Dabashi shows off his knowledge as often as he can. At first it is engaging but it gets tiresome very quickly, especially since he spirals into long soliloquys about irrelevant topics to the class. Coming into the course, I was really looking forward to getting some basic, knowledge of Islamic civilization since i had very little coming in. I don't feel like I got that knowledge here.
he's a very poor instructor and pretty much assumes you will get something out of what he's talking about. He's not very interested in bring there, except when he gets to talk about his own politics. He really slips into irrelevant topics a lot, things he is passionate about but which will make you roll your eyes after just a couple of lectures. It's also very easy for him to put his opinion up on a pedestal and to talk about how amazing it is. You get the idea pretty fast that he's not giving you a very wide scope of view points.
He doesn't really get into theological differences between sunnis and shiites or the history of conflict between the two. He is pretty fixated only on modern Arab and Iranian politics as it relates to Israel and the US. When he scratches the surface he fails to avoid talking about his own political opinions. He is incredibly bias professor.
It's a real mind-suck for the middle of the afternoon (I took the 2:40-3:55 class).
You would be better off taking an intro course and doing extra reading about the topics that interest you the most.

Workload:

Midterm essay, Final essay.