I chose to take this SIS because I feel it will be a great way to help move along my Arabic major. While it is true that I am required to take the course in order to get the major, there was also a great deal of curiosity in the decision. I know extremely little of the Arab world. I’m not quite sure what I expect out of the class. I would like to learn more about culture and history of the region. The most I know of the region is in regards to ancient civilizations that lived in it such as the Sumerians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. I have never been exposed to courses on modern Arabic culture, so I am not quite sure what to expect from the course.
Prior to 9/11, I had no real knowledge about the Arab world. Even after 9/11 I managed to avoid all the media coverage. I would like to think that the event had had no influence on my conceptions regarding Arabs. What I do remember however, is how after the attack all the news networks were running were reports about terror in the Middle East. Working for the World Bank, my mother was sent into the region with an incredible amount of security. I would always hear from her about how friendly the people she met were, but when I saw news reports on the areas she worked in I would only see reports of violence and turmoil.
So, in short, my hopes are that I will learn all about Arab culture and become better informed on the Arab world in general.