Explore the lives of men and women in the Muslim world – from the sixteenth century to now – through their autobiographical writings. Writings are by Muslims and non-Muslims living in various social, cultural and political contexts. The authors range from scholars, saints and socio-religious reformers to princes, bureaucrats, nationalists, educators, writers and actors. Browse by category, region, time or name.
Open Acces Resources
is a blog which gathers and distributes information on materials relating to the Middle East housed in open access repositories (OAR) around the world.
Noteworthy: Arab Spring
Ever since a man in Tunisia burned himself to death in December 2010 in protest at his treatment by police, pro-democracy rebellions have erupted across the Middle East. This timeline tracks the events up to early July, 2011.
The Middle East and North Africa saw dramatic if precarious gains in press freedom in 2011, and for the first time in eight years, global media freedom did not experience an overall decline, according to a Freedom House report released today. However, due to downgrades in some previously free countries, the percentage of the world’s population living in societies with a fully free press has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade.
Geographical differences in living standards are a pressing concern for policymakers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Economies of agglomeration mean that production is most efficient when concentrated in leading areas. So how can the region reduce spatial disparities in well-being without compromising growth? The solution to spatial disparities lies in matching the policy package to a lagging area’s specific characteristics. Key questions include: is the lagging area problem really as serious as one thinks; is it a problem of low economic opportunity or of poor human development; are lagging area populations close enough to agglomerations to benefit from spillovers; and is there manifest private investor interest?
A decade following September 11, 2001, Muslim Americans still face some public distrust and are more skeptical of law enforcement than are other U.S. faith communities. Despite these challenges, American followers of Islam are optimistic about their future, and they embrace their country's civic institutions and religious pluralism.
Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, with both sides holding negative stereotypes of the other. Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent, while few say Muslims are tolerant or respectful of women. Meanwhile, Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy – as well as violent and fanatical.
New: ONI Report
OpenNet Initiative’s mission is to identify and document Internet filtering and surveillance, and to promote and inform wider public dialogs about such practices.Their latest report examines these practices in Middle Eastern and North African contexts. Click on the link below to see the report.
The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) is a collaborative partnership of four leading academic institutions: the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto; Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; the Advanced Network Research Group at the Cambridge Security Programme, University of Cambridge; and the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University.
Reserch on Middle East, Islam and digital media.
Euro-Islam.info is an active network of researchers and scholars who conduct comparative research on Islam and Muslims in the West and disseminate key information to politicians, media, and the public. Sponsored by GSRL Paris/CNRS France and Harvard University, the Euro-Islam research network consists of over forty researchers and hosts over 50,000 unique visitors each month. The site is recognized in political and media circles as the most reliable online reference for Islam in Europe.
U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project in affiliation with the Search for Common Ground (SFCG) organization released a report entitled: "Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World."
The report "represents the consensus of an exceptionally diverse, senior, bipartisan and inter-faith group of 34 American leaders who have worked together over the last 18 months. Their work was supported by Search for Common Ground and CBI, two organizations that specialize in building consensus on controversial public issues."
Key Online Reference Works
- Annual Reviews
- The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia
- Arabic Almanac (Searchable Arabic Dictionaries)
- Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
- Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought
- Blackwell Companion to the Qur'an
- Brockelmann Online
- Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology
- Cambridge Companion to Muhammad
- Cambridge Companion to the Qurʼān
- The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature
- The Cambridge History of Egypt
- The Cambridge History of Iran
- The Cambridge History of Islam
- The Cambridge History of Turkey
- Christian-Muslim Relations: a Bibliographical History
- Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (free)
- Country Studies (Library of Congress)
- Encyclopedia of Arab Women Filmmakers
- Encyclopædia of Islam
- Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
- Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media
- Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures
- Encyclopædia Iranica
- Encyclopædia Judaica
- Encyclopædia of the Qur'ān
- Islam in World Cultures
- Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon
- Literature Resource Center
- Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies
- Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- The Statesman's Year-Book (1864-)
On the Internet
Note: For help with off-Campus access to databases, please see here.
Key Online Databases
This database contains films from Bangladesh, India, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon as well as several Central Asian countries. Films are readily available online for Duke-affiliated patrons.
For more streaming film resources, see here.
Find Articles in:
- Anthropology Plus
- Art Full Text
- ATLA Religion Database
- Bibliography of Asian Studies
- Central Asian Survey
- eHRAF Collection of Ethnography
- Historical Abstracts
- Index Islamicus
- International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IBZ)
- Lexis/Nexis Academic
- Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies (MECAS thru EBSCO)
- Multidata Online (Arabic Fulltext)
- Public Affairs International Service (PAIS)
- RAMBI - Index of Articles on Jewish Studies
Find Primary Documents in:
- Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Dept. Central Classified Files
- Chatham House Online Archive, Module 2, 1980-2008
- Confidential Print (British): Middle East (1812-1969)
- Democracy in Turkey, 1950-1959: Records of the U.S. State Dept. Classified Files
- Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports 1949-1996
- Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980
- Foreign Relations of the United States (US State Dept. Office of the Historian)
- Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1861-1960 (U Wisconsin)
- House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
- Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees: The West’s Response to Jewish Emigration
- Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994
- The King and the People in Morocco, 1950-1959: U.S. State Department Records on the Internal Affairs of Morocco
- Middle East Online. Series 1: Arab-Israeli Relations 1917-1970
- Middle East Online. Series 2: Iraq, 1914-1974
- Digital National Security Archive
- Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 1946-
- United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1946-
- United Nations Official Documents System (ODS)
- U.S. and Iraqi Relations: U.S. Technical Aid, 1950-1958
- U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009
- World News Connection (for FBIS/JPRS), 2003-
- Yearbook of the United Nations, 1946-2005
Find Country Statistics in:
- Global Development Finance (World Databank)
- Global Insight
- IMF eLibrary
- MarketLine Advantage
- OECD and IEA Statistics
- ProQuest Statistical Insight
- UN comtrade
- UNdata (free)
- World Bank Data (free) Incl. WDI & GDF
Find Images in:
- AP Images
- Flickr.com (free)
- Visual Media Collections at Duke (formerly MDID@Duke)
- Bridgeman Archive [use "Search for Images Only" box]
- JSTOR [Select 'Advanced Search'; then make sure that you select 'caption' as the field to be searched from the drop-down list.]
- Insight Visual Collections
Note: For help with off-Campus access to databases, please see here.
- AMEEL (Yale)
- AMEEL is a Web-based portal and a digital collection of information for the study of the Middle East, including its history, culture, development, and contemporary face. Within this portal, Yale University Library offers the OACIS serials database and integrates existing scholarly digital content with newly digitized resources to make such materialS easier to find and use efficiently and freely.
- Universität Halle-Wittenberg: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek (ULB): Sondersammelgebiet Vorderer Orient
- The digitization project is still ongoing, but is already a most valuable resource, with over 3000 titles available. They started with the holdings of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Halle, which includes much 19th-century material, both European publications and Middle Eastern ones. At Halle they have also digitized Jacob Landau's important Turkish research library which contains many Ottoman publications.
- Islamic Heritage Project - Harvard University
- Contains not only important MSS, but also a nearly equal number of printed texts (over 275). These date almost entirely from before 1923 and cover a wide range of subjects, languages and places of publication.
- Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn: Bibliothek Goussen
- This is a specialized collection of Oriental Christian texts, including 226 in Arabic. It comprises both European and Middle Eastern editions, most of them fully digitized and available online. This is a valuable resource, in view of the important part played by Christian Arabic books, produced both by missionaries and by Arab Christians, in the early development of Arabic printing.
- المكتبة الرقمية المغربية - La Bibliothèque Numérique Marocaine
- The Moroccan Digital Library, created by the Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc (BNRM), has a special section devoted to lithographed books, containing digital images of over 30 of them. Almost all printing in Morocco was lithographic until well into the 20C, so these are of particular historic importance. Users can choose between Arabic and French interfaces.
- Milli Kütüphane: Süreli Yayınlar Bilgi Sistemi
- This database of Ottoman newspapers and periodicals is maintained by the Turkish National Library in Ankara. It contains full-text images of a wide range of serials from 1840 (Ceride-i Havadis) to 1928.
- İslam Araştimaları Merkezi
- The Islamic Studies Centre in Üsküdar offers three online collections of Ottoman printed materials in facsimile images:1) Salnâmeler: the official yearbooks, important sources of statistical and other information on all the Ottoman provinces. Over 520 are available here; 2) Osmanlıca Risaleler: over 2400 pamphlets or “treatises” in Ottoman Turkish, mainly on political, religious and educational subjects; 3) Osmanlıca Makaleler: articles from 20 Ottoman Turkish periodicals. The facsimiles are provided as PDF files.
- Duke University Libraries: Ottoman Texts on IA
- Duke offers a collection of 215 Ottoman Turkish books on the Internet Archive platform. These include not only classical literature but also works of popular fiction, religion, and law.
- World Digital Library: Middle East & North Africa
- Expand the 'Place' filter list on the left-hand side to select items by country.
- This catalogue provides a searchable interface to basic manuscript descriptions from some of the major manuscript collections in the UK. With the continuing contribution of manuscript records from UK libraries, Fihrist aims to become a union catalogue for manuscripts in Arabic script. Currently, only a portion of the records contain Arabic script elements.
Middle East @ Duke
- Duke in the Arab World 2013
- Duke in the Arab World, Summer 2012
- Duke Engage 2012 Cairo
- Duke Engage 2011 Cairo
- Duke in Turkey 2011 Blog
- Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC)
- DISC on YouTube
- Duke U. Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC)
- DISC Core & Affiliated Faculty
- Undergraduate Islamic Studies Certificate
- FOCUS Program
- Duke Engage Program
- Nomads of North Carolina
League of Arab States
The Arab League or League of the Arab States is a regional intergovernmental organization of Arab States in the Middle East and North Africa formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945. Seven states formed the League, defining its main goals as to: "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries."
To find materials in Duke's Libraries about the Arab League, click here.