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Jordan Program

Jordan Program


We are still working on getting this program set for 2017 and more details will be provided once arrangements with a local partner are made to facilitate it.


Summer 2017 Location: Amman, Jordan
Units: IRDP Research Certificate June: June 20-July 1, 2017
Application: Coming Soon
Cost of Program and Options: Information Coming Soon

  • Students arrange their own flights to Amman, Jordan
  • The program fees include housing at a hotel in Amman throughout the duration of the program
  • Daily breakfast
  • Planned visits to Crusader Castles

The program will have planned visits to the following sites are included in the program:

Kerak Castle, Jordan – A large crusader castle located in Kerak in Jordan. It is one of the largest crusader castles in the Levant. Construction of the castle began in the 1140s, under Pagan, Fulk of Jerusalem’s butler. The Crusaders called it Crac des Moabites or “Karak in Moab”, as it is frequently referred to in history books.

Al-Wu’ayra Castle, The Valley of Moses – A small crusader castle close to Wadi Musa in the former Kingdom of Jerusalem(in present-day Jordan). It was founded by Baldwin I of Jerusalem as an outpost of the larger crusader castle at Montreal (Karak).The castle is a small spur castle on a narrow ridge with smooth sides. Its military effectiveness is due more to its remote and inaccessible location than impressive fortifications. Its most remarkable architectural feature is a gatehouse excavated from solid rock which guards the bridge at the entrance. This castle was built in the 12th century.

El Habis – In the heart of Petra, was built on the summit of el-Habis, the camel-shaped mountain that rises above the rest house and museum. This anonymous Crusader on top of the hill overlooking downtown Petra, near Shawbak, was probably built by Baldwin of Jerusalem ca.509/1115 AD. The fort had an arch that possessed a bossed keystone that was found not far down slope on the Petra side.

Ajloun Castle – Ajloun played a significant role in the time of the Crusaders and is one of the best examples of preserved Medieval Arab-Islamic military architecture. Ajlun castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan valley while protecting the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria. It became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village. Ajlun Castle (Qal’at Ar-Rabat) was built by one of Saladin’s generals, Izzedin Usama Ibn Mungidhm in 1184 AD to control the local mines and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun.

Shawbak Castle – Also called “Le Krak de Montreal” by the Crusaders, has an interesting recent history. People of Showbak still remember when the castle was inhibited (till the 1950s), where each tower was occupied by one of the clans and how people lived around the castle in nearby villages.

The Crusades have never been more relevant. When Anders Breivik portrayed himself as a new “Templar” defending Christendom before his murderous spree in Norway and Usama b. Ladin declared war against the “Zionists and Crusaders” before 9/11, they invoked the idea of the Crusades as a continuing religious “Holy War” in a “clash of civilizations” between Christendom and the Islamic World, between Christians and Muslims. Beyond its contemporary use and abuse, the Crusades deserve genuine historical study. This course will examine the history of the Crusades and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem not just from a Medieval European vantage but also from a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and global perspective. How did violence become sacralised? What were the consequences and legacies of the Crusades from 1095 to 1291 in and on a changing Papacy, Medieval Church, and European society? How did it affect religious others like Jewish and Muslim minorities in Christendom as well religious dissidents like “heretics”? What role did caricature and polemic about Islam and Muslims play in constructing an image of the Saracen enemy? Was the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem a proto-colonial project? How did the Crusades compare to the “Reconquista” in Iberia? How did these wars and settlement fit into a pattern of Latin European expansion in the Mediterranean and ultimately into the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in the Early Modern period? How did it affect Middle Eastern and Muslim societies? What was the Muslim response, the “neo-Jihad” as counter-crusade? The course will address these and other key questions about the Crusades and their enduring legacies through a variety of carefully selected readings (from current scholarship and primary source documents and excerpts in translation from Latin, Old French, Arabic and Hebrew), images of art and architecture, literary portrayals medieval and modern, popular culture including films and documentaries, as well as on-site visits to 12th and 13th century crusader castles and sites in the Middle East. Experiential and active learning, open and critical discussion and cross-cultural dialogue are crucial to this course—as well as a creative imagination and spirit of adventure!


Adnan A. Husain is Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar of the Medieval Mediterranean and Islamic World in the History Department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He currently directs the Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives initiative (www.queensu.ca/msgp). Previously, he was assistant professor in the departments of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies as well as History at New York University after receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley. He is both a Medieval European and Middle Eastern historian whose early work focused on religious phenomena and social imagination in Medieval Catholicism and Islam, particularly on Franciscan spiritual and Sufi mystical traditions. He now principally studies and teaches on the cross-cultural and inter-religious encounters among the Muslims, Christians and Jews of Latin Christendom and the Islamic world in the Mediterranean zone from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. On these topics he has published several articles including on the Crusades; completed a forthcoming study, entitled Identity Polemics: Encounters with Islam in the Medieval Mediterranean World (1150-1300); and has co-edited a collection, A Faithful Sea: The Religious Cultures of the Mediterranean, 1200-1700 (2008). He is currently investigating the pre-histories or la longue durée of Islamophobia in patterns of responses to religious difference, the Crusades, and the treatment of minorities in the Latin West and Medieval Mediterranean.

Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to Berkeley, Prof. Bazian served as a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California 2001-2007 and adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley. In Spring 2009, Prof. Bazian founded at Berkeley the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims. Prof. Bazian in Spring 2012 launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College. In addition to academic work, Dr, Bazian is a weekly columnist for the Turkish Daily Sabah Newspaper and Turkey Agenda online magazine. Dr. Bazian is founder and national Chair of American Muslims for Palestine, board member of the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Muslim Legal Fund of America, President of Dollar for Deen Charity, and Chair of Northern California Islamic Council.

The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP) focuses on a systematic and empirical approach to the study of Islamophobia and its impact on Muslim communities. Today, Muslims in the U.S., parts of Europe, and around the world have been transformed into a demonized and feared global “other,” subjected to legal, social, and political discrimination.
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The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP) focuses on a systematic and empirical approach to the study of Islamophobia and its impact on Muslim communities. Today, Muslims in the U.S., parts of Europe, and around the world have been transformed into a demonized and feared global “other,” subjected to legal, social, and political discrimination.