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Middle East Complexities: Culture and Conflict

Use this guide to find and evaluate information and resources related to Middle East complexities.  Resources on this guide will help you understand and analyze the often conflicting cultural, religious, political, and historical forces at work in the Mid

Using the Films on Demand (FOD) Database

The Films on Demand (FOD) database contains thousands of films and film clip segments on many topics. Films can be streamed and viewed in their entirety or by segment, making them ideal for presentations. You can create a private and free user account to keep track of favorites and to create playlists. Only STLCC students, faculty and staff have access to Films on Demand.

You can search Films on Demand by using keywords in the search box, and then choosing one of these three options: film title, segment or transcript . You can also navigate FOD by topic. One way to find information on the Middle East and North Africa is to click on Collections at the top of the page, and then on Area Studies. From there, choose North Africa (under African Studies) or Middle East (under Asia & The Pacific).  

The FOD and other databases offered by STLCC Libraries are accessible from any campus computer and by logging into the database from off campus.

Saudi Arabia Uncovered - PBS, Frontline

Saudi Arabia Uncovered (54:11)

With undercover footage and on-the-ground reporting, FRONTLINE reveals a side of Saudi Arabia that's rarely seen, and traces the efforts of men and women who are working to bring about change.

Music Videos


YouTube has proven to be  a very valuable tool, used by the dissidents in the Middle East to provide up-to-the minute news when state-run media were providing only the views of the government.  As always, discretion is advised when using YouTube, especially in political situations, where the opposing side can post the party or official line or even falsified videos.

You can try a general search such as Middle East unrest. Or, to get more specific results, trying adding a country name to your search. Examples: Libya protestEgypt facebook revolutionSyria civil war. If you want videos from CNN, BBC or another network, try this kind of search: ISIS BBC

YouTube searches often return a huge number of results. In the upper left hand corner of the YouTube screen, you'll see Filters. Click on this to limit your videos to those uploaded today, this week, this month, etc. The Filters feature provides you with additional ways to limit your search as well.

Syrian Children of the Front Line

The story of five young children whose lives have been changed forever by the civil war in Syria by journalist and filmmaker Marcel Mettelsiefen. Documentary. Insaane Rights Watch. Published on YouTube Feb. 18, 2014. (48:05)

The Origins of ISIS (Islamic State)

Published on Nov 17, 2014 by the Brookings Institution. Longtime CIA veteran and counterterrorism expert Bruce Riedel details the origins and history of ISIS and how the extremist group's self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi came to power.

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