How did this course shape or change your perceptions of the modern Near East as a whole? - Pathfinder

How did this course shape or change your perceptions of the modern Near East as a whole?

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    • #1508
      pathfinderlms
      Keymaster

      How did this course shape or change your perceptions of the modern Near East as a whole?

    • #2368
      Gabriel Gonzalez
      Participant

      This course changed my wording of the Middle East, for Example I will begin to insert the term Near East.
      I feel that Near East is very important to help people understand understand the Middle East.
      I recall when reading on the Middle East one book I read it was called the Modern Near East.
      The security issues of the Near East are at the door step of Europe and US.
      I do not think using the term Middle East in wrong but to complement when writing and speaking of the region to use Near East to prevent repetition.
      Lastly the insecurity of the region is much near and closer then what western audiences think.

    • #2369
      Gabriel Gonzalez
      Participant

      This course changed my wording of the Middle East, for Example I will begin to insert the term Near East.
      I feel that Near East is very important to help people understand the Middle East.
      I recall when reading on the Middle East one book I read it was called the Modern Near East.
      The security issues of the Near East are at the door step of Europe and US.
      I do not think using the term Middle East in wrong but to complement when writing and speaking of the region to use Near East to prevent repetition.
      Lastly the insecurity of the region is much near and closer then what western audiences think.

    • #2741
      Hannah Straub
      Participant

      Until listening to these lectures, I didn’t realize how widespread conflict is across the Near East. Hearing an overview of the past 100 years of conflict in the Near East, made me realize how much peace there is in the country I live.

      It was especially painful to hear how much outside actors have manipulated internal conflicts and civil wars for their own gains. To hear how Iran has given weapons to Hezbollah or the US to Kurdish groups was sobering. Proxy wars are so destructive and leave a high cost in human life.

      I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a civilian in a country that isn’t stable. The numbers about the Syrian refugee crisis that Darren gave were mind-boggling, with half of all Syrians displaced. I hope that some day peace comes to this area of the world.

      • #2872
        Hannah Longo
        Participant

        Hi, Hannah!
        The coverage of the Syrian War in this course was especially heartbreaking to me because I visited Syria with my family briefly when I was eleven. I remember artillery shells exploding in the distance as we explored a hospital that the Russians had bombed, and although at the time I had no knowledge of the situation, I felt so grateful that I lived in a peaceful country. May the people of Syria also have that feeling someday.

      • #2995
        Austin Pellizzer
        Participant

        Hey Hannah,
        Thank you for bringing up the topic of proxy wars.I think this is an interesting topic that needs its stand-alone lesson.
        While war is sometimes seen as two superpowers fighting it out to the end,we rarely consider how these states back or fund multiple regional conflicts for their interests.At the same time,the Near East is an excellent example of this tactic. During the cold war, the Suez crisis of Egypt,the UK, Israel and other actors is a perfect example. It’s fascinating to understand these wars’ dynamics and how they work. However,like any conflict, there are more than winners or losers in any war. As a well-known Israeli military saying goes,in war, no one wins.

    • #2871
      Hannah Longo
      Participant

      This course changed my perception of the modern Near East by opening my eyes to the external forces at play in the region. In the 1900s, the people of the Near East, both Jews and Muslims, were exploited by European powers in order for them to achieve their agenda; in modern times, it seems countries from every corner of the globe have a hand in the geopolitics of the Near East. It was especially troubling to learn how so many nations are using internal conflict to wage religious proxy wars against their enemies, often harming innocent civilians in the process. However, this course also inspired confidence in me that in the future, the Near East does not have to continue its legacy of bloodshed and instability. Agreements such as the Abraham Accords and the signing of the EastMed Gas Forum are encouraging signs of positive growth toward tolerance in this region.

    • #2990

      This course was very eye opening for me as I was fairly ignorant about the Near East, in the past – relying on the information I received from the media to educate me. For starters, the term “Near East” is new to me, as I always used the term “Middle East” to refer to this region in the past. I love the idea of using “Near East” as a reminder that this is a region that is very close to us – it is where our history began and it is where we are going. One of the big things that surprised me during this course was realizing just how many external parties were involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what that looks like in terms of the security dynamics in the country. This changed my perception on some of the tactics Israel used during the war to protect their own land, as I now understand that some of these means are necessary as Israel is threatened by not only Palestine, but many other Arab nations as well (particularly the Iranian nuclear threat). I was most surprised to learn about China’s involvement in the region as this was a nation I never thought has interests in this area.

    • #2314
      Michael Caplan
      Participant

      Hello Abigail,

      I appreciate your comments because they reflect a rare viewpoint among engaged American Christians who tend to silo easily and generalize everything to do with the Near East. We have to recognize the complexity of Israel and the Near East as having both theological, political, and historical realities. This course aided me in recognizing that the Israeli-Arab military conflict remains one locus in a wider patina of armed conflict among states, paramilitaries, and ethnic groups.

    • #2704
      Evan Crain
      Participant

      “Visual imagery” is a great phrase. Exactly how I feel about the course. Having followed the various conflicts related to Israel over the years, I had not realized the scope and continual upheaval due to conflict over the last 100 years in the Near East. Further, I had never considered the origins of the various states, and better understand how the fall of the Ottomans+European mapmaking and regional conflicts led to the current arrangements. Which at times feel almost arbitrary, given states like Iran that sponsor powerful rebels, illegally managing large portions of legitimate states as Hezbollah and the Houthis.

    • #2841
      Hannah Straub
      Participant

      I’m with you, Evan! The course really laid out the scope of the conflict well and helped place the present conflicts in context.

      It’s crazy to me how much turmoil European mapmaking resulted in. I think it’s a great historical warning for Western and European actors to be more careful and intentional with how they engage the region.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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