A national network of resources and information about the Middle East

The network of maritime and overland trade routes across the Indian Ocean, Western Asia, the Mediterranean Sea and their hinterlands were host to myriad cultural exchanges over many centuries. They are so many different types of goods, ideas, styles and techniques that it would be hard to name them all.

The Middle East Outreach Council’s annual teacher workshop at MESA, in collaboration with its local partners in the Washington DC area, will explore ways of experiencing and teaching about these cultural exchanges through the Five Senses. For the auditory sense, we will explore musical exchanges through performance and hear Arabic and Persian language poetry. For the visual sense, we will visit the newly renovated Freer Gallery of Art Islamic collection, which features multisensory multimedia presentations of each object. Textiles will lend a sense of touch in addition to their visual and social impact, and provide teachers with lessons on the spread of technologies with silk brocades. Not to forget taste and smell, we will map the flavors, spices, and scents that spread their beauty and healthful properties across land and sea. Last, but not least, attendees will enjoy a culinary tour of our luncheon menu catered by a local Middle Eastern restaurant.


A story about a family fleeing conflict in Afghanistan, a graphic novel-style tale of growing up in Turkey, a biography of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, and a brilliantly illustrated book about Ancient Egypt are among the titles recognized at the 2016 Middle East Book Awards, announced on Saturday, November 19, 2016 in Boston, MA.

Established in 1999, the Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures.

Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience. (more…)

Free photo resource!

MEOC is proud to make available a growing archive of member contributed photographs taken in the Middle East. These copyright-friendly photographs are licensed for use in the classroom or for non-commercial projects. Browse the galleries and help yourself!
  • From the MEOC photo archive:

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