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Rescooped by Karen Moles Rose from Geography Education
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Choices Program--Scholars Online

Choices Program--Scholars Online | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

Scholars Online Videos feature top scholars answering a specific question in his or her field of expertise. These brief and informative videos are designed to supplement the Choices Program curricula.


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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 25, 2015 2:59 PM

In this video Jennifer L. Fluri explains the borders of Afghanistan. At first Afghanistan was used as a border outline between Russia and British India. The border facing India was named the Durand line, after Sir Durand, who convinced the leader of Afghanistan to respect the line.  There is Iranian/Persian influence in Afghanistan also with the celebration of Nowruz, the Iranian/Persian New Year. That is because Southern Afghanistan was part of Iran in 1502-1736, under the Safavid Empire. Also Dari is one of the main languages spoken in Afghanistan which came from Persia. She ends the video saying “where Afghanistan is today both culturally and geopolitically has to do with their geography”

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 7:15 AM

Afghanistan's current borders are the result of political maneuvering between empires. Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor is a result of this political maneuvering. The corridor was created in order to prevent the Russian Empire and British India from sharing a common border. While many afghans may decry the notion, Afghanistan has been shaped by foreign influence. The same can be said for almost every other nation on the globe. Almost all borders are determined by some from of political maneuvering. Our borders with Mexico and Canada have been determined through treaties and wars.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 12:24 PM

As I have learned more about the world, it's been interesting to see how arbitrary national borders can sometimes be. I think we are taught in school to associate "nations" with "nationalism," and although that is generally the case for most industrialized nations (whose citizens generally feel they are "nationals" within their own borders), it is not always true for the rest of the world. We see this in the numerous ethnic disputes in African nations, in the violent Yugoslav wars in Europe, and today with the Kurd uprising in Syria and Iraq- we see ill-defined borders that do not meet the needs of their peoples, nations that do not encompass the same sentiments of nationalism. As a result, we see indifference between these various peoples at best, or open conflict between varying ethnic and ideological groups at worst. Afghanistan as we know it today is not the result of self-determination or a sense of nationalism, but geopolitical jockeying between Russia and the United Kingdom. It is not a nation, but a political buffer.

As a result, Afghanistan does not act as a single nation- it may have a central government, but that government is incredibly weak, and people in remote areas often do not even know of its existence. Afghanistan is a series of small city-states and even more isolated settlements clumped together behind arbitrarily drawn lines, living their lives in much the same manner their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. This has made the mountainous, isolated regions of the nation a haven for terrorists and religious extremism, posing a serious issue in the region that, despite billions of dollars and a decade of fighting, the US has been unable to find a solution for. Divided amongst itself, Afghanistan is a nation in name only, something that the West likes to place on the map because of a dispute between two global powers nearly 2 centuries ago.

 

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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:58 PM

You can see in this woman's face that the years have been hard for her living as refugee. Although this seems like National Geographic giving themselves a pat on the back it is important to remember that this women became a national symbol for refugees and yet her life did not improve and furthermore she had no idea that her picture was so well known.

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:36 PM

I never would have imagined the "Afghan girl" being alive. It's amazing how National Geographic was able to catch up and speak with her and photograph her. This demonstrates the pure professionalism and global outreach national geographic has. 

One of the things I am most thankful about is that I do not live in a war torn society. Being separated from my family, forced to flee and become a refugee is a horrid way of life that I know I would struggle to endure. Some Afghanistan people have been doing this for over twenty years. 

One time I was having a discussion with my friend. We talking about America and the westernized part of the world. He and I agreed how lucky we were to be born in America. We were born white males in the United States of America. We could have been born a woman living in Iran or Iraq, or even as a little rural Afghan boy whom would eventually be taken and abused by theTaliban. We kept going on with different scenarios and different countries. 

Want I want for people to realize is how advanced the United States of America is. Yes, we have our problems... but non comparable to other nations. Look at nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. These are first world nations which have war torn regions occupied by terrorists of all sorts. They also have little to no functioning government, although Afghanistan is improving. Even second world nations, although developing at a steady pace are plagued with an exponential amount of violent crimes and corruption. South Africa would be a prime example. 

Its amazing to read about the "Afghan girl"(s) or better yet Sharbat Gula. After all she has gone through she still has hope for her younger children. After enduring such a life of foul experiences she is still able to place all her faith into Allah and hope for the best for her children. It is also neat to see her place such a high level of importance on education. Education is the foundation for all development. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:58 AM

These two images are rather striking. They depict seventeen years in the life a young female Afghani refuge. They depict seventeen years of hell. The woman in this photograph has lived a hard life. Seventeen years probably feels like fifty years to her. On her face, you see the effects of living a life as a refugee. A life of not having a true home or place that you can count on. A life of living in deplorable refugee camps. It is the shame of the world, that people are forced to live like this. Unfortunately this women's story is an all to common occurrence in Afghanistan. Thousands have suffered similar fates in refugee camps. We must never forget the suffering of these people.

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The Geography of Afghanistan

The Geography of Afghanistan | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"Students are introduced to the physical and human features of Afghanistan."


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David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:04 PM

Afghanistan is a unique country that is plagued by the media as war torn and savage. Not much about Afghanistan cultural geography and how ordinary Afghan people function is represented by mainstream news organizations and other forms of western media. Its a shame. 

Afghanistan is a mountainous country thus creating four distinct regions that have more or less there own identity. This has been seen throughout history. Geography can keep a nation separated culturally and tougher to govern on a political scale as well. This is especially present in lesser develop nations. For example Ancient Greece was tough to keep politically sound due to its nonstop Mountains. This makes communication difficult, especially in a timely fashion. It also keeps people separate from each other leading people to create there own culture. Italy is another example in regards to the Industrial North being an extreme opposite of the agricultural south. The Northern Italian geography was heavily influenced by other European industrial nations while the agrarian south remained simple. These two separate identities have been present for some time and have continued to produce conflict since the forming of the Country Italy in the late 19th century. None the less, Afghanistan is another example of geography separating a country. However the geography also gives birth to different styles of living.

People in rural Afghanistan still practice pastoralism. The movement of livestock by changing of seasons is complemented by farmers growing of crops such as barley, nuts, wheat, and fruit, just to name a few. These people mostly live off of what they produce. Within the past decade Afghanistan has undergone a process of urbanization. I argue its due to westernization of the potential/growth of a Central Business District. The respected main cities in the four different regions, especially Kabul have seen a huge population growth. This is due to cities offering education and economic mobility. The standard of living is higher and attracts people from rural areas. I can imagine it is attracting relatively young people ranging from 15 to 30 years of age whom are seeking a different way of life.

The cities rely on the rural regions for certain supplies of food and the rural regions rely of manufactured goods. Its nice to see Afghanistan pastoralists not  being luddites and excepting technology as a positive force.

My perception on Afghanistan is that its a first world country. However it is starting to form the foundation for lifting itself from first world to second world. Afghanistan has a new government (western influenced), which is essential in developing a nation. However there are signs of corruption. If able to establish a more sound country, it can begin to build its economy from within and spread outward. With becoming more politically and economically developed Afghanistan would become a second world nation. Afghanistan has a lot to go through before it can be considered second world. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, March 4, 2015 11:27 PM

Once I opened this portal I was amazed with how many resources were available, having worksheets, maps, lesson plans and videos really can help a teacher to get more in depth while teaching about Afghanistan. Having the opportunity to let the children watch video's can really help the visual learners in the classroom and well s the auditory learners. The lesson plan talks about the history and people in Afghanistan as well as maps that help trace out ethnicities in the region.The video on daily life would really help show the children how different their lives are from those in Afghanistan, to create an assignment from the video the children could do a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the lives of the average United States citizen and the daily life of someone living in Afghanistan.

Every area in the world has a different geography  and I believe it is important for everyone whether it be students or adults, everyone should learn about each region to get an understanding of how other people are living in the world around us.

As a history, social studies or geography teacher I would come back to this lesson plan and enlighten my children using the Common Core Standards so when they venture out in the world they have a grasp of what is going on around them.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:52 PM

From this, I learned that the borders are shaped for Russia and British India to have uncommon borders. Having friendly ties with Pakistan has a lot to do with the Soviet presence with in Central Asia. It is predominantly agrigul society. 20% live in urban areas and 80% live in rural areas. Urban spaces tend to be more modernized with water and electricity.  Those in the rural areas have had no running water and have been living their lives without and in a way in which we would not be used to. People in rural areas cook on open fire, life for women is very labor intensive, so it is good for big families because then the children can help, both in and out the house.