southwest asia & north africa. mesopotamia “the fertile crescent” 3000 bce sumerians built first...

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Southwest Asia & North Africa

Post on 16-Dec-2015




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  • Southwest Asia & North Africa
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  • Mesopotamia The Fertile Crescent 3000 BCE Sumerians built first known cities in S. Mesopotamia. Dependent on irrigation from the river systems for wheat & barley. Rich natural resources = multiple invaders. Over the years - civilizations repeatedly developed, collapsed & were replaced. 550 BCE Persians established an empire here where Iran is today.
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  • Mesopotamia: Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire : one of the largest & longest lasting empires in history. Capital city = Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey). Center of the Eastern & Western world for six centuries. Ottoman Turks controlled region from the 1500s until after WWI - were defeated by the Allies - divided into new nations under British &/or French control. Gained independence in 1932.
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  • Iran Revolution: 1979 Shah (King): Oppressive, brutal, extravagant & corrupt. 1979 The Shah left Iran amid protests for his removal. Replaced with the Ayatollah Khomeini : republic with a theocratic constitution (Islamic religious law). Today: have both a President & Ayatollah - Ayatollah holds more power.
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  • Invasion of Iraq 2003 2003: US invaded Iraq "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people. Invasion opposed by most of our allies & the UN. 2005: CIA report - no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. Nov 2006: Hussein found guilty by an Iraqi court of torture & murder crimes & sentenced to death by hanging. Dec 2011: The last of the American troops out of Iraq est a parliamentary democracy govt
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  • Arab Spring Movement: Dec 2010 Arab Spring Slogan: The people want to bring down the regime Revolutions in the Arab world, so far: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya. Uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, Yemen. Major protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, & Oman. Minor protests in Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Western Sahara. Clashes at the borders of Israel. Demonstrations have met violence from authorities and pro-govt militias.
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  • Economy Middle East economies range from being very poor (Gaza, Yemen) to extremely wealthy (Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia). Overall, nations in the Middle East are maintaining a positive rate of economic growth, though the gap between the wealthy & the poor is increasing, even in the oil rich countries. Israel is the most technologically advanced of the Middle Eastern countries.
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  • Discovery of Oil in the Middle East BEFORE religious conflict & wars Victim of European imperial and colonial expansion to control access to Asia. few schools or hospitals, mortality rate high electricity was unknown. The people were very poor, tribes were fighting each other. AFTER There is still religious conflict (Israel) The people became wealthier and as a result, educated. There is electricity and paved roads are more common.
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  • GDP
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  • Social/Culture Numerous ethnic groups, which have caused tension, wars Primary Religion: Islam, Judaism in Israel, other religions represented in ME. Primary language: Arabic
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  • Political Monarchy: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan (Const Mon), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE Theocracy: Iran Democracy/Republic: Lebanon, Israel, Iraq (post Saddam Hussein) Red = monarchies
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  • Government Systems Purple, pink: monarchy Green, orange, yellow, blue: republic Grey: none of the above
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  • eNvironment Frequent earthquakes/tectonic forces have shaped this regions physical features. Rub al-Khali (in Saudi Arabia): one of the driest places on earth, home to moving sand dunes.
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  • Drip Irrigation in the Middle East Drip irrigation is commonly used to make use of scarce water resources. Allows for the direct transmission of water to the plant's root system Con: Expensive and can become easily clogged if the water is not clean.
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  • Water Resources (aka: blue gold!) Growing population = increasing demands on the already scarce water supply in the Middle East. Competing claims over water rights = disputes between (Strait of Hormuz) Wealthier countries: desalinization. Others drill ever-deeper wells which in time may only make the problem worse. Virtual water". Growing wheat, for example, takes a lot of water. By importing wheat and concentrating on crops which require less water, a country can acquire "virtual water" and use existing resources more efficiently
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  • The Strait of Hormuz Considered one of the most, if not the most strategic strait of water on the planet. The water passageway for 20 percent of the world's oil
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  • The Tigris & Euphrates Rivers Turkey controls the headwaters which go into Syria. Confrontations over these waters have brought these two countries to the brink of war several times. Turkey disrupted the flow of the Euphrates in January 1990 to fill water reservoirs in front of the Attaturk dam. This only highlighted Syrian vulnerability to Turkish control these valuable water resources.
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  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Former British protectorate Oil rich Palm Islands & The World: Artificial peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the Persian Gulf.
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  • Suez Canal Artificial waterway in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean sea with the Red Sea.
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  • Aswan High Dam Purpose: to control the floodwaters, & harness hydroelectric power. Before: The Nile flooded annually. The flooding provided nutrients that enriched the soil making the Nile floodplain ideal for farming. After: flooding was controlled, however, the farmers lost natural fertilizer brought by the flooding Nile.