(This review applies equally to the two halves of the course. As an aside, I don't understand why the course was split in two. It's unnatural and unnecessary.)
A fascinating overview of the history of the Middle East over the past two+ centuries (since Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798). He covers the rise of nationalism, the role of political Islam, the high-handed and arbitrary geographical division of the Middle East following WWI, the establishment of Israel, and (briefly) the Arab Spring.
In particular, in his discussion of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, he seems to be fair-minded and objective, favoring neither side. (Although I don't know if any Palestinians or Israelis would agree with that perception!)