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Ottoman Decree, 1856

Source

The Ottoman Empire undertook extensive reforms between 1839 and 1876, a period known as the Tanzimat (reorganization). Europeanized Ottoman bureaucrats and a series of decrees from the sultan shaped these reforms that sought administrative, military, legal, and educational improvements. A series of reversals in wars with European powers during the 18th century and the realization that the West... Read More »

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Sippy Cup

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This ceramic cup with a drinking spout is from the cargo of an Arab or Indian ship that sank in the Strait of Malacca between 826 and 850 CE. The ship, which contained thousands of other ceramic pieces, was probably bound for the Persian Gulf. The cup was made at the Changshan ceramic production center, whose kilns produced export wares during the Tang dynasty (618-906 CE). Such cups may have... Read More »

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Sumerian School Days

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This tablet, from ancient Sumeria (as early as 2000 B.C.E.), details a day in the life of a school boy. Students learned by copying lessons on clay tablets, memorizing the lessons, and then reciting them for the school's headmaster (the "school father") or other teachers, monitors, and proctors of the school.

The composition translated here, about a day in the life of a budding scribe,... Read More »

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Taha Hussein, Minister of Education

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In the mid-20th century, countries in the Middle East struggled to establish a post-independence identity. Educational reformers and government officials tried to create national cohesion through expanded schooling, closing the gap between elites educated in private Francophone or Anglophone schools, and the masses of ordinary Egyptians. Taha Hussein (1889-1973) became a towering figure of... Read More »

Logo of the International Children's Digital Library abstractly showing an open book with a children running across the cover

The International Children's Digital Library

Review
The International Children's Digital Library is a feast for children who are bookworms. It is also a treasure trove for teachers of reading, literature, science, social studies, and world cultures or geography. Scholarly researchers will find in its global collection a wealth of material for comparison, thematic exploration, historical studies of childhood and reading, and interdisciplinary studies of all kinds.
The Prophet Muhammad and A’isha

The Prophet Muhammad and A’isha

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This is a depiction of A’isha, one of Muhammad’s wives. She was close to the Prophet and is the author of roughly 1,200 Hadith. Her involvement tells us something about the public role that some women played in the early Muslim community and the respect she was given.

The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan

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On 25 December 1979, the Soviet Union deployed its army in Afghanistan, in support of the Afghan Communist government against a group of Muslim opponents. For the next nine years, only the active military involvement of the Soviet Union maintained any political control in Afghanistan, primarily through their control of the capital city of Kabul and its airport. With a long-drawn out military... Read More »

The portrait of Selim III 1789-1807, showing Selim dressed in red robes sitting against some pillows

Topkapi Museum

Review
Such images of Islamic art from the Topkapi museum can not only bring to life periods of Ottoman history, but also the variety and brilliance of Islamic art, both of which are useful to the teaching of world history.
The image shows the UNICEF logo depicting in solid blue a parent holding a child in front of a sphere marked with latitude and longitude lines representing the globe.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Review
Teachers of modern history and regional or world geography will find a wealth of primary sources on this site that can contribute to filling in a realistic picture of children's situations and the economic, public health, scientific, social, cultural, and political issues that affect them, as well as initiatives of remarkable creativity that are currently being employed to address them.

Withdrawal of Soviet Troops from Afghanistan

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These images are from a news-reel showing the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, 1988. From 1979 to 1988, Soviet troops fought a bloody war in Afghanistan to support the country’s failing pro-Soviet regime.

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