This book is dedicated to the many students who have enrolled in International Studies “Introduction to the Modern Middle East” and “Contemporary Issues in the Middle East” over the years. These have been offered at Ohio State University (OSU) since 1986, when Dr. Payind began teaching them, and continue to enjoy high enrollments. We thank International Studies, which hosts the courses. We especially thank Karlene Foster for her years of service. We thank the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures for collaborating with us to create effective multidisciplinary content in the Intro course, for cross-listing the Contemporary Issues course, and for integrating both into their curricula.

This material has been continually honed by student feedback over the years. We thank them for their curiosity, which inspires us continually.

We are grateful to many individuals who supported us on this project and made it possible. Among some of the most important, are:

Kelechi Kalu, Associate Provost, International Affairs, OSU, for his enthusiasm and unhesitant approval for us to dedicate our time to this project. He is a model of the joy that can come from curriculum.

Linda Montano, Senior Director of Business Operations and Administration, International Affairs, OSU, for the moral support and the business expertise we needed to ensure the project’s success.

Kirti Jain, Budget Analyst, International Affairs, OSU, for creating the fiscal structures for this project that have helped it progress smoothly.

Patricia Palominos-Dunaeff, Human Resources Manager, International Affairs, OSU, for ensuring skills were properly aligned with the work, hiring fast when we really needed the help, and providing ongoing support.

Ashley Miller, Program Manager, Affordability and Access, Office of Distance Education and e-Learning, for inspiring us to begin this, keeping us on track, and shepherding us to the finish line. We thank Ashley also for sharing her immense knowledge of best practices.

Michael Shiflet, Educational Technologist, Affordability and Access, Office of Distance Learning, OSU, for designing the templates, optimizing our aesthetics, creating maps for us, and scaffolding our learning of the technical tools we used. Thanks so much for the ongoing support.

Tyler Parker, Student Assistant, International Affairs, OSU, for image research, proof-reading, fact-finding and many other aspects of support in the completion of this e-book.

Danielle Cooke, Fiscal and Program Associate, International Affairs, OSU, for copy editing, very helpful feedback on the text, and for facilitating the image purchase. What a relief it is that she is here!

We thank all of the faculty members who we have hosted as guest speakers in “Introduction to the Modern Middle East”, over the years: Jane Hathaway, Carter Findley, Reuben Ahroni, Sabra Webber, John Quigley, Miroslav Ruzic, Predrag Matejic, Shaula Gurari, Naomi Brenner; Alex Kaye, and others. We especially thank Sam Meier, for direct input into this project. We thank Johanna Sellman, Professor and Middle East Studies Librarian, for her ongoing encouragement of this, and all of our outreach.

We thank the members of our OSU e-books cohort for providing feedback, useful suggestions and a sense of community.

We are honored to have had this opportunity to work with all of of the individuals mentioned above, and many others too numerous to mention.


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Keys to Understanding the Middle East Copyright © 2016 by Alam Payind and Melinda McClimans is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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