West Bank, Gaza Digital Elevation and Shaded Relief Map, Mean Annual Temperature, and Solar Radiation Map, etc.

NOTE: It appears many of the maps were last updated in 2009; however, they may prove to be useful for scholastic research purposes due to their wide range of topics, subtopics, and detail.

Arab Gateway Maps of the Arab World
Al-bab has a variety of maps of Arab countries covering many topics, including, political, relief maps, city and street plans, economic activity, population density, administrative divisions, land use, ethnic groups/tribes, oil and gas concession holders, religious group distribution, etc. The countries include:

Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait,

Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco (and Western Sahara),

Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria,

Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

In addition, there are general maps on the Middle East, Gulf Region, Red Sea, and Palestinian refugee camps.

More detailed maps can be found within each country listed at the top of the website page by clicking on the country, such as with Iraq or Palestine. Many of the maps are compiled from various sources, including academic institutions, the US State Department, CIA Atlas of the Middle East, the United Nations, USAid, and respective countries’ own maps. The maps cover a wide range of years as well.

Within each county’s page, one will find more maps, as well as basic information about the country, history and politics (including links to historical documents), economy, and further suggested readings on the respective country.

The Global Education Project
This Global Education Project Maps of the Middle East page has both contemporary and historical maps, mostly of Iraq and Palestine.

  • Contemporary maps:
    • Iraq – Large Map
    • Iraq Demographics
    • Baghdad
    • Israel and the Occupied Territories
    • Gaza Strip 2003
    • West Bank 2003
    • Greater Jerusalem
    • Israeli/Palestinian Water Systems
    • The Middle East – Petroleum Systems Map
    • Map of Afghanistan
    • Stunting – National percentages for the stunting of children under age five (Middle East)
    • Map of World Religions
  • Historical maps:
    • Palestine in Biblical Times
    • Israel/Palestine 1949
    • Palestine Under British Mandate 1923–1948
    • Proposed Partition Plans 1937–1947
    • Palestine 1878–1927
    • 1916 Sykes-Picot Middle East Partition
    • Middle East 1914
    • Jerusalem’s Old City

The Global Education Project also has a selection of links to other online sources with maps of the Middle East.

Israel Science and Technology | Satellite Images of Israel and the Middle East
This Israel Science and Technology Directory page has 19 sharp satellite images of Israel and the Middle East taken from the NASA Johnson Space Center with minor editing. (Note that this link may time out.)

There are also links to many other maps covering various topics including:

  • Political map of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Current maps of Israel (topographical maps, geographical regions, districts, cities, trails, etc.)
  • Historical maps of Israel (administrative divisions of the Middle East during reign of the Ottoman Empire, Holy Land maps, ancient maps of Jerusalem, etc.)

Note that a couple of the maps are in Hebrew.

Le Monde Diplomatique | Middle East Maps
Le Monde Diplomatique has a broad selection of 50 informative and colorful maps of the Middle East and two maps of the Arab World specifically.

On the main page, clicking Middle East or Arab World will scroll to that particular section. Within the Arab World link are additional maps on poverty, higher education and internet connectivity, and youth population and respective illiteracy rates.

In the upper right-hand corner of each map in the entire series (including other parts of the world), one can click on Translations for English or other languages if available, as some maps are in French only.

New maps are continually added throughout Le Monde Diplomatique’s map collection for all parts of the world The most recent Middle East additions in 2022 are:

  • The Shape of a Nuclear Middle East
  • The Fragmented West Bank
  • Fragmented Yemen
  • Fragmented Territories

Students and teachers may also want to explore the site’s General section on Energy, Environment, Health, Inequality, International, Migrations and Refugees, Economy, Demography, Crime, and Arms Trade as there may be further information on the Middle East in those categories as well.

For example, under Environment, one can find: OPEC’s share of production in a changing oil market, and Oil production and consumption around the world; under Migrations and Refugees, is the map One in five Syrians has fled the country; under Inequality, one can find in the World Poverty section general information on total infant mortality and malnutrition.

As with many organizations and institute websites, one can subscribe to Le Monde Diplomatique Maps to keep up to date with new map additions and information.

Library of Congress | Middle East Maps
The Middle East Maps collection of the Library of Congress is comprised of 120 mostly historical maps of the Middle East, some of which include North Africa, Europe, and Asia. The maps date from 1200 AD through the 21st century.

There is a handy index on the left column of the page to search for specific maps by:

  • Date (1200–1299 through 2000–2099)
  • Location (country)
  • Part of (Library of Congress Online Catalog, World Digital Library, etc.)
  • Contributor (Central Intelligence Agency, Edward Stanford Ltd., Heinreich Keipert, and more)
  • Subject (Early Works to 1800, Early Maps, etc.)
  • Language (English, French, German, Latin, etc.)
  • Access Condition (Available Online)
  • Expert Resources (Geography and Map Research Center, How to Order Reproductions, etc.)

MidEast Web Maps of the Middle East
MidEast Web Maps of the Middle East has a wealth of detailed historical and contemporary maps of the Middle East. There is a general map in the center of the home page where one can click on the country name to be directed to a link to that particular country. In addition, on the sidebar are the hyperlinked names of 24 countries shown on the map. Some country map pages have links to further information and/or maps of the respective country.

The MidEast Web Maps Middle East landing page lists links to detailed historical and contemporary maps of Palestine including:

  • Map of Palestine – “Land of Israel” 1845
  • Borders of Palestine Mandate Proposed by Zionist Organization 1919
  • UN Palestine Partition Plan Map 1947
  • Territory Occupied by Israel in the Six Day War
  • Map of Israel and Palestinian territories following Oslo II
  • Palestinian Refugee Camps

This page also lists links for maps of Iraq, Lebanon (including maps of the 2006 Lebanon War). And there are links to historical maps of Israel (off-site), links to maps of the 1973 Yom Kippur War (Egyptian Front maps and Syrian Front maps), and multiple detail maps of the Israel Security Fence/Barrier.

Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA)
Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) offers detailed, informative, and colorful maps (some of which are interactive) in four categories, which are accessible in the hyperlinked right sidebar of every page:

In the Jerusalem category, there are 17 maps including: Israel’s Separation Barrier; The Old City, 1944 and 1966; Jerusalem After the 1967 War; Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, 2000; and more.

In the Palestine category, there are 47 maps including: Ottoman Palestine, 1878; Palestine Under British Mandate; Land Ownership in Palestine and the UN Partition Plan; Palestinian Depopulated and Destroyed Villages, 1948–1949; The Palestinian Diaspora, 1958; Protocol Concerning Safe Passage Between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 5 October 1999; The Gaza Strip Today (2014), etc.

The Special Themes category has 8 maps: The PLO, 1965–1971; Lebanon, 1982; Surface Water; Groundwater; Palestinian Refugees; Israeli Annexation of the Jordan Valley; The Global BDS Movement; UN Recognition [of the State of Palestine; features flags of countries that recognize Palestine].

The Maps Single category is a collection of the same maps from the other categories in Arabic.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) Map Collection Middle East Maps has an extensive collection of maps of many Middle East countries, which were produced by the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency (unless otherwise indicated).

NOTE (from website): The Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) Map Collection website is archived as of 2021 and no longer being updated. Links to external sites may no longer work as expected. Please visit the Texas GeoData portal and Collections portal for map files and the UTL Map Collections LibGuide for additional information.

The landing page provides a list of maps in alphabetical order. For any country page, the maps are divided into the following categories for easier reference:

  • Country Maps
  • City Maps
  • Topographic Maps
  • Thematic Maps
  • Historical City Maps
  • Maps on Other Websites

Note that each country map page may not include all the aforementioned categories, due to the nature of its respective geography or other factors such as various wars. For example, Oman includes the categories of Detailed Maps (Strait of Hormuz) and Offshore Islands. And both Iran and Iraq have extensive listings under Maps on Other Websites in various categories, whereas other country map pages may only have a couple of listings from other websites or no City Maps links at all.

UN Geospatial Information Section | Map and Geospatial Services
The UN Map and Geospatial Services provide free maps and geospatial information, organized as follows:

  • General maps – general maps under several categories:
    • World
    • Continent or macro-regions
    • Country and area
    • Overview

There are only a few maps for each link, such as for Israel or the Middle East (there is no map of Palestine).

  • Web-services – Web maps and underlying web services enable a situation to be monitored as it evolves, reflecting changes in real time. The page features a Clear Map and a Carto Tile map of the world, which are zoomable.
  • Thematic areas – Thematic geospatial analysis and visualization of global, regional, and national events provides an acute awareness of challenges and trends. Themes include:
    • Sustainable development with Sustainable Development Goals Maps for 2021 and 2022
    • Peace Operations and Special Political Missions Deployment
    • Economic Commissions around the World
    • Electoral Assistance
    • Human Rights
  • Earth observations and Imagery – A limited collection of aerial images collected by various means. Earth observations data have a wide range of applications in the context of peace and security, sustainable development, humanitarian response, human rights, and international law.
  • ArchivesCurrently under construction, only limited maps archives are available at this time. For older maps, please consult the UN digital library and search for maps authored by the UN Geospatial Information Section.

United Nations | Question of Palestine
The United Nations – The Question of Palestine Map Collection comprises a large number of detailed and colorful maps with and without documents, as well as only documents. These cover many topics and years, including but not limited to:

  • Specific communities – Masafer Yatta, Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, etc., and issues related to them (forced transfer, access and movement/restrictions, internally displaced people, demolition of historical buildings, demolition and displacement of communities, “Life in a Firing Zone” case study, etc.)
  • COVID-19 Crisis Treatment and Quarantine Centers
  • Political issues (partition plans by the UN and various governments)
  • Water and utilities (ground water salinity in the Gaza Strip, flooding in the Gaza Strip, water damage and estimated number of people with no access to clean water in the Gaza Strip, humanitarian impact of Gaza’s electricity and fuel crisis, etc.)

There is also a collection of Pre-2011 Palestine maps, dating from January 2009 – December 2011.

University Resources and K–14 Outreach Centers

Brown University | The Choices Program
The Choices Program at Brown University covers the Middle East and other countries and a few related subjects like Civil Rights and International Trade.

A collection of more than 1,700 free short videos with leading scholars, journalists, practitioners, artists, activists, policy makers, and others address topics relevant to curriculum units. Free Teaching With the News resources are available to help students learn about contemporary issues.

The Middle East – Questions for U.S. Policy curriculum connects U.S. foreign policy with the Middle East.

Fourteen-page student and teacher text preview. Includes an engaging lesson titled "Graffiti during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution."

Columbia University | Middle East Institute
The page referenced below provides links (mostly external) to resources relevant to Palestine:

  • Columbia University Center for Palestine studies – Beyond Columbia
    • Resource links to journals, history, oral histories, refugees, art, photography, posters, environmental sustainability, maps, U.N. policy handling of Palestine. Something for everyone's tastes, interests/focuses, students and teachers alike.
    • Palestine Police Oral History Project, Palestine Poster Project Archives, Palestine Open Maps, as well as Photos of Palestine by Hannah Safieh (1910-1979). Teens would be drawn to these visuals.
    • Included in their resources is the Global Library Palestine page from the Columbia University Libraries’ Global Studies Division.

Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies
The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies is a joint effort to disseminate information to educators and the public about the Middle East and North Africa.

There are comprehensive resources on the Middle East for teachers:

  • Professional Development for Teachers
    • Webinars and workshops
    • Teacher Fellows Programs
    • Teachers Collaborating Across Borders — which “is a unique opportunity for teachers from the U.S. and the MENA region to engage in international dialogue and virtual exchange. In the fall, selected teachers engage in synchronous and asynchronous sessions to discuss topics related to education and culture in their respective countries.”
    • Study tours abroad which are tours abroad with the Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO)
  • Teaching Resources
    • Middle East Explained — short videos with teacher guides and student viewing guides:
      • The Historical Roots of the Syrian Refugee Crisis
      • The Iraq War: Causes and Ramifications
      • Understanding the United States and Iran
      • The Aftermath of 9/11
      • Women in the Middle East
      • Turkey from Empire to Republic
    • Culture Kits — These kits include cultural items from various countries in the ME, including Palestine (clothes, crafts, books, tools) seemingly meant for elementary and middle school students. Free for schools in North Carolina.
    • External Websites at
      Some of the links include lesson plans from other universities (such as Brown), and educational resources from various academic institutions and cultural organizations. Some are specifically for elementary schools; others are for older students. Topics include literature, refugees, Arab Americans, Islam, Contemporary News, etc.
    • Recommended Reading at

Fordham University | Internet History Sourcebooks Project
The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted primary source historical texts available for educational use. The sources are organized by time period and topic. The primary sources available here are primarily for use in high-school and university/college courses.

George Washington University | Institute for Middle East Studies
The institute offers educational and outreach programming for a variety of public audiences by sharing scholarly research and perspectives that enrich understanding of the Middle East.

  • Orientalism and Islamophobia resources (PDF document):

Includes a link to Countering Islamophobia (from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice project):

Georgetown University | Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) is the only academic center in the United States focusing exclusively on the Arab world.

The Center’s K–14 Education Outreach page contains links to Events for Educators and Teaching Resources on various topics (including an excellent Introduction to Islam). The resources are further divided into:

CCAS maintains a lending library with resources for educators, such as books, curriculum materials, maps, and films to supplement classroom teaching. An account is needed to view their resources.

CCAS has a K–14 Education Outreach Coordinator available for consultation on curriculum needs and issues.

Georgetown University | Bridge Initiative on Islamophobia
The Bridge Initiative is a multi-year research project on Islamophobia housed at Georgetown University. The Initiative aims to disseminate original and accessible research, offers engaging analysis and commentary on contemporary issues, and hosts a wide repository of educational resources to inform the general public about Islamophobia.

This site has factsheets, research reports on Islamophobia in the US and abroad, articles, infographics, and projects on Islamophobia. It may be a useful resource for K–12 students and teachers solely focusing on the subject of Islamophobia. The personal stories of young Muslim Americans on its Projects page may encourage students to participate in meaningful discussions on Islamophobia.

Harvard University | Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The Center focuses on teacher training about the Middle East.

  • Resources consist of subjects and lesson plans, among others:
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Teaching Nowrooz (the Persian cultural celebration of the New Year)
    • Are You Listening? Voices from the Middle East

This very popular anthology, produced by the Outreach Center, consists of short stories and excerpts from memoirs and novels written by indigenous authors and translated and adapted for the U.S. classroom.

The anthology includes stories from Turkey, Israel, Iran, and the Arab world, tested and selected for their cultural richness and their appeal to young adults. It includes curriculum units for each, extensive background notes, a glossary of Middle Eastern words and phrases, and a comprehensive bibliography related to the themes and issues in the stories as further reference for teachers and students.

Indiana University | Center for the Study of the Middle East
The Center for the Study of Middle East has a comprehensive series of K–12 curricula to teach various topics related to the Middle East and North Africa, which are countries within the CSME purview. Most of the curriculum is focused on grades 9–12.

The page at provides links to curricula and modules for the sections listed below. Lessons are geared toward high school level (except The Arabs: Activities for Elementary School Level).

  • Explore Global Issues in a Regional Context: The Middle East
    This background guide of the Middle East consists of a list of ten things students should know about the Middle East and a series of global issues including: Conflict, Resistance and Resolution (in the context of the Israel-Palestine issue, and other regional conflicts), Environment and Sustainability, Trade and Economics, and Pop Culture. Fact sheets with a few links to lesson plans and further links to resources are at the end of each subject.
  • Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to the 9–12 U.S. Curriculum on the Middle East and North Africa
    This curriculum consists of 15 lesson plans (with appended and accompanying resources) to help U.S. World History high school educators teach about the Middle East and North Africa. This curriculum is divided into five themes: Gender; Plural Identities (studies of cities like Jerusalem, Istanbul); Empire and Nation; Political and Social Movements; and Arts and Technology. Lesson plans start on page 15; includes time estimates for each activity.
  • Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean
    This is the same guide as mentioned under World History in this document. Co-authored by Susan L. Douglass and others, it connects the histories and cultures of MENA countries to one another and describes their impact on world history to the present day. Aimed at grades 5–12.
  • The Arabs: Activities for Elementary School Level
    This curriculum contains fun activities to learn about Arab culture, including, Arabic greetings, calligraphy, dancing, food and cooking, games, what do Arabic names (for girls and boys) mean, crafts, art, and folktales. Also has a page for teachers to address conflict resolution and charts to aid in addressing "People: Alike and Different" with suggested activities to highlight a topic. (Activities are described in detail following the charts.)
  • Global Connections in the Middle East
    The Global Connections website from PBS offers a rich collection of background articles, lesson plans, timelines, and other resources to help educators find topics and materials that are most relevant for their classroom needs.
    Global Connections explores six themes that give a general overview of events, trends, and issues in the Middle East. Each essay includes links to activities and related resources appropriate for the high school classroom. The “Connecting Questions” section provides six curricula, each based on a critical question related to a specific topic.

Additional teacher resource guides on MENA can be found on this page and on Indiana University’s CSME homepage.

New York University | Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies

The Center's K–16 Outreach page offers lesson plans and curricular resources developed by scholars and teaching fellows .

The lesson plans are organized around the following themes

  • World War I and the Middle East
  • Refugee Stories from the Middle East
  • Women and Islam
  • The U.S. and the Middle East
  • The Ottoman Empire

Lessons are primarily aimed at the 9–12 grade level. Detailed lesson plans suggest materials needed and describe methodology and techniques for performing intensive projects and posing questions via studying maps and documents. There are suggestions for teachers to accommodate advanced and less advanced classes.

University of Arizona | Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona supports and promotes Middle East language and Middle East studies-related teaching and research throughout the University, and fosters understanding of the Middle East through an extensive program of outreach to schools and the wider community.

Detailed lesson plans and questions aimed at students in grades 9–12. Lessons include the study of maps and documents (excerpts), which are accompanied by comprehension questions or articles or literary works.

There is an extensive lesson plans page at: where lesson plans can be selected by Grade Level (elementary, middle school, high school, college) and then be filtered by Content Area and Subject/Country.

University of California, Berkeley | Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies promotes the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the University of California, Berkeley, and beyond, raising public awareness of the region’s diverse peoples, languages, cultures and their connection to wider global contexts.

  •  MENA Salon provides those in the university community and the public an opportunity to engage in an informal discussion of current events in the region each week. Concise summaries of the issue and a list of suggested resources may help teachers to frame similar discussions in their classrooms. (Note that the MENA Salon link is no longer accessible.)
  • UC Berkeley’s Office of Resources for International and Area Studies  (ORIAS) provides resources for teachers a

These resources are geared toward teacher enrichment via speakers and K–12 Summer Institutes for teachers or study abroad programs. Of note are resources related to MENA countries: Travels of Ibn Battuta: a Virtual Tour (for middle school students) and Lessons from Morocco,, including lessons on religious tolerance, cultural identity, and governance. The lessons from Morocco are outlines of lessons for middle and high school students with suggestions and guidelines.

University of California, Los Angeles | Center for Near Eastern Studies
The Center’s Outreach Program seeks to promote understanding of the region through community events, teacher workshops, and partnerships with schools and community colleges. The Outreach Program website also refers to the Middle Eastern American Resources Online (MEARO), developed in collaboration with the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center of the City University of New York. Unfortunately, their website does not seem to be accessible.

University of Chicago | Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The study of the region extending from Morocco to Kazakhstan is coordinated, encouraged, and stimulated at the University of Chicago by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES).

The Center’s Educational Outreach Program offers educational resources and a podcast. For more information about CMES curriculum resources, professional development opportunities, or language resources, please contact Thomas Maguire.

University of Chicago | Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators
Scholars from the University of Chicago developed this teacher resource to provide an overview of Middle Eastern cultures and their contributions to the world.  

Teaching the Middle East Classroom Connections offers 18 detailed lesson plans in Foundations and Historical Perspectives – divided into 9 topics (2 lessons each) for middle and high school students. Time frames needed for covering each topic are stated (one hour to several days plus homework).

Each lesson plan contains a general description, outcomes/objectives, evaluation/assessment strategies, suggested procedures, time and materials needed, guiding questions to spur student discussion, and more. Each topic is supported by further links to relevant resources.

University of Michigan | Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies
The Center’s Outreach site provides resources for K–14 educators, including a curated list of online resources , including books, films and archival resources; as well as MENA in Michigan.

Its collection of MENA lesson plans (for grades 5–12) has been developed by middle and high school teachers from across the country and is organized according to the following themes:

  • Literature
  • Islam
  • Islamophobia
  • The Arab World
  • The Medieval Era
  • Country-specific lessons
  • Movement, Migration, and Diasporas
  • Society and Governance

Each lesson plan includes a brief description of the plan and its components, such as learning objectives, time benchmarks, accompanying worksheets, and more.

University of Pennsylvania | Middle East Center
The Middle East Center offers K–12 educators and the Philadelphia community access to a range of useful resources. Their outreach activities reflect the diverse nature of the Middle East and cover religions, languages, civilizations, countries, and contemporary issues in the region.

The K–12 Resources page provides useful links, lesson plans and free materials for teachers, an outstanding audio-visual lending library of feature films and documentaries, websites of embassies and media, and much more on the Middle East and the Islamic world.

University of Texas at Austin | Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The Center’s Outreach Program shares resources with K–12 schools and the community in a variety of ways, including lending multi-media resources to users nationwide, developing K–12 curriculum materials, producing webinars, holding professional development workshops, and organizing study tours to the Middle East.

University of Texas at Austin | 15 Minute History
15 Minute History is a podcast series (with transcripts) produced by the University's History Department. The series, accessible for both teachers and students, shares discussions of topics in world history and U.S. history. There are currently some 29 episodes with MENA topics. For each podcast, a transcript is available.

University of Washington | Middle East Center
To strengthen K–12 teacher understanding of the Middle East, the Center conducts annual intensive summer institutes focused on important issues in the Middle East. Recent institutes have explored the following topics: Iraq, U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East, modern Iran, and the history of Christians in the Middle East. The Center does not provide on-line resources.

Yale University | Programs in International Educational Resources
The Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER) offers educators professional development programs, lectures, intercultural training, and lesson plans related to summer institutes.

It also offers to have its international students visit classrooms by arrangement.

NOTE: The current status of the program is unclear as the website has not been updated for a while and some links don't work.