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Rescooped by Elizabeth Allen from Geography Education
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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | Geography 400 at ric | 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. 

 

I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about.  A valid question is why not divide Iraq into three seperate countries? One for the Kurdish, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Shiite? The video explains that it is not that easy.  Iraq has been unstable since it formed after WWI.The Sunnis feel that the Shiite stole their power and they want to reclaim it.  The three ethnicities are quarrelling for control and it has to do with more than religion.  Resources play an important role in the dispute.  The country cannot divide into three regions, because the Sunni (about 20% of Iraq's population) are in a region where they are not close to water and they have no oil.  The Sunni and Kurdish are close to natural resources- water and oil.  If the country divides, the Sunni will not last. 

Elizabeth Allen


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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, 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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P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N

P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   

 

Better than rock, paper, scissors. At least the name incorporates the letters of the homelands.  Elizabeth Allen


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:27 PM

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

The name "Pakistan" can be thought of as more of a "Mexicali" or "Calexico" than an "Afghanistan" or "Turkmenistan." In other words, it is an acronym, which I was surprised to learn. Though is can also be translated as "land of the Paks", there is no specific group by that name. Relating back to a previous Scoop, this shows the importance of validation and reasoning, as opposed to 'blind belief.'

I think the use of an acronym for the new nation's name (a toponym) was a very intuitive option to choose; no ethnic group could complain that their name didn't make it into the name of their nation while others' did. This seems to be a form of equal representation.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 1:28 AM

This article is very interesting as it explains the origin of the name Pakistan. Like many people I assumed that the name had to do with some old ethnic group but in reality its something of an acronym. Interestingly enough Pakistan is incredibly diverse and really only held together by the common Islamic religion. Names which are acronyms are more common place in government plans or cheesy infomercial products rather than the names of countries.     

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Europe's failure to integrate Muslims

Europe's failure to integrate Muslims | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Laws restricting Islamic symbols in the public sphere are fuelling political distrust and a shared sense of injustice.

 

One of the free response questions in the 2012 AP Human Geography test focused on increasing Muslim population in many European countries.  The Muslim community has (in the view of most Europeans polled) has not adequately assimilated into European society, and with many Europeans feeling a cultural threat, have created a politically charged situation.  Has Europe failed to integrate Muslims or have Muslims failed to integrate in Europe?  Is this a problem?  Why or why not?  To see the APHG test question, click here:  http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap_frq_human_geo_2012.pdf

 

 

As we leearned in class, Europe has a declining population. If Europe continues to ban certain religions and culture, then obviously its population will continue to decline. It seems as though religion and poitics clash, just as they do elsewhere around the world. If women want to wear headscarves, let them. They are proud of their religion just as many of us are. Seems to me that the world is becoming more secular, restricitve and intrusive than religious  Elizabth Allen


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Shayna and Kayla's curator insight, February 6, 12:29 PM

This represents the religion section because Europe is restricting islamic symbols causing controversy .

Geography Jordan & Danielle's curator insight, February 7, 1:18 PM

Religion: freedom of religion is not a law is some parts of Europe 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 8:59 PM

The Muslim community was never really accepted in Europe looking back in history. Now more and emigrating and in mass numbers in certain areas.  While the European Union is a stronghold keeping Europe together, the argument can be made that the countries are falling apart in terms of identity, economy and production. A new wave of immigrants will not help increase their national identity and strength.

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Religious Pilgrimage: the Hajj

Religious Pilgrimage: the Hajj | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

This is a beautiful photoessay of the Hajj, with excellent captions that shows many of the cultural customs that are associated with the massive pilgrimage.  The tremendous influx of tourists/pilgrims into the Mecca area, there is a huge economic industry that supports and depends on the tourists.  For a BBC article about the market impacts of the Hajj, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11777483

 

The photos show what an immense congregation this event really is. If a picture is worth a thoudsand words, than this collection is a jackpot. The colors are captivating, green costumes of participants in the military parade, the hands holding the beads for sale. In the article from bbc.co.uk it is interesting to learn that such a religious event is an opportunity for economic gains. From merchants selling beads and rugs to visitors all the way to hotels capitalizing on the religious pilgrimage. It is amazing to know that every Muslim should make this trip as long as he/she is healthy and can afford to ( finances of the family are a higher priority).  This truly is the ultimate worship practice.  Elizabeth Allen


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:21 PM
The photos show what an immense congregation this event really is. If a picture is worth a thoudsand words, than this collection is a jackpot. The colors are captivating, green costumes of participants in the military parade, the hands holding the beads for sale. In the article from bbc.co.uk it is interesting to learn that such a religious event is an opportunity for economic gains. From merchants selling beads and rugs to visitors all the way to hotels capitalizing on the religious pilgrimage. It is amazing to know that every Muslim should make this trip as long as he/she is healthy and can afford to.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:55 PM

These photo’s are amazing! Number 12 with the crowd of people and the ambulance in the middle shows the massive amount of people. Their heads look like dots in a sea of white. These pictures show what words just cannot describe. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 1:23 PM

One of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj. A pilgrimage to mecca that has the byproduct of being economically prosperous. Every year droves of people flock to Mecca. Where they stay, what they eat, what they buy all pump money in the local economy. Although it was not meant to be an economic cash cow, the Hajj definatley provides businesses with an influx of money. This shows how religion definatley has economic repercussion and that all facets of geography are interconnected.

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Religious architecture of Islam

Religious architecture of Islam | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Read Religious architecture of Islam for travel tips, advice, news and articles from all around the world by Lonely Planet...

 

This is an excellent article that can be used in a thematic class for analyzing religion, the human landscape, the urban environment and cultural iconography.  For a regional geography class, this show great images from Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine.  

 

These mosques are breathtaking. They also have distinct historical factors, such as, the Temple Mount being built over the rock that Mohammed rose to heaven. When we look at the dome we are inclined to notice the historical aspects and their meanings.  Elizabeth Allen


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andrew desrochers's curator insight, October 28, 2:47 PM

These architectural designs in Israel show religious meanings, what other factors inspire architectural creativity? Who uses these different styles of creativity?

Lily and Cami's curator insight, November 5, 5:18 PM

Israel Religion: I scooped this because the picture really stood out to me because the golden dome stands over the rock on Temple Mount. you also can see great images of Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria, and Israel/Palestine. Not only are these sacred buildings but they are also big religious and tourist attractions.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 1:20 PM

Although all part of the same religion these buildings are influenced heavily by their location. I think this is important to note because it challenges our assumptions on Islam. When I think of a mosque a certain image pops into my head, these images shows how the same religion can still have local influences.