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WELCOME TO THE JCC COURSE PORTAL by ITME

Inside the Middle East: Navigating Today's Complexities
and Tomorrow's Possibilities

Description of Course

A journey through the Middle East’s rich history, navigating the current dynamics and exploring potential future developments. Designed for a broad audience, from beginners to experts, this course goes above and beyond the surface-level conflicts and headlines to uncover the deep-seated factors shaping the region. We will explore the intricate fabric of Middle Eastern identity, the pivotal Sunni-Shia divide, historical Islamic empire rivalries, and their effects on today’s geopolitical landscape.

The curriculum thoughtfully transitions from ancient history to contemporary issues, covering nationalism, the emergence of militant Islam, the Arab Spring’s trajectory, and Iran’s ambitions for regional dominance. It also addresses the complexities of the Israel-Hamas conflict and spotlights who and what will shape the future of this critical and fascinating region. This course provides valuable insights into the ongoing struggles and the key elements influencing the Middle East in the 21st century, equipping learners with knowledge and understanding that empowers them to navigate the Middle East’s complex landscape, encouraging a well-informed perspective beyond conventional narratives.

WHO IS AVI MELAMED?

Geopolitical Middle East Expert, Intelligence Analyst, & Founder of Inside The Middle East Intelligence Perspectives [ITME]

Former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Arab Affairs Advisor. Founder of Inside The Middle East (ITME), an apolitical non-partisan educational non-profit institute. Author of three books on the region. His recent book is “Inside The Middle East | Entering a New Era” published in 2022. Avi is also the author, producer, and host of the newly released documentary series on Jerusalem, “The Seam Line,” a five-part docuseries exploring the many layers of the conflict in and over Jerusalem. 

Avi is Fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. He is a frequent commentator on international media platforms such as Al-Arabiya, Al-Hura, BBC, CNN, I24 News, FOX, France24, Sky News and many more. He is a recognized expert featured in ABC, AP, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, the Hill, NBC, Newsweek, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. And is a permanent contributor to USA Today.

In May 2023, we launched “ITME ON THE ROAD | EMPOWER MINDS. BRIDGE DIFFERENCES. STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY,”
in partnership with the JCC Association of North America. Since then, we’ve delivered over 100 dynamic programs, both virtually and in-person, at more than 30 JCCs in over a dozen states. This initiative’s success has led many JCCs to seek ongoing ITME educational programs. We’re proud to continue this journey, including joining the JCC Israel Academy and looking forward to our next ITME-ON-THE-ROAD in September 2024! >> Click Here to contact us about coming to your community >>

Session One | HISTORICAL FRAMING OF THE MIDDLE EAST

In this session, we will learn about the significant cultural, religious, and political factors that have shaped the region. We will understand the geostrategic importance of the Fertile Crescent and Arabian Peninsula, the rise and expansion of Islam, and the roots of the Sunni-Shia divide. Additionally, we will gain insights into the governance of the Islamic Empire under the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties, the enduring rivalries between Arab, Persian, and Turkish civilizations, and the rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire. This knowledge will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of the historical context that continues to influence the Middle East today.

Session Two | NATIONALISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST

In this session, we’ll explore the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the complex statehood and nationalism dynamics in the Middle East through the 20th century. We’ll start with the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the San Remo Conference, setting the stage for future geopolitical shifts. We’ll delve into the rise of ideologies like Pan-Islam, Pan-Arabism, and Particularistic Nationalism, and how these shaped regional identities and political trajectories. We’ll examine key historical milestones, including the formation of modern states under colonial mandates, the impact of the Hashemite dynasty, and the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood. This narrative will culminate in the socio-political changes leading to and resulting from the Arab Spring, reflecting on the reasons behind the persistent challenges in establishing effective statehood in the region.

Session Three | ISLAM IS THE SOLUTION - THE RISE OF MILITANT ISLAM

What is Salafi Jihadi Ideology?
Wednesday June 5, 2024

 

Session Four | THE PAST IS PRESENT - ARAB, IRAN, TURKEY POWER STRUGGLE

Wednesday June 19, 2024

 

Session Five | ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

Israeli security expert shares perspective on holiday travel safety amidst Middle East conflict | Avi Melamed Interview quoted by Veronica Jean Seltzer  for News12 Network | December 21, 2023
Wednesday June 26, 2024

 

Session Six | MAJOR FACTORS SHAPING THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE 21ST CENTURY

The Iranian attack on Israel is another loud wake-up call to the world. The next wake-up call might be too late | Avi Melamed, April 14 2024
Wednesday July 3, 2024

 

AVI's LATEST ARTICLES

Biden’s risky bet: Withholding weapons from Israel threatens more than military outcomes | USA TODAY

Biden’s risky bet: Withholding weapons from Israel threatens more than military outcomes | Avi Melamed special to the USA TODAY Network | This article...

Absolving Hamas from responsibility must end for the sake of Palestinians and Israelis | USA TODAY

Absolving Palestinians and their leadership from accountability plays into the hands of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Iranian regime, all of whom seek to perpetuate and escalate the conflict

Iranian Attack on Israel | Initial Insights from a Middle East Expert | April 14, 2024

Iranian Attack on Israel | Initial Insights from a Middle East Expert | By Avi Melamed - April 14, 2024 In Western discourse, the Iranian...

The West must speak in a language that the Iranian regime understands | USA TODAY

The West must speak in a language that the Iranian regime understands | Avi Melamed special to the USA TODAY Network | ...

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LATEST FROM THE HUB

Israel Advances Offensive in Rafah Despite Rising International Pressure | THE MEDIA LINE

Israel Advances Offensive in Rafah Despite Rising International Pressure | Find Avi Melamed's insights quoted by Keren Setton in this article for the THE...

Did Egypt Sabotage Israel-Hamas Ceasefire? What We Know | NEWSWEEK

Did Egypt Sabotage Israel-Hamas Ceasefire? What We Know | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted in this article by Brendan Cole Senior News Reporter for...

Why Biden is holding back heavy bombs from Israel | THE HILL

Why Biden is holding back heavy bombs from Israel | Avi Melamed quoted in this article by Brad Dress, originally published in The Hill...

Hamas says it accepts cease-fire proposal; Israel approves Rafah invasion | USA TODAY

Hamas says it accepts cease-fire proposal; Israel approves Rafah invasion | Avi Melamed's insights quoted in this article by John Bacon Joey Garrison, Originally...

AVI MELAMED ON TV

Geopolitical Analyst thinks IDF will conduct Rafah invasion in phases | Avi Melamed interview | CTV CANADA

Geopolitical Analyst thinks IDF will conduct Rafah invasion in phases | Avi Melamed interview | CTV CANADA - Middle East geopolitical intelligence analyst Avi...

Israel’s security minister: Hamas loves Biden | FOX NEWS – JOSH BRESLOW

Israel's security minister: Hamas loves Biden | FOX NEWS | Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official joined LiveNOW from FOX's Josh Breslow to...

Hamas stands defiant as IDF prepares Rafah assault | WASHINGTON TIMES PODCAST

Hamas stands defiant as IDF prepares Rafah assault | a WASHINGTON TIMES PODCAST, By Cheryl K. Chumley - Monday, May 6, 2024. Avi Melamed,...

Military Pressure on Hamas Is Only Way Forward for Israel: Analyst | NTD NEWS

Military Pressure on Hamas Is Only Way Forward for Israel: with Geopolitical Analyst Avi Melamed | Chris Beers - NTD NEWS TODAY -...

CBC News Network speaks with military analyst Avi Melamed to mark 6 months since October 7 | CBC CANADA

CBC News Network speaks with military analyst Avi Melamed to mark 6 months since October 7 | April 12, 2024 https://youtu.be/PjyrZUf6RLg CBC News Network speaks with...

With Iranian Threats Looming, US Warning Could Prevent Escalation: Expert | NTD NEWS

With Iranian Threats Looming, US Warning Could Prevent Escalation: Expert | Stefania Cox speaks with Avi Melamed | April 11, 2024 NTD News. Avi Melamed,...

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In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Arab-Israeli conflict exploded into the intifada - lethal and violent protests and riots throughout Israel. This was the most chaotic and dangerous period in the history of the modern city of Jerusalem.

Avi Melamed, a fourth-generation Jerusalemite Jew, former intelligence officer, fluent Arab speaker and Middle East expert, is the host of The Seam Line.
As the Advisor on Arab Affairs to two Mayors of Jerusalem during the intifada, his mission was to rebuild relations between the Arab and Jewish communities in Jerusalem. His work put him in the epicenter of this deadly storm.

The Seam Line is not a historical documentary.
It is an invitation to join Avi Melamed on an insider's journey throughout Jerusalem.

" In my role as ADVISOR on ARAB AFFAIRS to two mayors of Jerusalem.
I found myself at the forefront during one of the most complex and violent chapters in the history of Jerusalem.
My mission…to restore trust between the Arab residents of Jerusalem and the authorities.
It was a unique opportunity to act in a mission of hope in times of despair, in a city that is a part of me and I am a part of."