The Middle East and the Mediterranean area have been a focus of attention in international politics for a very long time. The birthplace of three world religions and an area full of valuable natural resources it has been fought over for centuries. As the EU includes many Mediterranean states and borders on the Middle East its interests in the area are enormous. This course examines the history and politics of this important area with a special focus on its ties to Europe to provide a deeper understanding of the problems it faces. It touches on issues such as oil politics and ethnicity women and nationalism colonialism and the relationship between Islam and democracy.