Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal essay Sickness as Metaphor (1978) that we all hold dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick; sooner or later we are obliged, at least for a spell, to be citizens of that other place. This M.A. seminar reconstructs how wellness and illness were understood and practiced in Middle Eastern contexts. The approach is integralistic and combines the physical and material world with mental and emotional existence. We will employ analytic tools like age, gender and sexuality, to explore themes like diet and lifestyle, the human body, rites of passage, social hierarchy and power, public and private spheres, madness and normative behavior, state building and state control, and finally modernity and globalization.