Spring 2024 - HIST 355 D100

The Arab Middle East in the Twentieth Century (4)

Class Number: 4727

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: one of HIST 151, 249.



An examination of this century's major themes in the history of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as other states of the Arabian peninsula. Topics to be investigated include the origins of Arab nationalism and Islamic reformism; the origins and development of the Lebanese question; the emergence of the politics of the military in Iraq and Syria, and the special role of the Jordanian and Arabian monarchies.


This course examines major themes in the history of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and the states of the Arabian Peninsula during the twentieth century. Among the topics students will explore are the legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the Arab world; the development of narratives of Arab nationalism; the political cultures of peasants, workers, and women; the influence of the military upon Arab societies; and the internal dynamics and interactions of monarchical and republican regimes. As the course focuses principally on social, cultural, and political developments within the Arab world, there is little coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


  • Two in-class tests 40%
  • Research paper 30%
  • Debate presentation 15%
  • Class participation 15%



[N.B. All texts will be available through the SFU library website, at no cost to students.]


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.