This summer Duke students have embarked on a one course program entitled Duke in the Arab World. (May 20-June 23,2012)
Offered by Duke University’s Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES), Department of Religion, and Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO-U), and based in Doha, Qatar and Cairo, Egypt, this program provides students with the opportunity to explore not only the socio-political development and intricacies of the Arabia region, but also to gain real life experiences through interaction, observation and field visits.
Additionally, the program exposes participants to aspects of continuity and changes, communalities and differences within both Qatar and Egypt while enabling them to improve their Arabic language skills.
Fast changing Doha was once a sleepy backwater tribal monarchy, famous mostly for its pearl diving, but now it is on the progressive edge of change throughout Arabia – from al-Jazeera Satellite TV, Qatar University to Education City, with 6 American Campus, and also the Qatar Museums Authority, building 5 new museums in this tiny Gulf Sheikhdom.
Cairo is the seat of an ancient civilization boasting the pyramids, Nile vistas, Al Azhar University, and a resilient Coptic (Christian) community in the most populous Arab capital city of the contemporary Muslim world. Its buildings, including bridges across the Nile, reflect an ongoing Pharaonic taste for the massive and elegant demands of modernity. This May and June, historic presidential elections are taking place, and civil society is undergoing dramatic changes.
In combining the best of these divergent sites of the Arab world, the program will examine the meanings of citizenship, minority rights, religious identities, and political changes in Egypt. These key issues are explored in theory and practice along with a number of extracurricular activities, such as overnight desert camping, and sail boating excursions.
Partners in Qatar: Qatar University & Qatar Museums Authority Partners in Egypt: The American University In Cairo (AUC), and The Arab Academy.