Provides a fascinating and important approach to studying this topic. The professor's framework and intellectual depth enriched my understanding of this important and enduring problem.
An eye opening experience. I really hope this becomes a mandated course among anyone participating in any diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East and the Arabic world.
par Antoine C•
par Stephen L•
Very good presentation and structure. Whilst I mostly agreed with Dr. Afsah's views, these are oftentimes presented as fact, and I would have liked to have had more of a sense of the debates over key issues. I would also have liked to have a more nuanced dissagregation of the Arab world at times, even along Cammett et. al.'s RRLA, RRLP, RPLA categories. The Gulf states have got vastly different levels of state capacity, and even though I do not think the overall arguments about the Arab world's failure to adopt a fuller modernity would be threatened by considering the Gulf states more carefully, I think it would give value to the course.
par VARUN P•
The course seemed to be interesting in the starting and end but was quite boring for some time in the middle. I myself found some terms used in the course difficult as being a student from a science background. All the topics and aspects were fully covered with an unbiased approach. I would be glad to learn more from you in the future.
par Aude P•
It would be better to add more illustrations, and when pictures are shown, to comment them. As it is, it is hard to read the picture caption, and listen to the speaker (even harder when one has to read the transcript)
There are some mistakes in the english transcript
par Sara A M•
the course is very good,I learned a lot of information I didn't know before .
although sometimes I felt that there is generalizations, and sometimes the instructor was biased.
I think they also should add the model answer and the justification
par Ana S•
The course is very interesting. It's important to understand the world we live in and it's important to understand the reasons of its current state. It's a light course, but it provides an interesting overview of the Arab exception.
par Christine J•
I found the course very interesting and appreciated the references to Arab, European and American authors and scholars. However, the course does not at all emphasize the differences between Arab countries.
par Tatjana G•
The course is very interesting and helpful to understand the big picture. But sometimes I lost the overview at which point of the review/ discussion we actually are. Anyway, I recommend the course.
par Rebecca T•
Overall, a very interesting and deep look at a the structural issues which plague the Arab Spring. The readings, however, consistently required more then the allotted 1 hour set in the course.
par Moises G G•
Good experience and materials. It is neccesary to consider external factors in the same manner as internal ones.
par Danny C•
Meaningful insights on the causes and consequences of the Arab spring from several points of view
It is biased by the opinion of the teacher.
par Aishwarya S•
par Sam B•
This was my first course on Coursera. For context, I am final year undergraduate student studying International Relations, I am quite experienced in this area.
I had high expectations for the course, but sadly these were not met. The content itself was interesting, but presented in a very dry way. Dr. Afsah was clearly reading from a script the entire time, and the information became very hard to absorb because he was not really 'lecturing', but rather just 'presenting'. Very convoluted academic language was used, which also often did not make sense (English is obviously not his first language, but he is nevertheless very educated). The fact that, I, and educated university student who speaks native English, could not understand The quizzes are quite easy and there is no other form of assessment.
My biggest criticism is of the discussion forums. My native language is English, and none of the prompts made sense. There was no question, or even a point of contention. Instead, simply a statement with little context. I was not alone in not understanding this, as 90% of people did not respond at all (like me), or simply wrote one or two words (like 'good'). Discussion forums and prompts can be a great way to reinforce your learning, but they were useless here.
par Kumar V•
I understand that any course is a mix of the professor's views and facts. However, the balance needs to be right to ensure that students get the most knowledge and insight out of it, not just the professor's personal beliefs and points of view. In this course, I felt that the balance was not right, and skewed towards the professor trying to state and reinforce his point of view. This course was 60% hectoring of the existing set-up in the Arabic states, 30% about the Arab Spring and 10% on why it didn't succeed. The course would also have been more useful if it had tried to use frameworks to compare the Arab set-up with other regions and things that can be done to improve. Instead the course started with the implicit belief that the Arab set-up is the worst, the "Denmark" system the best and then a continuous talking down to call out that the Arab set-up has failed. Students know that the Arab set-up has failed and are coming to this class to intellectually analyse a framework based analysis which also, atleast in a classroom, show ways of reaching these better versions and ultimately "Denmark". This course didn't even attempt to do that.
par Rory M•
Awful. Quizzes are broken down unnecessarily and barely any opportunity to critically engage. Not worth it