The Middle East, Past and Present WEA Sydney

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Available Classes

To even begin to understand the turmoil in the Middle East today – the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Israel/Palestine, and elsewhere – we need to know more than most of us do about its geography and its violent history. We also need to understand how much the peoples of the Middle East have in common, including their concerns for land and religion, and a mindset which keeps the past eternally present. This course is presented by a tutor who has visited most of the countries of the Middle East, studied its history, and spoken to people of many backgrounds and with many points of view. It’s a course designed both to inform and provoke discussion, and challenge many fixed opinions.

Independent Study Discussion Courses are for study by groups without a tutor, so there is no need to write reports. These courses were written by tutors who have now since retired from the Discussion Group Program. Some courses were written a number of years ago, and therefore contain references to events which are now more historical than current, however, all are entertaining, well-produced and worthwhile.


Course Author: Douglas Golding

Course Code: D233

Supplied Material: Course Booklet

Units & Pricing: 6 units / $48 per person


Start your Group: Anyone can start a Discussion Group – seek out some like-minded friends or put up a notice in your local library, bookshop or workplace. Please note a minimum of 6 people is required to start a new discussion group.

Arrange the Meetings: New groups need to decide where and when to meet, and for how long – whatever best suits members' particular situations.

Run your Group: Choose a secretary to liaise with WEA and your tutor, a Discussion Leader to chair meetings, a reporter to take discussion notes to send to your tutor, and maybe a librarian to look after the books.

Start the Course: Contact WEA Sydney to enrol. Bookings can be made for one year, divided into two terms – Term 1 commences in February, Term 2 in July (Groups may make forward bookings for popular choices). Please indicate in what order your Group wishes to study the courses, if more than one course is booked.