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Globalizing the Local, Localizing the Global

Sheikha Al Mayassa, a patron of artists, storytellers and filmmakers in Qatar, talks about how art and culture create a country's identity -- and allow every country to share its unique identity with the wider world.

 

Oftentimes, we in the more developed world seek to change cultural practices and institutions in the developing world. This talk speaks to the importance of locally based agents for cultural change, specifically within the context of the Middle East. While we might wish to see what many perceive as universal rights spread throughout the world, the local cultural geographies must be taken into consideration into how to carry out any initiative that seeks to change local institutions.


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Katharine Norman's curator insight, September 15, 2013 1:19 AM

Sheikha provides an amazing talk that leaves no one denying that culture is the underlying thread that ties us all together.

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What is the Arab Spring?

The Choices Program asks Brown University's Political Scientist Melani Cammett to briefly explain the Arab Spring.  This is a great primer to teach young students who don't follow international news to understand the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  For more videos by the Choices Program in their "Scholars Online" series, see:

http://www.choices.edu/resources/scholarsonline.php


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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:17 PM

Re-scooped from my geography course. Arab Spring led to upheaval in the region that wasn't totally like western democracy. Could be a failure, or maybe not. It seems like it worked out in some countries, but others haven't had the same experiences. That's a whole lot of oil up for grabsl.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:09 PM

The Arab Spring refers to the various popular uprisings that started in December 2010. It began officially when a farmer set himself on fire in protest to his treatment by the police. This protest by one man sparked a protest throughout the rest of the country and other countries too through out the region.  The people that have lived under authoritarian rule and lived in oppression have lost their fear to protest and rise against their government. They protest peacefully, weekly, sometimes daily. One place of protest is Tahrir Square. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:35 PM

i had no idea what Arab spring was before this video. i am now wondering how bad the oppression was if it drove a man to light himself on fire.

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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | Development geography | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza

‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza | Development geography | Scoop.it
A United Nations report cites widespread shortages of food, water, electricity, jobs, hospital beds and classrooms amid an exploding population in an area of Gaza.

 

While most slums are symptomatic of issues that would be addressed by an economic and urban geography analysis, the slums of Gaza are different.  Many slum issues are tied to city politics, but in Gaza these slums are also connected to some of the larger geopolitical issues of the region.  

 

Tags: Political, urban, squatter, poverty, MiddleEast, economic, place, unit 4 political, unit 7 cities.


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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 13, 2013 7:03 PM

People in the Gaza strip are already fearful Israel around them because of the fighting between the two areas. When people think of Gaza, they think of the Palestine-Israel conflict, but there is much more going on in Gaza. Israel blocks Gaza off from all forms of trade, and although they have a tunnel between them and Egypt, it is not enough. Therefore, there are slums where children do not go to school because their parents cannot afford it, people starve because they have no money to buy food, and people live in small shelters that they built out of some materials they put together and sleep on the ground. This is a squatter community, and, as the article states, there are squatter communities in worse shape, the problem here is that everyone is pointing fingers and no one is trying to fix the problem. Many state that Israel has caused this poverty because of their oppressive control of the area and others state that it is Gaza's government because they are corrupt and new and cannot or do not distribute their food well. This is a problem, but when no one takes the blame, innocent people suffer.

Jasmine GreenTea's curator insight, February 24, 2014 11:27 AM

Parents in Gaza are not sending their children to school because they have either no money for books, school fees or materials for their school. In Gaza, there is an exploding population in an area and also, people are living in slum conditions and there is a widespread of shortage of food, water, electricity, jobs, hospital beds and classrooms. The fact that the people in Gaza, slaughter lame horses and uses its meat for kebabs because they could not afford beef or lamb, extended my thinking in new directions.

The population of people who are more fortunate is definitely more than those people who are living in poverty. Therefore, I wonder why are those people who are fortunate, not willing to lend a helping hand to these people in Gaza who are living in such bad conditions.

Kayla, Sean, and Max's curator insight, February 24, 2015 1:37 PM

Max

As the population of "The Forgotten Neighborhood" continues to grow exponentially, living conditions only continue to get worse and worse. People go without food, water, or basic services, making the conditions there practically unlivable. Due to corruption and mismanagement, much of the aid sent there to help gets used elsewhere, which causes living conditions to stay poor.