Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
GEO 204
Course Title:
Geography of Middle East
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines the impacts of different physical and cultural factors on formation, development, and distribution patterns of human settlements. Examines the influence of religious beliefs as well as other cultural elements in the evolution of human landscapes and the quality of life within the region. Examines the Middle East as a culturally diverse region (i.e. not a monolith) and explores the dominant value systems held by different Middle Eastern societies. Focuses on population issues, urbanization processes, traditionalism, modernity, male-female relations, feminism, democracy, and westernization. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course explores the modern Middle Eastern life based on dominant value systems held by the majority of population.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Analyze changing political and economic relationships between the United States and countries in the Middle East in order to be a
    more informed and engaged citizen.
  • Debate and discuss, in a knowledgeable way, how ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity within the Middle East has led to both internal strife and external intervention.
  • Compare one€™s own value system with those of Middle Easterners.

Course Activities and Design

Class will include lectures, weekly article reviews and discussions, related documentary films, student project presentations, and possible guest speakers.  

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Weekly article reports
  • Multiple choice exams
  • Class project presentations
  • Written final projects  

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Physical geography of Middle East
  • Human/cultural geography of Middle East
  • Regions of Middle East
  • Demography, population growth, movement, and distribution
  • Religion and cultural landscape
  • Cultural diversity of Middle East
  • Oil resources and other economic activities
  • Border disputes and geopolitics
  • Gender and other socio-cultural issues