The Middle East has experienced rapid, indeed unprecedented social and political change over the past century. Before and after World War II nationalism mobilized the peoples of Iran and Egypt against foreign exploitation and imperialism; in the 1960s the governments of Syria and Iraq invested in infrastructure, public education and rural development. In Turkey and the Palestine Liberation Organization women participated in political parties and held important positions in institutions and universities. The peoples of Afghanistan enjoyed a century of peace. What changed? This course introduces students to the domestic actors and global forces that help explain the radical changes in Middle East's modern history. The first half of the course isolates important events that shaped the region's societies and states over the twentieth century. The second half of the course examines the patterns of foreign intervention since the 1980s that have turned entire countries into living hell for their citizens and flash points for world war.