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A rare snow storm hit the Middle East last week, producing record snows and extreme conditions for Syrian refugees.
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Yes anything can happen, even snow in the Middle East.
Not so "rare" for Jerusalem, the more beautiful in white and shining bright !!!
There are a few people in the US who have never seen snow, but I'd venture a lot of people in the cities of the Middle East never have, save the tops of mountains. The mixing of snow and sand is an interesting site in itself, but the fact that this is a first in 112 years for Egypt is sure to have some impacts. It's interesting how it no longer looks like the Middle East we're familiar with from the media. Different clothes are brought out and that coupled with the snow-covered architecture reminds me more of Europe. This demonstrates how climate can be used to identify areas, and how they're tied in with the popular image of cultures and regions.
UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.
This interactive on refugees is especially timely, given that the Syrian civil war has created refugee situations in many of the neighboring countries. One of my favorite elements of the Guardian's interactive is that they provide the raw data, so students can create their own maps with the same high quality data. Equally important, this interactive shows the regional power bases of all the various factions of the Syrian rebellion that is seeking to overthrow the Assad regime. The political conflict has huge demographic implications.
Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.
The violent backlash against the American film is taking place in Muslim societies, but it doesn't seem to correlate with Islam's reach.
This is a good reminder that the generalizing about "all Muslims" is as inaccurate as generalization about "all Christians" or any other group. The world and people are much more nuanced than that.
Tags: MiddleEast, Islam, conflict.
Iran's annual al-Quds - or Jerusalem - Day, denouncing Israel, is as much an expression of policy as ritual, writes BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan.
Every year Jerusalem Day brings millions of people into the streets for support of the Palestinians and the denouncing of the Isreals. The idea was proposed in 1979 during deepening tension between Lebon and Isreal. Jerusalem day is supposed to be about Jerusalem but the slogans are all about death to Isreal, it has turned into an occasion about the political mood in Iran. Any politican in Iran that wants to gain power must be heard giving speeches aboout Isreal, and with the ever changing social media it helps to spread media clips, video, and photos of this important day throughout Iran
Jerusalem Day brings out the supporters of Palestinians. Although originally the day was supposed to be about Jerusalem, it has turned into a place to express frustration about politics. Politicians in Iran find this as an important day to speak and gain supporters.
"Iran poses steep challenges to its Middle East neighbors and the world. Explore the country's complex regime structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts debate the range of policy options."
Iran is in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions. One the bordered with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Iran is stratgeically positioned to have considerable control over the world’s most important waterway for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz.
Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should more about than the three main facts that that most Americans are already aware of (1-Iran has an Islamic-based government, 2-an emerging nuclear program and 3-a ton of oil). This interactive feature is a good starting point with great videos, timelines, maps, articles that assess the current situation in Iran.
Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.
This is an amzing resource to use and find out much about this country, both its past and present. With this you can understand their feeling of hatred toward the US with its support of the Shah. This is a relationship that the US needs to repair, but both sides need to work on this. This are is so important to the US and the world given Iran's geographic location right on the Persian Gulf, whcih they can cut off and controll the oil flowing from that area, plus the oil they control, plus bordering several crucial US and NATO allies. It only seems in everyone's best interest to sit down and talk. Given the support Iran gives to many terrorists organization and it's longstanding position that Israel does not have the right the right to exist, this idea of sitting down and talking may be a fantasy. However, with the new elections and the new President of Iran speaking at the UN there may be renewed hope of at least a start.
All over the world Muslims have begun their holiest month of the year by fasting from dawn until dusk each day, broken each evening by large, communal meals.
This photoessay is a visual and cultural delight. Pictured above is a Pakistani boy who prays next to plates of fruits donated to worshippers to break their fast (Karachi, July 21, 2012). On the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, we see the communal ethos of Ramadan.