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Israeli Islam course popular among students in many Muslim countries

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An online Islamic history course by Tel Aviv University has been ranked as one of the world’s top 50 online courses by the website “Class Central,” which lists online courses from a variety of platforms and academic institutions.

The course, Arab-Islamic History: From Tribes to Empires, is offered by TAU’s Innovative Learning Center and Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies.

In the course, over 20,000 students from more than 155 countries learn about the history of Islam and the Muslim people, with many students in Muslim countries participating, including from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The course “makes the history of the Muslim people accessible to them from an academic point of view, without a religious tone,” explained Prof. Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, the lecturer in the course and head of the Zvi Yavetz School in a press statement.

Shefer Mossensohn added that enrolment in the course has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic.

The course includes students from the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan, among other countries.

Students from Muslim countries expressed surprise that a Jewish-Israeli professor succeeded in captivating them and teaching Arab-Islamic history, according to a TAU press release.

“This is a major achievement that proves that even in the age of high-tech, the humanities are flourishing. Young people all over the world are seeking to learn good, quality content,” said CEO of TAU Online Yuval Schreibman.

One student from Syria wrote to the lecturer at the end of the course, “Thanks to this course I went back to my roots. I am a Muslim Syrian and wanted to learn more about our history, which made us who we are today. Tribes to Empires – what a thoughtful title for the beautiful journey we have been through.”



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