In November 2016, Openendedsocialstudies.org founder Thomas Kenning participated in the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce’s Teachers Educating Across Cultures in Harmony (TEACH) Fellowship. This fellowship was a unique, all-access visit to Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the Middle East’s most dynamic and diverse countries. Amidst other things, this expedition provided the basis for new lessons focusing on Islam and the Middle East.
As the Bilateral Chamber’s website explains:
TEACH was launched in 2009 as a vehicle to provide U.S. educators an opportunity to visit the Middle East and gain insight into the culture, the challenges and the opportunities experienced by their peers.
Below are the Adventure Blog entries documenting that expedition from November 2016. Educational in their own right, his blog posts offer plenty of history, culture, and photos woven into a first person narrative, which attempts to present honestly and conversationally one traveler’s experience while conducting research abroad.
Consider reading these dispatches at face value, for enjoyment. Use them to plot a geographic course through the Middle East or to plan a hypothetical student trip, or as a starting point to inspire an individual research project from questions that arise naturally while reading.
Happy travels and happy reading.
- November 13, 2016: Alive and Well in the Kingdom of Bahrain
- November 14, 2016: Big Buildings and Bigger Ideas in Bahrain
- November 15, 2016: Bon Voyage, Bahrain!
- November 16, 2016: Opening Eyes in Dubai
- November 17 and 18, 2016: The Burj, the Palm, and the Dubai Brand
- November 19, 2016: Grand Mosques and Grand Desert Adventure in Abu Dhabi
- November 20, 2016: Living History in the UAE
- November 21, 2016: The US Foreign Service Explains the Day
- November 22, 2016: Haram in Qatar, or How I Learned Not to Cast the First Stone
- Some Jet-Lagged Reflections on the Middle East and Islam
Find the lessons inspired by these travels here – The Gulf States: Cosmopolitan Crossroads.
THIS UNIT WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A GENEROUS GRANT FROM THE BILATERAL US-ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.