Seminar: Middle East Update

Ref: C3743160

The Middle East, the most violent region in the world, is experiencing three major struggles which, in turn, affect each other -a clash between democracy and authoritarianism, a holy war between two Islamic sects and a struggle for regional influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This interaction happens across a region now consisting of two down separate states within boundaries substantially defined by Britain and France in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Interference from outside continues although the leading powers now are the US, Russia, China, and the EU. The factors discussed in this session affect each Middle Eastern country differently according to the national 'mix' of local circumstances in each case. Some particular conflicts in the region endure; examples are the Israel-Palestine dilemma and prospects for Kurdish nationalism. And still to be noted are the unequal distribution of material resources and growing uncertainties about water supply.

Course aim

This session will identify factors making the Middle East the world's most violent region, including interference from outside. It will aim to explain why we should be concerned.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • An interest in current affairs and a readiness to see that one person's terrorist may be another's freedom fighter.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognize the principal national players and groups within the Middle East.
  • Understand the three current underlying conflicts in the region.
  • Be aware of the role in the region played by outside powers today.
  • Get some impression of the political role of Islam today in the Middle East.
  • Develop some thinking about the relevance of Middle Eastern events to my own life.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • The session will be a lecture presentation and Q & A discussion. Some specially prepared handout material will be available to be read afterwards.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The tutor will respond to points raised and will be ready to respond to queries about follow-up study.

What else do I need to know?

  • Apart from notebook and pen, an interest in understanding something of the complexities of the modern Middle East is the only essential.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No prior research is anticipated for this session other than awareness of some of the developments in the Middle East -from news media and general knowledge.

What can I do next?

  • As a one-off session this may, one hopes, spark an interest in looking more closely at news media and weighing up factors affecting countries in the Middle East.

Download full course information sheet

Seminar: Middle East Update

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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