Afghanistan: A Nation of Minorities

Author: Kathleen Ayers

School/Organization:

School of the Future

Year: 2010

Seminar: History of the Modern Middle East

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: Afghanistan, economies, Global history, Middle East History, policies

School Subject(s): Social Studies, Global History

Although Afghanistan is landlocked, its location has been integral to the trade routes that have existed between Asia and Europe.  Parts of Afghanistan used to lie along the Silk Road, which allowed for the sharing of culture and ideas.

I feel the largest problem that I must overcome is America’s sense of what is considered “history.”  The World History course that I currently teach is basically a European History curriculum with fragments of other cultures history mixed in when they involve the Western world. The limited selection of other nations’ histories and the lack of sharing multiple perspectives on events in time provide our learners with a small percentage of what the whole story of history contains.

With this said, it is ironic that the reason why Afghanistan is receiving so much attention in mostly because America is currently at war within the nation.  If American were not at war, Afghanistan would be among the list of other nations in Southern Asia that most Americans either do not know exist or do not know how to pronounce, like Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan.

One hurdle that I hope to overcome in teaching this unit is to make learners aware of our global history and the ways in which developments in one nation directly affect the lives, policies and economies of another nation.  I also wish to have learners understand the war in Afghanistan not only from the perspective of America, but also from the perspective of a variety of Afghan people (not to mention the other nations who are involved in the war).  

Download Unit: Ayers_unit.pdf

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