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Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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SW Asia/ Middle East Notes

Physical Geography

-

Arabian Peninsula

o

Separated from Africa by the Red Sea and the rest of Asia by the Persian Gulf

-

Anatolian Peninsula “Asia Minor”

o

Occupied by the country of Turkey

o

Marks the beginning of the Asian continent

-

Suez Canal

o

Links the Mediterranean and the Red Sea

o

Goods from Asia flow though this canal to ports in Europe

-

Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz

o

Only waterway to oilfields of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq

o

Very important because access to oil is essential to

the world wide economy

-

Plains and highlands

o

Arabian Peninsula



Plains



Dry, sandy, windy conditions (few activities)



Nomadic lifestyle

-

Mountains

o

Hindu Kush
-

Afghanistan



Linked with other mountain ranges

that frame the Middle East



Afghanistan is landlocked
and mountainous, making outside contact difficult

o

Zagros
-

Iran



Isolate Iran form the Middle East

o

Elburz
-

Iran



Cut off access to the Caspian Sea

o

Taurus
-

Turkey



Separate Turkey from the rest of the Middle East

-

Bodies of Water

o

Tigris and Euphrates Rivers



Supp
orted ancient river valley civilizations in area called the Fertile Crescent



Fertile valleys, well
-

watered, good for agriculture



Empty into Persian Gulf

o

Jordan River



Provides water to dry regions



Natural boundary between Israel and Jordan



Flows into the D
ead Sea



Jesus was baptized here by John the Baptist

o

Dead Sea



8.6 times more salty than the ocean



Saltiest body of water on earth

-

OIL

o

Regions most abundant source of oil

o

Major oil fields are located in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq

-

Oil
-
Rich Nation

o

½ of
the world’s oil reserves are found in the Middle East, along the coast of the Persian
Gulf, and at the offshore drilling sites in the Gulf

o

OIL is the most abundant resource

o

WATER is the most valuable
resource

-

Climate and Vegetation

o

Most of the Middle East
has a very arid climate



Receives less than 18 inches of precipitation a year



Huge portion of its land area is covered with rough, dry terrain



Because the region is so dry, its rivers do not flow year round



Irrigation has been able to transform many areas
i
nto

productive farmlands

-

Desert Limit Movement

o

Deserts reduce ability to have fertile soil/land

-

Negev Desert

o

Occupies pt of Israel

-

Syrian Desert

o

Separates coastal regions of Lebanon, Israel and Syria

-

Water

o

Dry region

o

Fresh water is available in small
amounts

o

Dams and irrigation systems

-

Water Technology

o

Drip irrigation



Practice of using small pipes that slowly drip water just above the ground to
conserve water used for crops

o

Desalinization



Removal of salt from ocean water
-

water treatment plants

o

Fossil
Water



Water pumped to be used

-

OIL

o

Oil fields in the Middle East



Contain half of the petroleum reserves in the world



Petroleum
-

source of gasoline for automobiles, heating, oil



Demand for petroleum exploded in the 1800’s because industrializing countries
we
re using a large volume of petroleum for fuel



First middle eastern discovery of oil was in 1908 in Iran



1948
-

discovery of one of the largest fields of oil in the middle east

o

Crude oil
-

petroleum that has not been processed.

Human Geography



Three
sub
regions

o

The Arabian Peninsula

o

Eastern Mediterranean

o

Northeast



Mesopotamia means “the land between two rivers”

o

Tigris and Euphrates



Flood once a year and leaves rich soil



City states in Mesopotamia

o

Earliest civilizations in Asia rises in Mesopotamia and Org
anizes into city states

o

Fertile crescent
-

arc of land between Persian Gulf and Mediterranean



Environmental challenges

o

Environment poses 3 disadvantages



Floods are unpredictable



Land offers no barriers to invasion



Land has few natural resources and building

materials are scarce



Sumer

o

Sumerians


around 4000 BCE
-

earliest known people of the fertile crescent



Polytheistic



Theocracy



City
-

states



Credited with inventing the wheel, plow and sailboat



Cuneiform writing



Ziggurats



Epic of Gilgamesh

o

City states



3000
BC
-

Sumerians built cities surrounded by fields of crops



Each city state is an independent political unit



Each city has a temple and ziggurat, priests appeal to gods

o

Culture



Polytheistic
-

believed in many gods



Cuneiform would be written/carved in to
tablets



Babylonians

o

1900 BCE

o

Captured all of Mesopotamia

o

Ruled by a monarchy

o

Hammurabi’s Code
-

1
st

written code of laws






Hebrews

o

1400
-

1200 BCE

o

Settled in Canaan

o

Monarchy (Saul, David Solomon)

o

First with the idea of Monotheism

o

Ten Commandments

o

Prophets
-

Abraham and Moses



Abraham was born in Sumer



Phoenicians

o

Located on the Mediterranean Sea



Known as the best seamen and shipbuilders of the ancient world

o

1200
-
800

BCE

o

Settled in what is Lebanon

o

Loose union of city states

o

Harsh polytheistic religion

o

Merchants
-

carriers of civilization

o

Traded purple dye (from snails), alphabet



Traded all within the Mediterranean Sea

o

Greatest Legacy
-

THE ALPHABET



Their system was PHONETIC



One sign was used for one sound



Contribution
-

simplified the alphabet and this made learnin
g easier and
accessible to more people


Islam Changes and Desert Culture

-

Islam brings a new culture

o

5
Pillars




Faith
-

all believers must testify



Prayer
-

pray facing Mecca 5x a day



Charity
-

give $ to less fortunate



Fasting
-

for the Month of Ramadan they do
not eat/drink during the day



Pilgrimage
-

Hajj to Mecca

-

Colonia Powers take control

o

Theocratic Power
-

religious leaders in control (still true in Iran)

o

In the late 1600’s Muslim Nations weaken



Colonial Value
-

Suez Canal is a vital link; oil discovered (1932
)



Britain, France control most of the region after WWI
-

fall of the Ottomans

o

Abdul
-
al
-
Aziz Ibn Saud
-

takes control of most of the nation

-

OPEC
-

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

o

Oil is the principle resource

o

1960
-

OPEC is formed for Oil producin
g nations

o

Co
ordinate petroleum
-

selling policies, control worldwide oil prices

o

Includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Iran, Iraq

The Eastern Mediterranean

-

Religious Holy places
-

Jerusalem is a holy city for all 3 major religions

-

Jerusalem is the
capital of Israel, center of modern, ancient homeland

o

Temple Mount in old city housed the earliest temples



King Solomon’s first temple



Second Temple built in 538 BC

o

Today’s Jewish population prays to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall)



Sole remainder of Second

Temple
-

destroyed by Romans in 70 AD

-

Jerusalem is a sacred site of Jesus’s crucifixion

o

Christians visit Mount of Olives, Church of Holy Sepulchre (the site of the resurrection
and where Jesus is said to be buried)

o

When Jerusalem was under Muslim control,
Christians launched the Crusades to regain
the land and place them under control of Christians

-

Jerusalem is the third most holy city (after Mecca and Medina)

o

Dome of the Rock
-

shrine where it is believed Muhammad rose to heaven



Jewish people believed this
is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice
Isaac

o

Dome and

Al
-
A
qsa mosque are located on Temple Mount by Western Wall

-

The Western Wall and Dome of the Rock are right next to each other so this has caused turmoil
for years between Muslims and Jewish peo
ple.

Legacy of Colonialism

-

The
Ottoman Empire


controlled the region until WWI

o

The end of WWI marks the end of the Ottoman Empire



According to the terms of the peace treaty, Britain and France receive part of
the land. They would take control until colon
ies were strong enough to control
themselves

(independence)



British
-

gained Israel and Jordan



French
-

gained Lebanon and Syria

-

British Control

o

Land controlled by Britain was known as Palestine

o

19
th

century movement
-

ZIONISM
-

goal was to create and support
a Jewish Homeland in
Palestine

o

1939


to reduce tension
-

British halted Jewish immigration to Palestine


-

Creating the state of Israel

o

WWII
-

thousands of
Jewish

survivors of the Holocaust wanted to settle in Palestine

o

Palestine
-

Jewish Homeland

o

1947
-

UN
developed a plan to divide Palestine into two states
-

one for the Arabs and
one for the Jews

o

ARABS DID NOT AGREE!

-

PLO
-

Palestine Liberation Organization

o

1950’s
-

Israel was a firmly established nation

o

1960’s The PLO was formed to regain in the land for Pale
stine

o

Pursued political and military means to take possession of an Arab land in Israel

The Northeast

-

The nations of this sub region are Muslim but most are part of the Arab culture

-

The nations in the northeast range from developed to very poor

-

Countries a
re:

o

Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan



Fertile Crescent
-

Iraq



Mesopotamia
-

“Land between the Rivers” (Tigris and Euphrates)

-

Ethnic groups

o

Turks, Kurds, Persians

o

Religious tensions: After Muhammad’s death, Muslims divided into 2 branches: Sunni
and Shi’ites

-

Kurds

o

Ethnic groups that have lives in the lands of Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
They are considered a
stateless nation; they are a nation of people who do not have a land to legally occupy.

o

Iran
-

home to refugees

o

Oil
-
Rich Regions
-

powerful nations want contro
l over these resources and are willing to
fight for them.

-

Control over the oil fields

o

Iraq invades Kuwait in 190, starting the Persian Gulf War
(Desert Storm)

o

The US and 32 other nations fought to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait and keep the oil
fields open


-

War on Terrorism

o

Within 11 months of 9/11, US fought in Afghanistan

o

2003
-

Prompted by fear of nation security, US declared war on Iraq and its leader,
Saddam Hussein

o

Taliban
-

fundamentalist Muslim political group of Afghanistan



Protected Osama Bin Laden
and al
-
Qaeda terrorist network

o

After 9/11 attacks, US attacks Afghanistan in October 2011



Operation Enduring Freedom
-

targets terrorist assets, infrastructure



Taliban removed from Power by March 2002



Bin Laden was killed May, 2011

-

Overthrow Saddam Hussein

o

After Gulf War, UN ordered Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to disarm

o

President George W. Bush turns to focus to Iraq in 2002



Believed Hussein has weapons of mass destruction

o