Event—Adult Education

Cultural Heritage in the Levant


Learn about the multilingual, multiethnic, and diverse history of the Levant, an area that is rich in the living heritage of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faith traditions.

Gaziantep Castle, Turkey. Source: Klaus-Peter Simon, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Class Description

February's devastating earthquake in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria damaged many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it caused a massive loss of life. We will look at the unique culture in this area, already reeling from the effects of the war in Syria and more than a decade of ISIL terrorism. 

Sites like Gaziantep Castle and the Old Souk of Aleppo are testaments to the multilayered cultural history of the region that stretches back to the ancient civilizations of Babylon, Phoenicia, and Byzantium. Multilingual, multiethnic, and diverse, the Levant is rich with the living heritage of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faith traditions. 

You'll come away from this class with a working knowledge of the main actors in the conflicts plaguing the region today, as well as an understanding of the efforts of historians and artists to collect and preserve the cultural heritage of the northern Levant region physically, digitally, and through imaginative artworks.

    Laurel Harig-Khan teaches courses on the culture, politics, and history of the Levant and MENA region. She received an AM in Islamic Studies from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago and a BA in Arabic from Bard College. She has taught at the Newberry since 2018.

    Materials List

    • Instructor-Distributed Materials

    First Reading

    • No first reading assignment

    Cost and Registration

    Two sessions, $137 ($124 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

    To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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