Unit 3 (Cultural Geography)
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Unit 3 (Cultural Geography)
Folk and Popular, Language, Ethnicity, and Religion
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Incredible images capture dazzling symmetry of Iran's mosques

Incredible images capture dazzling symmetry of Iran's mosques | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it

"Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.  It's a side of Iran the rest of the world doesn't normally get to see -- the kaleidoscopically brilliant interiors of the country's intricately designed mosques.With beautiful mosaics and stained glass framed by powerful architecture, the buildings are astounding."

 

Tags: religion, culture, Islam, Iran, Middle East.


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Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:25 PM

Showing the sacred spaces of Islam and how they are designed around the world. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:47 PM

This was one of my favorite articles. We usually are very used to seeing negative sides to the Middle East and this gave it a different spin. This shows breathtaking pictures of the Mosques in Iran. This architecture isn't like anything I've seen with all of the symmetry and colors. These photos were taken by a student and were not easily taken. You have to have an eye to capture moments like this and pictures like this are not always appreciated. the detail that went into creating and designing these mosques are really special and I would love to actually see something like this in person. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:03 PM

Amazing photos of these mosques.  The detail and color in some of these mosques are extraordinary.  This kind of brilliance in color is something that is unexpected in this part of the world where everything seems to be so bland and alike in color or style.  Its surprising that the mosques don't let professional take pictures with certain equipment inside but let tourists take photos.  I would understand if the light from a camera could cause damage to the art, but these are the people who will be able to share these beautiful pictures with the rest of the world and show that there is more to Iran than what the outside may think.

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.

 

This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 

 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping. 


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Persian or Iranian? Is there a Difference?

Persian or Iranian?  Is there a Difference? | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it
Over the next few months, Ajam Media Collective will host a series that focuses on and describes various elements of the cultural, ethnic and linguistic mosaic that we refer to collectively as Iran...

 

What is in a name?  We know that there are subtle differences between Hispanic, Indigenous, Latino and Mexican that are bound with the history of these words and how they have been used by both insiders and outsiders to construct identity.  Likewise, the distinctions between the terms Persian and Iranian are often used interchangeably.  However there are political, ethnic, linguistic and religious connotations that shape the meanings behind these terms.  While I don't necessarily agree with all of the arguments, this is an interesting look at the historical roots of these distinctions and the ramifications of these terms.   


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Ms. Harrington's comment, July 3, 2012 11:17 PM
This is interesting, I have wondered this myself, when hearing a person describe themselves as Persian. The article goes on to say being Persian is a cultural subset of Iranians, who share a common language and culture. It can be conditered a cultural or political statement to call ones self Persian rather than Iranian.
Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:23 AM

This has always been a question between my friends and I, as one of my friends identifies as Persian. In my limited experience in the US it seems that the people who identify themselves as Iranian have immigrated in the last two generations or so. In comparison to families which came over quite a few generations ago who refer to themselves as "Persian"

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 17, 2015 5:00 PM

This is an interesting phenomenon.  I believe we even have a little bit of the "that's not American"-swagger here in the U.S., but thankfully diversity is still celebrated more in our country than anywhere else.  This article points out many of the reasons why there has been and always probably will be much tension within the Middle East.  Like in Iran, most Arabic countries have several different tribes and ethnic groups residing within its borders.  The problem occurs when the countries try to make one culture, one language, or one ethnicity dominant over the others.  

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On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories

On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it

Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political. 


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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:32 AM

A relatively grim reminder that even things as clear-cut as road systems can be inherently political. This system forces segregation by the law of which roads can be driven on, but it's a good jumping point to remember that even the placement of roads can exclude or include communities. I'm reminded of the proposed idea for a NAFTA superhighway running through Mexico, Canada, and the US. One of the criticisms was that the highway would not provide exits for anywhere but major economics centers, effectively cutting off small towns from the rest of the area.

Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:04 PM

Area/Geography: This is a diagram of what Israel is like for Palestinians and Israelis. It shows extremely restricted access for Palestinians. Whereas Israelis have all of the roads. This diagram fairly falls under the Area/Geography category because of the fact of how the Israeli government is manipulating the area/geography of the land of Israel to suit their best interest. 

Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

Here one can see the political territoriality among Israel. For example in this article webpage we saw that people with Palestinian license plates can not drive on Israeli roads. This is one of the many instances where people are segregated according to their beliefs. 

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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:10 PM

what i find interesting about this is that both syria and turkey are trying to remove the kurds from their countries. neither country will allow more kurds to immigrate into their land, but both are encouraging them to leave and go fight in the other country. the kurds seem to not care which country they live in as long as they are all together but no country wants them.

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Inside Mecca

For over 1400 years, Mecca has been one of the most important cities in the Arabian Peninsula. By the middle of the 6th century, there were three major settl...

 

As the heart of Islam, Mecca brings in pilgrims from around the world.  This documentary gives a great overview of the historical, spiritual and cultural reasons why this is sacred space to over one billion Muslims.  Additionally, this documentary contains an analysis of the logistics that are a part of the Hajj.  

 

Tags: Islam, tourism, place, transportation, religion, Middle East, culture. 

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NYTimes video: "Skateistan"

NYTimes video: "Skateistan" | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 2:03 PM

This is a good example of the use of soft power in areas where American culture is not popular. Instead of using military force to exert western Ideals on the people of Afghanistan. This Australian may have found a way to close the gap towards bringing our cultures  closer together.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:01 PM

In a society that is seen by most of the world as strict and rigid, it was interesting to see these children having fun and breaking the mold of traditional afghan kids. What makes this even more fascinating is that female children are doing some of the skating. With gender issues a hot topic in some Middle Eastern countries, letting kids have fun before being made to conform to tradition is a nice experience for them. While they still respect the culture to they belong to, it is a break from that and a breathe of fresh air for them. These youth are not seen primarily as men and woman, but as children.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:33 AM

Who could have imagined, that Skateboards could be used as a geopolitical tool? Over a decade ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan with the aim of rooting out and destroying the terrorist who attacked the nation on 911. As with most of our military campaigns in the Middle East, the mission quickly became bogged down in a nation building campaign. The people of Afghanistan have long been wary of foreign influence. Empire after empire has attempted to conquer this nation, only to suffer humiliating defeats. For any chance at sustained success, the United States must win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. This skateboard program is a perfect tool in accomplishing that objective. The parks bring all types of youths together in the spirit of fun. They are a unifying factor amongst the youth in Afghanistan.