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Since January 1, 2014
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My Notes on Massive Open Online Course:
The Emergence of the Modern Middle East
This course will discuss the emergence of the modern Middle East from the fall of the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the First World War to the present. It will discuss the Ottoman legacy in the region and the Western imperial impact on the creation of the Arab state system. The course will discuss the rise and retreat of Arab nationalism, the problems of internal cohesion of the Arab states, issues of religion and state, and the evolution of Islamist politics. It will also focus on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on the region and will conclude with an in depth analysis of the “Arab Spring” by placing these contemporary revolutionary events in their historical context.
Notes on 6 Lectures I Watched in This Course:
The Middle East, its Origins, and the Modern Era
Napoleon in Egypt: The Beginning of the Middle Eastern Modern Age
The Popuation Mosaic of 19th Century Middle East
Middle East Economy in the 19th Century
19th Century Ottoman Empire Politics
The Ottoman Empire's Changing Balance of Power with Europe
4 People I Have Learned About in this Course:
Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914)
United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian
  • the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century
  • his concept of sea power was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide impact
  • book: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History
  • 1902: first used the term "Middle East" in an article
Mustafa Reşid Pasha (1800-1858)
Ottoman statesman and diplomat, known best as the chief architect behind the Ottoman government reforms known as Tanzimat
  • born in Istanbul
  • 1834: ambassador to France
  • 1836: ambassador to the United Kingdom
  • was Grand Vizier six times
Benedetto Croce (1866-1952)
Italian philosopher who wrote on history writing and aesthetics
  • originally supported Mussolini in 1922 but by 1925 created the Manifesto of the AntiFascist Intellectuals
  • history should be written by philosophers, history is "philosophy in motion", there is no cosmic design or ultimate plan in history, and that science of history is a farce
Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566)
The tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1520-1566) whose conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529
  • under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf
  • after him, the Ottoman Empire was in a linear state of decline
2 Vocabulary Words I Learned in this Course:
jizyah, n. in 19th century Islamic law, a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim subjects, a material proof of the non-Muslims' acceptance of subjection to the state and its laws, in return, non-Muslim subjects were permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to the Muslim state's protection from outside aggression, and to be exempted from military service and from the zakat tax levied upon Muslim citizens  "The jizya continued to be applied in Persia and many North African countries into the 19th century, but almost vanished in the 20th century. The tax is no longer imposed in the Islamic world. In the 21st century, it is widely regarded as being at odds with contemporary secular conceptions of citizen's civil rights and equality before the law."
waqf, n. an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically donating a building or plot of land or even cash for Muslim religious or charitable purposes  "A waqf was used to keep money or property together in private hands; a pooling of wealth to maintain private ownership. It is a pious and perpetual endowment that is free from tax."
3 Flashcards I Recorded in this Course:
what was the name of the reorganization of the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876
what was the name of the greatest minister of the sultan in the Ottoman Empire, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the sultan himself
the Grand Vizier
what are the non-Arab countries in the Middle East
Turkey, Isreal, Iran