A document-based teaching unit
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In this unit, students meet Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta, a 14th century Muslim scholar who set off in 1325 to make the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, then kept traveling around Eurasia and Africa for the next 29 years. Using maps, students will trace his journeys from his home in Morocco to such cities as Cairo, Isfahan, Mogadishu, Constantinople, Samarkand, Delhi, Canton, Granada, and Timbuktu. The unit’s primary sources, notably Ibn Battuta’s own travel account, will introduce students to the practices of the hajj, to the exciting events of the 14th century, and to Islam as a way of life unifying peoples from North Africa to Indonesia, encouraging them to think about the authenticity and credibility of historical sources and to recognize point of view as they consider Ibn Battuta’s own responses to the "Other."
Lesson One: Ibn Battuta and His Travels
Lesson Two: The Geography of Afro-Eurasia and Dar al-Islam, circa 1330
Lesson Three: Why Can’t Everyone Be Like Me?
Lesson Four: The Historian’s Dilemma: To What Extent Can Primary Documents Be Trusted?
Lesson Five: The Realities of Dar al-Islam
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