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Middle East Summer School at SOAS

Overview

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An intensive five-week summer school programme which includes a choice of two courses from the following:

  • Beginners Arabic (Level 1)
  • Beginners Arabic (Level 2)
  • Government and Politics of the Middle East
  • Culture and Society in the Middle East

Students would normally take one of the Arabic modules, which take place in the morning, and either 'Government and Politics of the Middle East' or 'Culture and Society in the Middle East', both of which run in the afternoon.

Session (5 weeks) 

23 June-24 July 2014 (two courses)

Fees

Programme fee

£2,500

Early bird discount of 10% extended from 15 April to apply to course fees before 31 May 2014.

Accommodation fee

from £300/week
Rooms can be booked at the Intercollegiate Halls which are located in the heart of Bloomsbury: www.halls.london.ac.uk

Application Form

LMEI Summer School Programme Application Form (pdf; 1012kb)

Contact

For more information, please contact Louise Hosking: lh2@soas.ac.uk

Structure

Courses

Beginners Arabic (Level 1)

This is an introductory course in Modern Standard Arabic. It teaches students the Arabic script and provides basic grounding in Arabic grammar and syntax. On completing the course, students should be able to read, write, listen to, and understand simple Arabic sentences and passages. This course is for complete beginners and does not require any prior knowledge of Arabic.

Suggested Textbooks:
Teaching is principally based on the course book:
• Brustad K., Al-Batal M., & Al-Tonsi A., Alif Baa Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Third Edition, Georgetown University Press, 2010
• Brustad K., Mohmoud Al-Batal M., & Al-Tonsi A., Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya, Part one, Third Edition,Georgetown University Press, 2011

Beginners Arabic (Level 2)

This course is a continuation of Beginners Arabic Level 1. It completes the coverage of the grammar and syntax of Modern Standard Arabic and trains students in reading, comprehending and writing with the help of a dictionary more complex Arabic sentences and passages.

To qualify for entry into this course, students should have completed at least one prior introductory course in Arabic.

Suggested Textbooks:
Teaching is principally based on the course book:
• Alosh, M. and Clark, A., Ahlan wa Sahlan, Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners (New Haven: Yale, 2009).
• Badawi E., Abd al-Latif M. H. & al-Batal M., al-Kitab al-asasi, Volume 2, The American University in Cairo Press, 2008

The course convenor will also provide additional texts from contemporary Arabic media.

Government and Politics of the Middle East

This course serves as an introduction to the politics of North Africa (Maghreb), the Arab East (Mashriq) including the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Turkey and Iran. It gives - on a country by county basis - an overview of the major political issues and developments in the region since the end of the First World War and addresses key themes in the study of contemporary Middle East politics, including: the role of the military, social and economic development, political Islam, and the recent uprisings (the 'Arab Spring').

Its aim is to develop the students' understanding of the major trends in the Middle East politics and their skills of political analysis through critical reading, lectures, presentations and informed discussion.

Suggested Textbooks:
• Gelvin, James L., The Modern Middle East: A History, Oxford: OUP, 2008
• Owen, R., State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, revised ed., Lonon, 2004.
• Pappé, Ilan, The Modern Middle East, London: Routledge, 2005.
• Willis, Michael, Politics and Power in the Maghreb: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco from Independence to Arab Spring, Hurst and Company, 2012.

Culture and Society in the Middle East*

This course offers an introduction to the theories and methods of studying culture and deals with the history and development of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) culture from the classical period to the present. It examines the major cultural patterns and institutions of the MENA region.

The course is taught through a study of some lively topics such as religious and ethnic diversity, impact of the West, stereotyping, the role of tradition, education (traditional and modern), family structure and value, gender politics, media, life in city, town and village, labour and labour migration, the Palestinian refugee problem and exile communities, culinary cultures, music and media, etc.

* (subject to approval)