When I had first decided to study Middle Eastern politics I had some reservations. Would it interest me enough that I could intellectually engage in the topic? Would the work load be too heavy? Why would I want to study this topic in the first place? These were all questions that I asked myself, and I can now say that this course has been the biggest eye opener in relation to my politics studies.
That being said, I still have no idea about Middle Eastern politics. The topic and region is very diverse and multifaceted and as such I could spend a lifetime studying and still not understand all of it. Of all of the issues that I learnt about one sticks out as the more important: the colonisation of Middle Eastern countries and U.S., British, and French intervention. This issues was paramount in understanding the ‘hatred’ that Arabs have against westerners. Yet surprisingly Arab nations have invaded other nations on the assumption of western backing (i.e. Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait). Other issues such as the Arab Spring/Awakening, Egypt Suez Canal, and Iranian nuclear program have all contributed to furthering my understanding of the Middle East.
Prior to beginning my blog posts I had very little knowledge of the Middle East, and I am hesitant to say that it was only through this unit that I discovered that Pakistan and Afghanistan were not considered to be part of the Middle East. I now have knowledge on myriad Middle Eastern political issues and have broken some common misconceptions. Furthermore, through my blog post research I’ve discovered how limited some of the media examples are on the Middle East. In some instances I found articles that offered powerful views yet only had one example or Arab opinion. I’ve also discovered that there are some…strange people out there posting things/propaganda on the internet.
In my opinion this blog has allowed me to discuss issues within the Middle East while concentrating on topics which have interested me. I had hoped to discuss issues which were not ‘popular’ media issues, so as to illustrate to scope of problems and topics in the area. I hope that in turn those that read my blog posts have discovered new issues in the Middle East and are less content to take everything in relation to Arabs from Ray Steven’s point of view.