Middle East course offered in spring

Rebecca Schultze

Rebecca Schultze

“Education’s purpose is to replace and empty mind with an open one,” Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine, once said.

Dr. Ann Marie Bahr, professor of philosophy and religion, will again be team teaching the Middle East Topics class during the spring 2003 semester.

The course, first offered during the spring 2002 semester in the wake of Sept. 11, can be found unter the religion section of the course schedule book.

The course is open to any student and community member. Bahr hopes that elementary and high school teachers will be able to take the class to fulfill continuing education requirements.

About 20 people took the two-credit course last year. Among them was junior history major Susan Thompson.

Thompson said that she took the course because she is a history major and because of the current situation in the Middle East.

“It’s an interesting part of the world that I wanted to learn about in more depth,” she said.

Bahr said that professors from the Middle East to talk about their own countries and their own experiences. Subjects range from Middle Eastern architecture to geography to literature.

“You saw a lot of different perspectives,” Thompson said. “You got both sides of the issue.”

Thompson remembers speakers from Iran, from Egypt and a Kurdish woman.

“In that sense it was a great class,” she said. “You weren’t just reading a textbook.

Because Thompson has an interest in history, she found the textbook information useful, too.

The textbook covered Middle Eastern history from the 19th century to the present Middle Eastern situations.