Middle East: Spring 2012

Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel/West Bank, Athens, Rome

There is no place on earth that compares to the Middle East for experiencing the fascinating and volatile mix of religions, cultures and historical movements that have shaped the world. Beginning in Egypt, wandering through the Sinai and Jordan, living in Israel and the West Bank, and traveling to Greece and Rome, participants will be immersed in the ancient/ modern world of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Living in Palestinian homes in the West Bank, and studying, hiking, and serving from a base in Nazareth, and exploring ancient histories and current conflicts will provide an intense learning experience with the potential for life-changing insights into the Bible, world news, and yourself.


Estimated Cost: on campus tuition, room and board plus $2,200 travel fee (cost may be adjusted due to changes in currency exchange rates and air fares)
Semester Leader: Linford Stutzman, Bible & Religion Dept.
Enrollment: 28 students
Course Credits: 15 semester hours

Course Descriptions

CCSSC 201 Cross-cultural Social Science 3 SH
This course will focus on particular aspects of Arab, Palestinian, and Jewish cultures in order to understand human culture—world views, values, ideals, feelings, and behavior. Of equal concern will be the response of students in developing insight, empathy, and cross-cultural adjustment skills in unfamiliar situations.

CCLNG 110 Arabic Language 3 SH
This elementary level Amiya (spoken) Arabic Language course includes intensive instruction in Damascus, Syria during the first part of the semester, with on-going practice throughout the semester with the Arabic speaking people of the Middle East.

CCREL 302 Religion & Culture in the Middle East (CIW) 3 SH
Directed fieldwork, reading, personal interaction and participant observation and regularly scheduled seminars will enable the student to examine the cultures and religions of the Middle East from historical, anthropological and religious studies perspectives. The cultural focus will concentrate on the historical roots and contemporary expressions of cultural ideals, change, and conflict that shape all of life in the Middle East. The religion focus will concentrate on the powerful role of religion in Middle Eastern culture in shaping identity, sustaining community and creating the context of both conflict and reconciliation.

CCHIS 303 Contemporary Issues in the Middle East 3 SH
Students will explore the contemporary political scene in Israel and Palestine. The course will consider responses to the situation of conflict that have arisen over a period of centuries. Students will get first-hand exposure to the historical background and contemporary life situations among Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs and probe the meaning of peace and justice in this setting.

CCBST 201 Biblical Geography, History, and Faith 3 SH
Beginning in ancient Egypt, this course takes students on a journey of discovering the world of the Bible. By wandering through wilderness of Jordan, hiking through archeological sites throughout Israel, living and working in Nazareth Village, following the movement of Christianity through the Mediterranean, students will gain insights into, and appreciation for the sweep of the biblical story, from the Exodus to the triumph of Christianity in Rome. Readings, classes, field lectures and participatory learning exercises led by local scholars and the cross-cultural leaders will provide the tools for understanding the way that the physical and social environment of the Bible shaped the faith of God’s people.

Immunization Information

Malaria risk in Egypt: very limited malaria risk in El Faiyûm area only. No risk in tourist areas, including Nile River cruises. Risk is very limited; therefore, prophylaxis is not recommended.

Yellow Fever Vaccine in Jordan: although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Jordan, the government requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling to one of these countries where yellow fever is present before arriving in Jordan, this requirement must be taken into consideration.