Middle Eastern Studies

Gain a better understanding of the academic discipline of Middle Eastern Studies, also known as Near Eastern Studies, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the region located to the east and south of the Mediterranean Sea, including the Arabian Peninsula and parts of North Africa, extending as far as Afghanistan in Central Asia. Middle Eastern Studies is part of a broader category of study known as area studies, which examines all geographic, political, or cultural regions. A more specialized field of study within Middle Eastern Studies is Islamic Studies, which in a secular context is the study of Islam, the predominant religion of most of the Middle East. Other specialized fields, such as Egyptology (the study of the civilization of ancient Egypt), focus on the region’s ancient cultures.

The interdisciplinary nature of area studies lends itself to a broad range of scholarly research interests, from politics and history to language and literature, to economics and religion. Students in the field may focus on a particular country, such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia; a group of countries, such as the Middle Eastern members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); or a specific topic across the region as a whole, such as the impact of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010–2011.

Up until the late twentieth century, Middle Eastern Studies in the West was part of a larger field of interest known as Orientalism, or the study of the Orient, with a heavy focus on Asian and Arab classical civilizations rather than the modern Middle East. Following the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978, this approach to the study of the Middle East quickly became associated with a simplistic and skewed imperialist view of these cultures that was a result of Western imperialist endeavors in the region by Great Britain and France.

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Middle Eastern Studies Resources

Gale provides resources that support research with collections from databases, primary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases include searchable collections of published materials from newspapers, journals, and periodical articles, as well as primary source documents and multimedia, like images, audio, and videos, that support users interested in Middle Eastern history research and studies.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text archives and collections that provide firsthand content, including historical documents, archives, journals and periodicals, news articles, and other publications, and ephemera that examine and analyze the Middle East.

Gale eBooks

Gale's eBook collection offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of subject areas, including Islam, Islamic perspectives, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education, 1st Edition

    Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education, 1st Edition

    Information Science Reference   |   2020   |   ISBN-13: 9781522585305

    The process of curriculum enhancement through various educational approaches aims to enhance quality assurance in the educational process itself. In Islamic education, traditional educational trends are enhanced by expanding the embodiment process on experiential learning to evaluate the achievement in creating outcomes that balance not only spirituality and morality, but also the quality of cognitive analytical performances. Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education is a comprehensive scholarly book that provides broad coverage on integrating emerging trends and technologies for developing learning paths within Islamic education. Highlighting a wide range of topics, such as digital ethics, psychology, and vocational education, this book is ideal for instructors, administrators, principals, curriculum designers, professionals, researchers, academicians, and students.

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  • Islam in America: Exploring the Issues, 1st Edition

    Islam in America: Exploring the Issues, 1st Edition

    ABC-CLIO   |   2019   |   ISBN-13: 9781440866319

    Islam is the most misunderstood and misrepresented religious tradition in the United States, often depicted as an oppressive and violent political system and its followers as un-American. The stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in the United States call for a new sociological understanding that confronts the menacing bigotry and racism rising in the United States today. Through an overview essay, chronology, and roughly 50 alphabetically arranged entries, this reference explores the intersection of Islam, Muslims, and American national identity. The primary focus is contemporary issues and developments relating to Islam in the United States, but the entries also incorporate a fuller picture of Islam in general and Muslims worldwide. Included are entries on history, race and ethnicity, interfaith commonalities, politics, discrimination and hate, and national identity. The entries include bibliographic citations for further reading. The book closes with an annotated bibliography of the most important resources.

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  • Understanding World Religions and Beliefs: Understanding Islam, 1st Edition

    Understanding World Religions and Beliefs: Understanding Islam, 1st Edition

    Essential Library   |   2019   |   ISBN-13: 9781532153167

    This book covers the history of Islam and explores how the religion has evolved and expanded. Readers learn about worship practices, women’s roles, and the world contributions Muslims have made. This title also discusses the discrimination Muslims have faced in the West and explores controversies surrounding terrorism. Features include a glossary, bibliographic references, websites, source notes, and an index. It is aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

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