Category Archives: Uncategorized

World History in My Backyard: Cahokia Meets Bali

When I first came to Edwardsville, IL to teach more than 10 years ago, if someone had mentioned Cahokia Mounds to me I would have scratched my head wondering what they were talking about. I knew about the Gateway Arch … Continue reading

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Haitian History as Antidote to Eurocentrism

I have to remember to tell my mother how much she influenced me as a historian. Mary Ellen Tamari lived in and studied a rural community, Bellevue la Montagne, in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the better part of a decade. … Continue reading

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Try Some Radical for a Change

What a welcome surprise to find that young writers are thinking and writing about radical change, and are even–dare I say– agitating for socialism. I just discovered a new journal that demonstrates (once again) the poverty of Liberalism in its … Continue reading

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The US and Arabic Language Instruction: Serve the Empire or the Globe?

It is my firm conviction that anyone who wants to learn about the Middle East (or, for that matter, any part of the world) has to actually live in the region that interests them. Even better is to learn the … Continue reading

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Home Movies as Newsreel: The Story of Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance

Sometime between 2000 and 2004, a remarkable example of grassroots, creative non-violent resistance to military occupation took root in villages of the West Bank. So much violence and upheaval was taking place in the region at the same time that this … Continue reading

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Inside the Mind of “Welcome Home” America

I arrived at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to begin my teaching career three weeks before the attacks of 9-11. For those of us who teach about the Middle East and Islam and for those who have been actively involved … Continue reading

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Lest We Forget (the Nonviolent Resistance of) the Syrian Spring

Before pundits, politicians, and gunmen succeed in convincing us that the uprising in Syria has become a civil war, it is worth remembering that the uprising began as a seemingly spontaneous mass-based movement of non-violent resistance. It was unprecedented, but that … Continue reading

Posted in Arab World, Nonviolent Resistance, Syria, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Update: Resources for Teachers

It was a almost a year ago that I posted some resources for teachers related to Islam and the Middle East. We are nearing the end of the first week of Ramadan and, in my children’s school district (Illinois District … Continue reading

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Against Orthodoxy: The Story of Alawi Origins

Since the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria last spring, the media have focussed on the Alawi minority which controls the levers of power in that country. Most often, one hears echoes of mainstream Sunni and Shi’i sources that … Continue reading

Posted in History and Historians, Islam, Syria, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Kamal Salibi (1929-2011), the Model Teacher-Scholar

Scholars of the Arab world and of Lebanon in particular lost a pioneer with the passing just over a week ago of historian Kamal Salibi. I was fortunate to have met him and to have spent time with him during … Continue reading

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