One of the goals of this course is for you to become familiar with how to use publicly available data to check facts and satisfy your curiosity about the Middle East. To further this goal I ask you to prepare a brief set of slides (that would take you less than five minutes to present) that
make an interesting comparison of Arab countries, Iran or Turkey with each other or with relevant other countries.
(Do not include Israel/Palestine)
The most general database in which you can look for data is World
Development Indicators (, but there are lots
of other more specific ones such as the Barro-Lee educational attainment data ( and the World Health Organization urban air pollution database

Just comparing the GDP of two countries is not sufficient to earn a good grade. so do not just comparing the GDP of two countries. A good presentation has a clear hypothesis and message.
For example, in the tourism sample project, the hypothesis is that Mediterranean countries have a large tourism industry because of the attractive weather and becahes. The slides then show that this is indeed the case. And the supplementary paragraphs will explain the slides in more detail and show how they support (or, contradict) the hypothesis.
The topics can be of any area of your interest (e.g. education, gender, inequality, environment, trade, political economy…etc). As long as they are relevant to Middle East, and your hypothesis is reasonable, it will be considered as a good presentation.

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Economics of the Middle East
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