Khalidi's class was throughly enjoyable and I learned a lot. I didn't know very much about the Middle East before I took this class, and now I feel solid about my knowledge about the region. Khalidi is a great lecturer, but he does go off on tangents and ramblings about certain issues. He can spend what feels like fifteen minutes emphasizing one point. It was also interesting to hear what he thought about the Arab revolutions and how he incorporated that with what he was lecturing about during the Spring 2011 semester. I honestly would not mind taking the course again in the Fall just to see how his opinion and events may have changed. Khalidi is also willing to talk with you outside of class to go over material that you didn't understand or even just talk about current events, so definitely take up the opportunity to do so!
For section, Omar had us write weekly discussion posts that he called reaction papers for the readings, and for that reason, I did the readings. Maybe you could get away with not doing the readings, but to me, it seemed like something that would be difficult to write if one had not done the readings. But otherwise, Omar was good about summarizing the readings and we usually had interesting discussions about events relating to Middle East as well as our opinions.