7.2 Arabia and the Empire of
||Well known Disney film about the story of Aladdin.
I typically use this as an introduction to the unit to simply highlight the
geography and architecture. I also have my students read other versions of the
story to compare. |
|Islam: Empire of Faith
||Fantastic documentary from PBS. It is very
information-heavy so I show only small parts in class. In particular, the story
of Muhammad's revelation is well presented. There is also a section on the
importance of water in the Arabian desert that is solid.|
Lawrence of Arabia
||Classic film about a British soldier in Arabia during
World War I. While this doesn't fit the time period it does a fantastic job of
"setting the scene" in Arabia. There are some incredible shots of nomads
crossing the desert that are well worth showing. |
|Ancient Discoveries:Machines of the East
||Good documentary on Arabian technology but oddly
repetitive. Discusses in great detail the mechanics of various water pumps
designed in Arabia where one would have done fine. Minor explorations of other
Eastern technologies are all present but not in depth. Great in parts, not in
||A mini-series that retells some of the stories from
"1,001 Arabain Nights". Well done and entertaining. I usually show at least
part of one of the stories after we read them.|
Digging For the Truth: Hidden Treasures of Petra
||The first 2 seasons of this series are available for
the same cost as this one episode so it might be worth waiting to see
if season 3 ever is released in full. Unfortunately, this is one of the best
episodes of the series and for me has replaced the Petra video below. Great
information and presented in any entertaining way.|
The Hidden City of Petra
||Pretty good, if somewhat dated, documentary on Petra.
It has no reenactments but great footage and the talking heads are mostly
interesting. It helps that Petra is a fascinating topic in any case.I haven't shown the full video in years but if you do here are some pre-made questions for it.|
Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You
Background music I use to introduce the location of Arabia in
terms of the spice trade and the Silk Road. I have to say, it really drives the
The Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross
||If you are looking for a film that gives more of the
Islamic perspective on the Crusades this will do it for you. I use it only for
a couple short clips as I prefer Kingdom of
Arabia and Islam Lecture Notes
I. Geography and Technology
a. Arabia, obviously, was greatly influenced by its geography so significant time is spent here.
It also helps set the stage for the fact that this unit is not in Europe unlike
all of them were first semester. This section uses a few clips from Lawrence of
Arabia to give students a more lively sense of the area.
b. Arabia Walkthru
II. Muhammad and the Growth of Islam
a. Sets up the background of Islam by telling the story of
Muhammad. A very basic primer of Islamic beliefs is included.
b. Culture Shock: Arabia
4 shocks are included here. 1 involves designing a home for a
harsh environment. The 2nd is playing some Arabian math games. 3rd is a four
quarters picture analysis. Finally there is a retelling of the story of Arabian
a. Examines how Arabian technology made the desert livable and set them ahead of Europe in many ways.
b. Lab - none.