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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?

 

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 1:15 PM

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world.  Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries.  The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war.  This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty. 


UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.

 

Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.

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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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Israel and Palestine

Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.


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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:34 PM

This video is a really helpful, simplified explanation of the fighting in Israel that is fiercely complicated and has gone on for decades now with one repressed group repressing another. If I ever need to explain the struggle to students, this video would be an excellent introduction.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 27, 9:40 PM

This was a very understated and poignant  video. The simplicity and directness was very powerful. It was very interesting to see this conflict, that had taken place in this area presented in such a way. Around the time of WWII about 7% of this area  was occupied by Jewish people, currently they occupy almost 100%.  I commend the Jewish Voice for showing this conflict in a different light. Showing that both sides may have been in the wrong .

James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 9:58 AM

(Africa topic 1)

{{Note: Some topics and locations pertain to multiple geographic regions (i.e. northern Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia, and topics in different regions may refer to the same country or location because of this.}}

I found it interesting to watch a video that comes from an implied anti-Israel standpoint, especially since the organization which made this video is called the Jewish Voice for Peace. Though there has always been disagreement as to who should occupy some of the most hallowed land in the world, it seems that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems more out of the UN repartitioning plan. Regardless of clashing religions and cultures, it does seem unfair that a minority of people control the majority of land and resources. This makes me wonder why exactly the UN made the Israeli state there: was is purely because of the Jewish religion associations?, or because no other country wanted to absorb the increasing number of refugees?, or because the UN wanted to gain a stronghold in the Middle East?, or perhaps a combination of all of the above?

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The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
In the dusty triangle where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet, there is more than one war going on.

 

Geopolitically, there is a fascinating confluence of competing interests at this border.  This is "the scariest little corner of the world." It's a dangerous place that is often beyond the authority of any of state.  It also represents (depending on how you divide the world up) at the intersection of the three major regions in the area: Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.      

 

Tags: Afghanistan, political, borders, MiddleEast, SouthAsia, Central Asia, unit 4 political.


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:35 PM

This is a dangerous place with no authority. This area is filled with fighting, bombing and constant war. But this area is also an important intersection for three major regions Central Asia, Middle East, and South Asia. 

Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 11:35 AM

A meeting of different worlds at a border. I can't imagine the things one would see or hear living or growing up on a border of conflict such as this. Refugees are a common site, and no authority can dominate the others, making the area effectively lawless.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 3:19 PM

This note talk about the place in the desert where three hostile countries confront each other on the infinite war.

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Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

With a simple class hashtag (e.g.-#geog400ric) you can create a backchannel for student to collaborate outside the classroom walls. 


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U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid

U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
The United Nations General Assembly approved an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.


While this may be primarily symbolic, it is still a highly significant move on the part of the United Nations.  65 years ago, the United Nations called for a two-state system.  This map of the vote that I found on Facebook (can't find another source as of yet) is quite intriguing. 

 

Questions to Ponder: Why might a country choose to abstain?  Can you think of a specific reason why a particular country abstained?  With this new geopolitical fact, how will Israel and Palestine move forward?   


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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 10:25 AM

One year ago, the U.N. status regarding Palestine was upgraded from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state".  While Palestinians believe that this is a major push for peace and for Palestinian independence, other countries believe that the change will not do anything for Palestine.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 10:17 AM

(Africa topic 3)

Though there is much to be said from this map, I would like to focus on the red and black countries. I was surprised that only 9 nations did not support the acknowledgement of Palestine as a recognizable political entity. Of those 9, only 2 are members of the G8 (or perhaps now G7 due to Russia's suspension) Summit committee. The countries which abstained likely did so out of a mix of reasons: to not offend some of their allies by voting no, to not offend other allies by voting yes, not having enough of an opinion to make a complete decision, or having a mixed opinion within their own borders. IN this way it's a "pleading the Fifth" motion, which I believe can be seen as a smart move, politically speaking. Just like the 2-party struggle within the US, sometimes there are no two clear right and wrong answers.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 29, 4:47 PM

The resolution elevates their status from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state," the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.-CNN.com

 

This was a small but powerful victory for Palestinians . The map pictured above shows how the world voted on this status change from :(non-member observer entity to non-member observer state). Most notably the U.S. and Israel voted against this change. Many countries abstained from voting "yes or no", this was the case for Australia.The United States chose to vote no in this situation on the basis that it would only create further unrest in this area. And for obvious reasons Israel voted no as well.Only time can tell if there is to be continued unrest in this area, although it is likely.