Back in February, we posted background information on the unrest in Egypt. Now, we see that the Arab Awakening, or Arab Spring*, may prove to be the most important series of social and political developments since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This past spring semester I took a class call “Geopolitics of the Middle East,” where my professor quickly and appropriately abandoned the syllabus to cover the daily events that rocked the region.
Unlike the transformation of the U.S.S.R. and its satellite regimes, the revolutions of the Arab Spring have not been tied to the fate of a superpower. In my class, we struggled to keep track of the grassroots movements, each with their unique manifestations that reflected national and regional contexts. My National Geographic Atlas of the Middle East served as an excellent base of information on cultural, economic, and natural features of the region (Okay, I’m biased because I work here, but this really is a most useful book!). But, like all printed maps, it was already out of date. In this post, I’ll share my favorite resources on learning and teaching about this complicated region.