Arab Culture Through Literature and Film

Presented by Portland State University and the Qatar Foundation International

Arab Culture through Literature and Film

Arab Culture through Literature and Film is a five unit high school curriculum that provides students with knowledge and tools to analyze and understand the Arab world. The materials utilize a student-centered pedagogical approach that promotes critical thinking and respect and encourages engaged global citizenship. Through this curriculum, students will recognize shared themes across the region and gain a sense of the rich diversity inherent to the multidimensional cultures of the Arab world. Students will study life and culture in the Arab world and engage with primary sources including films, short stories, and poems. Exposing students to Arab voices and putting human faces on the Arab world will increase understanding and tolerance in the American classroom.

Unit Overviews

Unit 1: Introduction to Culture and the Arab World

This unit defines key terms and set a framework for the curriculum by introducing themes of unity and diversity in the region. Students will consider what one can learn about Arab culture by studying its art, film and literature.

Unit 2: Expressions of Religion in the Arab World

This unit challenges students to consider the diverse nature of religious experiences in the Arab world and the complexities of religion and religious
expression.

Unit 3: Language and Ethnicity

This unit introduces students to ethnic groups in the Arab world and guides them through an understanding of their lived experience as minorities in the region.

Unit 4: Gender Roles

In this unit, students explore the dynamics of gender in the Arab world and consider their varied manifestations, as well as how traditional gender roles and expectations are negotiated and contested.

Unit 5: Daily Life: Kinship, Marriage and Family

Students explore Arab families and the role of kinship in Arab culture and society.