May 09, 2012

Saliba, George
[ASCM V2008] Contemporary Islamic Civilization

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I took the second (spring semester) of Contemporary Islamic Civilization.
George Saliba is a pleasant individual. He has a vivid manner of conducting his classes and if you make it to the end of the semester, you will enjoy a few classes of Arab music.
The first half of the semester revolves mainly around Arab/Islamic and other thinkers. The second part of the semester involves discussions about theatre, poetry and music.
Important note. Saliba expresses his personal understanding of the readings in class. These are subjective observations and must be taken with a grain of salt. He has apparent political inclinations that he subtly instills, so stay alert and don't take what he says for granted.
The exposure to a well-constructed diversity of thinkers is a positive element.
I would recommend this course to anyone who wishes to gain some insights into the Arab world. This was especially relevant in light of the developments in the Arab world. Saliba relates to contemporary issues too. On that note, Saliba often trails off topic to discuss an interesting example or topic. Though interesting and enriching - they won't appear in your midterm or final.
Discussion leaders vary, they grade differently and have different requirements so hope for the best.

Workload:

3 books over the whole semester.
On average 25-30 pages per week.
You could manage getting through without reading every word but reading will make class and mainly discussion, more interesting.