The Middle East Insitute - Columbia University



The Middle East Institute
Columbia University
Phone: 212-854-2584
Fax: 212-854-1413
606 West 122 Street
Knox Hall - Third Floor
New York, New York 10027
Mail Code 9640

  1. Muslims in New York

    On February 14, 2002, Columbia University's Muslim Communities in New York City Project, supported by the Ford Foundation, hosted a one-day in-service training for over one hundred New York City high school teachers. This special program, (Re)embracing Diversity in New York City Public Schools: Educational Outreach for Muslim Sensitivity, provided teachers with a fully integrated mini-curriculum that addresses the problem of intolerance towards Arab-, South Asian- and Muslim-Americans in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11.

    The curriculum (Re)embracing Diversity combines a wealth of information about Islam and Muslims with interactive classroom activities that foster the critical importance of tolerance and respect for ethnic and religious diversity. For the convenience of teachers, the curriculum is downloadable either in its entirety or as individual lesson plans depending on students' needs or interests. Also, most lessons include one or more handouts, but these must be downloaded separately from the instructor's guide. For questions or further information about (Re)embracing Diversity or the Muslims in New York City Project at Columbia University, please contact Lou Cristillo, Project Coordinator: (212) 854-2703, fax: (212) 854-1413, or e-mail:

    1. Instructor’s Guide
      Download (180k)

    2. Module One
      Download Lesson 1 (127k)
      Download Lesson 2 (130k)
      Download Lesson 3 (126k)
      Download Lesson 4 (125k)
      Download Lesson 5 (130k)

    3. Module Two
      Download Lesson 1 (125k)
      Download Lesson 2 (126k)
      Download Lesson 3 (131k)
      Download Lesson 4 (120k)
      Download Lesson 5 (116k)

    4. Module Three
      Download Lesson 1 (126k)
      Download Lesson 2 (121k)

    5. Handouts and Video Resources
      Download (122k)
      Handout 1 (11k) Handout 2 (1.05.mb)
      Handout 3 (154k) Handout 4 (169k)
      Handout 5 (147k) Handout 6 (259k)
      Handout 7 (63k) Handout 8 (343k)
      Handout 9 (14k) Handout 10 (12k)
      Handout 11 (1.03mb) Handout 12 (386k)
      Handout 13 (14k) Handout 14 (4.07mb)
      Handout 15 (91k) Handout 16 (610k)
      Handout 17 (14k) Handout 18 (7k)
      Handout 19 (7k) Handout 20 (31k)
      Handout 21 (7k) Handout 22 (8k)
      Handout 23 (10k) Handout 24 (66k)
      Handout 25 (7k) Handout 26 (8k)
      Handout 27 (7k) Handout 28 (9k)
      Handout 29 (7k) Handout 30 (9k)
      Handout 31 (83k) Handout 32 (320k)
      Handout 33 (4.7mb) Handout 34 (7k)
      Handout 35 (7k)

    6. End Notes
      Download (21k)

  2. Religious and Cultural Missions


    Dr. Reeva Simon, Assistant Director of the Middle East Institute, and Dr. Eleanor H. Tejirian, Research Associate, were invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to hold an international conference on "Altruism and Imperialism: Western Religious and Cultural Missions in the Middle East," at the Foundation's conference center in Bellagio, Italy, from August 28-September 1, 2000. The sixteen participants in the conference came from six countries in the Middle East and Europe, as well as the United States. Most of the participants submitted research papers, which were discussed at the conference and will soon be posted on CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online)

    The conference center at Bellagio is housed in a sixteenth century villa that was given to the Rockefeller Foundation in 1959 by Her Serene Highness, Ella, Principessa della Torre e Tasso, the former Ella Walker, heiress to the Hiram Walker fortune. Located on a hillside overlooking the village of Bellagio, the three arms of Lake Como, and the Alps, the estate occupies a promontory extending into the lake and is crowned by the ruins of a medieval fortress. Approximately twenty scholars in the sciences, the arts, and the social sciences are invited to spend a month in residence at the center, and are joined by participants in week-long conferences such as ours, described by the foundation as "small, non-routine conferences that might be expected to arrive at important conclusions concerning the state of knowledge in a given field and point out a path for future development."

    The intention of the conference on "Altruism and Imperialism" was to bring together scholars from several countries who have been using missionary sources in their research, or who have been working specifically on topics dealing with missionaries. The term "missionary" was broadly defined to include not only Protestant, Anglican, and Roman Catholic missionaries, but also the French lay mission and the Alliance Israelite Universelle, both of which sought to spread French culture rather than having a specifically religious agenda. Our goal was to examine the relevance of mission sources for the broader study of political, social, and economic change in the Middle East, and to retrieve the mission experience as part of the history of the region. Beyond that, we sought to consider the role of the missions in setting an agenda for Western concern that would be carried through by nongovernmental organizations in the present day.

    During the conference Dr. Simon presented a paper entitled "The Case of the Curse," which examined the activities of the London Society in Jerusalem and Baghdad in the mid-nineteenth century, and Dr. Tejirian presented a paper entitled "Faith of our Fathers: Missionaries and NGOs," which focused on the transition from Near East Relief, a quasi-missionary organization providing relief primarily to Christians during and after World War I, to the Near East Foundation, its successor organization, which is an NGO working not only in the Middle East but also in sub-Saharan Africa today.

    Professor Richard Bulliet also attended the conference, presenting a paper on the American University of Beirut, which was based on the doctoral research of Alfred Howell.

    Jean-Marc Oppenheim, administrative assistant at the Middle East Institute, served as rapporteur for the conference.

    A summary of the proceedings of the conference, as well as a list of participants and the texts of several of the papers, will be available on CIAO [], and will be published as a volume in the Middle East Institute's Occasional Papers series.

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