I taught a first-year critical thinking seminar with community literacy methodology in Qatar, and this course was an incredibly rewarding experience for me and my students. While working on this set of assignments, they conducted oral histories on issues that mattered to them and to the multinational society of Qatar. Many of my students were Qatari, and most of their projects were on issues related to their heritage: Qatari wedding traditions, relationships between Qatar and other Gulf nations, globalization and its impact on Qatari identity, Arab folklore, food and diet of Qatar, and transportation in the Arabian Gulf. Other students incorporated transnational topics such as technology and its impact on modern life, parent-child relationships across generations, expatriates and refugees, religious identity, and ethnic identity. Student reaction to this course was very favorable, and their enthusiasm for the project and spectacular performance at the public exhibition secured additional funding for the Liberal Arts program and sparked a revitalization of the critical thinking seminar’s course outcomes.
On December 4, 2014, students presented posters at the Oral History Exhibition as part of their oral history projects. Below you can find a link to the assignment guidelines as well as pictures from the exhibition.