Middle Eastern Literature

 Back-ground Video Links:

Video link #1  Begin at :40 seconds  (10 minutes)– Ben Kinsley acts as Ismail al-Jazari the inventor of the elephant clock


The elephant clock was a medieval invention by Al-Jazari (1136–1206), a Muslim engineer and inventor of various clocks including the Elephant clock which consisted of a weight powered water clock in the form of an Asian elephant. Al-Jazari upon finishing the development and construction of his Elephant clock wrote: "The elephant represents the Indian and African cultures, the two dragons represents ancient Chinese culture, the phoenix represents Persian culture, the water work represents ancient Greek culture, and the turban represents Islamic culture" signifying the multicultural mentality of the intellectual Al-Jazari.

Video link #2 – (Only show chart at 8:57 for about 8 seconds )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=879kqbx9rqc shows 1000 year time gap where Muslim/Chinese/Indian contributions are left out of most books and called the “Dark Ages” rather than “Golden Ages”.  Part of the National Geographic 1001 Inventions Exhibit talks.

Video link #3  (only show 8:24 – 12:54)

Specifically India colonialism but speaks of indirect rule and overarching theme of colonialism and then about 11:00 minute refers to Egypt and Ethiopia – then ends with imperialism today – why bananas are cheap.


Video link #4 Israeli – Palestinian conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wo2TLlMhiw    (John Greene)


good segment on origins of Israeli-Palestinian conflict

video link #5 – high school level for students who know very little of colonialism in Middle East (Sykes/Picot) etc..


Author Interviews

(coming soon!)

 Ibtisan Barakat

 Orhan Pamuk


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Salam Pax

Heather Raffo

Layla Lalami

Fatima Mernissi


Also see: Middle Eastern and Moroccan Film


See Edward Said's Orientalism:

Ingres orientalism in painting

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