The Middle East: From the Rise of Islam to the Arab Spring

Explore the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day.


Course outline


This course provides a general overview of Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the present. It explores key figures and events that shaped the region’s complex history, thus exposing the student to various aspects of the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Islamic civilization.

In this course, the following major topics will be explored:

  • the birth of Islam in the time of the Prophet Muhammad and its expansion and consolidation during the Abbasid Period and until the Crusades
  • Early Modern Muslim Empires, such as The Ottomans around the Mediterranean and The Kajars in Iran
  • trace the emergence of the Modern Middle East, from WWI and the new political order created after it, to the First Gulf War in 1991
  • the Middle East in the early  21st century by exploring key events such as the September 11 Attack and its aftermath, the Civil War in Syria, and the refugee crisis in Europe

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will be able to draw on historical knowledge (rather than wide-spread stereotypes) in order to better understand current events around the world.

Who should attend?

Those who are interested in history, as well as those who want a deeper understanding of global current events.


  • 4 x Wednesdays , 6 - 27 March, 10am - 12pm
  • $125.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Ayelet Zoran-Rosen

Seminar presenter

Dr. Ayelet Zoran-Rosen

Dr. Ayelet Zoran-Rosen

Honorary Research Fellow


Dr. Ayelet Zoran-Rosen holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern and African History and Political Science and an M.A. in Middle Eastern and African History, both from Tel Aviv University, and a PhD in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University. She is research fellow at the school of humanities


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