Middle East News – July 29th

The Syrian armies offensive into Aleppo has been met with the most violent fighting in the year long civil war

– An exchange of prisoners in Syria grew contentious and nearly resulted in further violence – CNN

– The Syrian army offensive into Aleppo has been met with unprecedented bloodshed, leaving almost 20,000 dead in the last couple days – Al-Bawaba – The Syrian Foreign Minister also announced that the rebels defending Aleppo would surely be crushed in the coming days – Al-Bawaba

– A Kurdish leader in northern Iraq has declared that any cuts in funding to the Kurdish sections of the country would amount to a ‘declaration of war’ – Al-Jazeera

– Though the firepower of the Syrian rebels has increased exponentially in the past few months it still remains far short of what is necessary to fully combat the Assad regime’s forces – CNN

– Jordan has opened its first official refugee camp for Syrians fleeing that countries’ civil war – The camp will house nearly fifty thousand refugees in the coming months – Al-Bawaba

– An Italian embassy staffer has been kidnapped in Yemen, further proof that security in that country is quickly unraveling – Al-Jazeera

– In a speech yesterday in Jerusalem Mitt Romney declared the United States has a moral duty to block Iran’s building of nuclear power plants – BBC


Middle East News – June 4th

Ahmed Shafiq, one of the two remaining Egyptian presidential candidates, stated that he believes a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt would be a return to the Middle Ages

– The International Monetary Fund has urged Saudi Arabia to concentrate on more targeted investments in order to improve the infrastructure of the nation – This is in reaction to the large stimulus that Saudi Arabia achieved last year, even amidst a global recession – Al-bawaba

– Syrian rebels have amped up attacks on the country’s state military, attacking checkpoints throughout the weekend – Over eighty soldiers from the Assad regime were killed, signaling that the rebels might be regaining the initiative in the conflict – BBC

– Immigration tensions continue to heighten in Israel as four African immigrants were hurt in an apparent arson attack on their Jerusalem homes – BBC

– A prominent Libyan militia group has taken over the airport in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, while demanding the release of one of their imprisoned leaders – This recent surge in violence highlights the precarious nature of Libya in the post-Gaddafi world, and has led for the upcoming elections to be delayed until July – Al-Jazeera

– During the Gaddafi administration the media was entirely controlled by the government, meaning that in a post-Gaddafi world Libya has struggled to create its own private and independent media outlets – Al-Jazeera

– The United States has increased drone attacks in Pakistan, leading to the deaths of over thirty suspected militants while drawing ire from local Pakistani residents who resent this foreign incursion – Al-Jazeera

– Recent United States action in Pakistan and elsewhere has been far too heavy-handed to satisfy the United States’ goal of destroying safe havens for terrorists – This editorial comes in response to a supposed ‘kill list’ released by the New York Times last week – Al-Jazeera

– Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has retorted harshly to critics who say that his regime will merely continue Mubarak’s decade long rule – Shafiq argues that if the Muslim Brotherhood is elected Egypt will return to the Middle Ages with Islamic law dominating – Al-Bawaba

– The thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing across the border to Jordan are putting a strain on Jordan’s already precarious resources – Particularly, the meager water resources in Jordan are being put to the test – Al-Bawaba

– Madonna caused singer while performing a concert in the Middle East, when she brandished a (fake) AK-47 on stage – Al-Bawaba

Petra Conservation Issues

The ancient city of Petra (in present-day Jordan) is famous for being ENTIRELY carved into the red sandstone cliffs and valleys of Jordan’s expansive desert.  The city was even named one of the seven wonders of the world in a recent worldwide poll (which I completely agree with having been there last summer), but it is slowly falling apart from environmental degradation.  In ancient times the rock buildings were kept safe from erosion by an intricate irrigation system that kept water away from the walls and facades.  But now that this irrigation system is no longer functional the buildings are slowly succumbing to the tides of time and erosion, particularly the world famous treasury building – Washington Post

AMIDEAST study abroad opportunities – Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan

Forwarded e-mail from AMIDEAST on study abroad programs available next spring! –

AMIDEAST is happy to announce that applications for Spring 2013 programs are now being accepted! Applications for Spring programs are due October 15, 2012. This coming spring we will offer eight programs in the Middle East and North Africa, including:


Area & Arabic Language Studies


Civil Engineering at Cairo University



Area & Arabic Language Studies



Area & Arabic Language Studies

Honors Program in Middle East / North Africa Studies

Direct Enrollment at Al-Akhawayn University

Regional Studies in French



Our programs provide rigorous Arabic language courses, focused academic instruction, program-related excursions, student centered academics, and other activities designed to develop students’ intercultural and global competence.


AMIDEAST’s programs are distinguished by their small program size and student centered nature. They take advantage of the unique locations by combining classroom instruction with experiential field visits and activities in the vibrant cities of the Arab world. Additionally, students are given opportunities to get involved in aspects of local life that they might not know to look for otherwise, including a credit-bearing Community-Based Learning course available at all program sites except Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2012 

Please note that AMIDEAST will no longer be accepting applications on a rolling basis. All student applicants will be assessed on the October 15th deadline.


Additional information on our programs can be found on our website: www.amideast.org/abroad Should you or any of your students have any questions, please feel free to contact us at EdAbroad@amideast.org


Middle East News – May 10th, 2012

The Algerian Parliamentary elections this week represent a large step forward for the North African country

– The deadliest attack in the 14 month long conflict occurred in the Syrian capital (Damascus) yesterday, raising fears that jihadists are becoming involved in the struggle and that the government is losing control, which could be the precursor for more violence – Read more at CNN

– An Israeli film has been released that hopes to explore the circumstances of the murder of a prominent Hamas leader in 2010 – it is commonly speculated that Israel’s secret service, the Mossad, was behind the attacks that occurred in the United Arab Emirates – Read more at CNN

– Elections have begun for the Algerian Parliament – Unlike many other North African countries, Algeria was mostly untouched by the Arab Spring revolts so this is the country’s first opportunity to modernize its aging government – Read more from BBC

– Protests calling for reform are ramping up in Jordan as the ruling monarchy stalls in its promised reform movements – Read more from BBC

Jordan Language Academy – Summer 2012

This summer the Jordan Language Academy is offering three 4 to 8 week long  immersion courses to teach international students Arabic/Persian.  These ‘semesters’ will involve almost 200 hours of classroom work as well as cultural activities and a month long stay in Jordan’s capital of Amman.

Anyone still looking for something to do this summer would be wise to look into this engaging study abroad opportunity.

Class Listing for Summer Program

Syllabus for Summer Program