Questions for Discussion

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1. Write an initial post (maximum 100 words) that makes a concise observation or point on the basis of one or more of the readings.

In what ways did states and economies change in the 1970s and 1980s? What role did international organizations play in these changes? The oil economies? How did people experience these changes?

readings: Gelvin, The Modern Middle East, Chs. 1-2 , Burke/Yaghoubian, Struggle and Survival, Chs. 18, 19, and 25

2. Respond to another colleague’s post. Do not simply state that you agree or like the post–it must be a substantive comment (maximum 75 words)

The death of President Nasser in Egypt and the October War of 1973 signaled an abandonment of socialist policies, and a desire to engage the United States and other international organizations to broker peace treaties with Israel. This allowed countries with little or no oil to restructure their economies by encouraging foreign investment and restructuring public and private sectors such as commercial agriculture and foreign trade. Oil exporting countries, on the other hand, such as Saudi Arabia came into extraordinary wealth and participated in what Struggle and Survival calls “conspicuous consumption.” Additionally, foreign workers like Talal Rizk supplied most skilled and unskilled labor in the Saudi economy. Remittances from these workers were crucial to the economies of states where oil was not a primary method of income.

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