General Resources – Middle East

It is our goal to integrate authentic, academically valid curriculum on the Middle East in your classroom. We visit classrooms, arrange classroom visits by outreach volunteers who come from the Middle East, and produce instructional materials from these activities. Please see the Library research guides, textbooks and presentations from our own courses and conference presentations below. In addition, please check out instructional materials and materials created by teacher-participants in our teacher training program, and selected items we publish in our Community in the Knowledge Bank. 

Library Research Guides:

Middle East Studies

Jewish Studies



Keys to Understanding the Middle East, by Dr. Alam Payind and Dr. Melinda McClimans

This e-book focuses on the languages, cultural, religious, and sectarian communities of the region, and turning points in history. It is based on the content for International Studies/Near Eastern Languages and Cultures 2200 “Introduction to the Modern Middle East”. Formats:

Euphrates Tigris Water Issues: An Introduction, edited by Dr. Melinda McClimans

This book is the result of the “Euphrates Tigris Water Issues Workshop” hosted at the Ohio State University April 21-22, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. It has been edited to present the content of the workshop in an accessible way, while remaining relevant for readers with expertise in water resource management and policy.

Windows Into Turkish Culture, edited by Dr. Danielle Schoon and Dr. Melinda McClimans

This student-authored academic introduction to Turkey provides one social, cultural, or historical lens per chapter to provide insights into Turkey today. This book is the result of research conducted by undergraduate students at OSU as a part of “Turkish 2241: Turkish Culture.” This work was done with the help of Turkish students at Istanbul University under the guidance of Professor Mehmet Acikalin.  For more on the project, please see the web site:


Afghanistan’s Tortured Past, Dr. Alam Payind
A presentation on Afghan history, and some of its painful legacies of today.
Global Water Issues in the Middle East

In this presentation, the teacher gives an overview of the global water crisis and what that looks like in a couple of Middle Eastern locations: Euphrates Tigris riparian nations; and Yemen. It builds on what they learned in middle school* about world civilizations, and connects to the STEM fields. After an overview of water resources in the Middle East, how they are used and what the issues are with sharing water resources, key cultural practices may be introduced, and unique water resource features of the Middle East, such as wadis, oases while also showing the lush green areas of the Middle East to counter the stereotypical idea that the Middle East is a vast desert.

*The major civilizations required by Ohio curriculum standards all grew up around major rivers: the Yangze, the Indus Valley, and the Euphrates-Tigris river basins.


Introduction to the Middle East, Melinda McClimans

A series of five steps, using maps and classroom discussion questions which each help lay the groundwork students need for understanding the Middle East, and breaking down the headlines about the region.


She Can Do Something: Authentic Narratives of Arab/Muslim Women

Presentation for the National Council on the Social Studies