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Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations


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Study Abroad

Palestine/Israel: Surmounting Adversity

The objective of the course is to examine the current state of the Israeli Palestinian conflict with a particular focus on how groups and communities work to cope with the pervasive adversity that characterizes daily life in this context. 

This course will begin with an overview of where things are at related to the peace process and current diplomatic initiatives on the part of the Palestinian leadership to internationalize their quest for statehood. The course will then turn to how various stakeholders, both local and international, have helped, hindered, and/or exacerbated the current stalemate, including the efforts of the Quartet (the European Union, the United Nations, the United States, and Russia), as well as international donors. 

The course will conclude with an exploration of how individuals and groups organize to cope with conflict and the adversity that pervades their lives. These efforts will address both formal and informal initiatives, supported and opposed by different stakeholders.

Istanbul, the Global City: Religion, Society, and Art History

Located at the junction of East and West, Istanbul, artistic and economic capital of modern Turkey and home to 14 million, provides a singularly rich destination to explore the layered visual and historical traditions of one of the world’s greatest cities. Located between Europe and Asia on the Sea of Marmara, the “Sea of Marble,” Istanbul—former Constantinople—has served as capital to two of the most culturally rich and powerful historical states, the Byzantine empire (330-1453) and the Ottoman sultanate (1453-1922). This six-credit, three week study abroad program explores the visual and material culture of Istanbul and the religious traditions that shaped the city from antiquity into the 21st century. During the program, students will explore the art and architecture of Istanbul in order to look at how forms of Christianity and Islam shape a vibrant modern and multicultural city. View the poster here.

JMU in Jordan: An Arabic Language and Culture Program

The focus of the program will be the Arabic language; in addition students will be exposed to the culture, religion, and traditions of the Middle East. Students will be in class four hours a day, five days a week. There will be several trips organized by the program: an overnight trip to Petra and Wadi Rum, one of the most magnificent sites in the Arab world. A trip to the Dead Sea where you can float while reading a newspaper, a trip to the Roman city Jerash, a day trip to 3 desert castles, a Biblical Jordan trip that includes Baptism site, Mount Nebo, the Mosaic Church in Madaba. and daily trips within the capital Amman. This program is open to students from all majors, including those who wish to advance their Arabic.

History and Faith in Amman and Jerusalem

Students will complete six credits of course work by enrolling in two of the offered 3-credit courses. This will be done during an intensive 4 week session in which students will spend 5 classroom hours per day meeting four days per week. There are numerous attractions in Amman, including shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs. A number of cities and towns are all within a short travel distance. All locations are accessible via the extensive public and private transportation systems (buses and taxis). During the program, students will visit historical, cultural, and religious sites of the city and the country, and can enjoy the culinary tradition of the region in general and Jordan in particular. The program also includes a one day trip to Petra and a one day trip to Jerusalem.

Please visit the Office of International Programs website for study abroad applications.