This book, developed for students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is a remix of Alam Payind’s and Melissa McClimans’ 2017 open text, “Keys to Understanding the Middle East,” published by Ohio State University. Specifically, this version adds a more consistent approach to transliteration, and expands on languages in the Middle East, Islamic sects, and the history that preceded the modern period.
This book is intended for those who have never studied the Middle East, or experts who may wish to fill gaps in their knowledge of the region from other disciplines. Whether for establishing or deepening one’s knowledge of the region, these fundamentals are important to know. The languages, cultural, religious and sectarian communities of the region, and selected turning points and influential people in history are starting points for gaining an understanding of the diverse contexts of the region.