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Muslims in a Global Context - Oakland Campus: Gulf States and Iran (Minicourse)

This guide provides selected high-quality resources for those interested in Muslims around the world and in Islam. It features both subject and religious databases and links as well as pages for related mini-courses.

The Gulf States and Iran Course Info

Class times:

5pm Friday April 5 to 12:15 pm Sunday, April 7, 2013

Where:               Giant Eagle Auditorium, Baker Hall A51, Carnegie Mellon University

This one credit mini-course Muslims in a Global Context on The Gulf States and Iran is part of a series organized by regions around the world based on their role on the world stage, their importance within the Muslim world, and the critical influence they play in the global community. The series and course seeks to illuminate the various perspectives of the Muslim Community around the world. Drawing upon the expertise and research of participating faculty from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and our partners at institutions around the world, the mini course series seeks to have students gain understanding of the religious, culture, economics and political influences of Muslims in a global context.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will:

1. Gain an understanding of history, governance, economics, law, gender education and political dimensions of the peoples and regions focused for each mini course.

2. Explore one of these factors in depth, through a research paper.

Faculty Presenters: TBA

Textbook:            Engaging the Muslim World - Cole, Juan, St, Martens Press (2009) available at the University of Pittsburgh's Bookstore.

Description:         The Muslims in the Global Context series offers the opportunity to examine the factors and trends that are having major impacts on these diverse regions and their relationships with other world regions and countries. The mini-courses consist of presentations on topics of critical importance to the understanding of Muslims in diverse regions of the world. In addition to attendance at all lectures, students enrolled for credit are required to develop and write a research paper on one of the themes of the mini-course and answer reflection prompts during the course. One- credit is provided for the completion of each mini-course.

Assessment:         Due to the immersive nature of the course, students are expected to attend all sessions on all three days. Further, each student will be required to read the assigned book and develop a research paper on one dimension of Muslims in a global context that has been introduced in class. The paper should be based on one of the topics covered in the course. The length of the research paper will be 5-10 pages, double spaced in 11 point font. Research papers are due by April 26, 2013 and should be submitted through the University of Pittsburgh's Courseweb assignment tab for the course.

 Audit Option:       Carnegie Mellon students may also audit the course by attending all the sessions, but not writing the paper. You should be sure to process an audit form, both if you are auditing from the beginning or later if you have decided not to do a paper and want your status changed from credit to audit. Once the course has started students will be graded based on how they signed up for the course.

Sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh: Global Studies Center Carnegie Mellon University: Office of the Provost and Division of Student Affairs

CMU Students

CMU students may visit Hillman Library's service desk on the ground floor to get a temporary logon.  It will permit you to access our ebooks and databases while in Hillman Library. 

Pitt affliates should be able to access all material from on campus or remotely.  Our Ezproxy server will prompt you to log in from with your email user name and password when you access paid licensed content (databases and ebooks).  

What are the Gulf States?

      The Persian Gulf (In Farsi: Khaleej-é-Farrs)
is the mass of water located between the Iranian peninusla and the Arab states of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. [Definition from the Urban Dictionary]
      The "Gulf States" are generally regarded as the six countries on the Arabian peninsula that border the Persian Gulf -- Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. These six countries are all monarchies and member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also known as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG).  Iraq, which has a very small southern exposure on the gulf (36 miles of coastline), is not usually regarded as a "Gulf State." 
      CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC defines the Gulf a bit more broadly as all of the countries that touch on the Persian Gulf.  They include 8 countries -- the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran.

Muslims in the Middle East

The Middle East refers to a set of countries located in North Africa, the Persian Gulf region, and Southwest Asia.  These countries differ immensely geographically, politically, socially, economically, and culturally.  However, they are collectively referred to as the "Middle East" because of their proximity to each other. 

Broadly, the Middle East encompasses the following areas:

This guide includes both general Middle East resources and by country resources of external web resources.  Individual country pages include links to general history and culture related websites, as well as news resources and official government websites. 

Click on the country's name link above, or select from the drop-down menu under the "Resources by Country" tab above.

Liaison Librarian and Reference / Instruction

Lois Kepes's picture
Lois Kepes
G20-X Hillman Library (Ground Floor)


Tuesday evening appointments often available.

Course Schedule

 Final Schedule


Friday, April 5   5:00 - 8:00pm

5:00 pm- 5:15 pm Brief Introductions and Welcome
5:15 pm- 5:30 pm Pre- evaluation survey
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Lansiné Kaba, "Unity within Diversity or Diversity within Unity?"
6:30 pm- 6:45 pm  Break
6:45pm- 8:00 pm  Lansiné Kaba, "Islam as a Factor of Integration or Disunity?" 


Saturday, April 6   8:30am - 6:45pm

8:30 am- 9:45 am   Rami el Samahy, "Cites of the Gulf:Old and New"( via video conferencing )
9:45 am - 10:00 am Break
10:00 am- 11:15 am Marina Tolmacheva, "Higher Education in GCC Countries: Access and Innovation"
11:15 am- 11:30 am Break
11:30 am- 12:45 pm Flynt Leverett, "Rethinking Iran: Foreign Policy, Domestic Policies, Economic Conditions, and Impact on Global Energy Balance" (via video conferencing)
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm Michael J.T. McMillen, "Law, Policy and Islamic Finance in Middle Eastern Jurisdictions: Interaction" 
3:15-pm - 3:30 pm Break
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm Marina Tolmacheva, "Women in the Arab Countries of the Gulf Region: the Ordinary and Extraordinary"
4:45 pm - 5:00 Break
5:00-pm - 6:15 pm Maggie Nassif, "The Second Generation Gulf Countries: Sixty Years of Oil" 


Sunday, April 7,   9:00am - 12:00pm

9:00am- 10:15am Ambassador Dennis Jett, "Iran, the Persian Gulf and American Security"
10:15am -10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Sami Hermez, "The effects of the Gulf States on the Arab Spring"
11:45 am - 12:00 pm Conclusion and evaluation

Credit for Country Pages

This research guide was created by Lois Kepes with the assistance of Dawnlyn Diehl, MLIS Graduate Intern at Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and 2013.  Dawnlyn also researched and developed the country pages.