Geography Education
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Proportion of Catholics in Latin America has dropped 25% since 1970

Proportion of Catholics in Latin America has dropped 25% since 1970 | Geography Education |

"A new report released by the Pew Research Centre has found that the proportion of Catholics in Latin America has dropped 25% since 1970. One of the primary drivers for the rise in the numbers leaving the Catholic Church? Conversion to Protestantism."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an important cultural and demographic shift that is redefining how we think about Latin America.  It also represents a major shift in the geography of the Catholic Church.   

Tags: culturereligion, Christianity.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, January 28, 2015 5:00 PM

I've watched Passion of the Christ and one thing that I've learned was that the language that was spoken in Jerusalem was Latin. Regardless of whether someone was raised Catholic or Protestant, they still practiced the Christianity faith. Also based on one scoop that I looked up, Christianity was spread overseas from Europe to Latin America (South America).

Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 4, 2015 7:11 PM

This article was interesting to read because it shows a different aspect of Latin America and touches on religion. It states that the portion of the area that is Catholic has dropped 25% since 1970 because the Protestant percentage has gone up and reached 19%. The reason that the Protestant percentage has risen is because many of those individuals have converted when the majority of them have been raised Catholic. These individuals all have different reasons as to why they converted over but this jump is more recent and continues to grow. 

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 14, 2015 7:45 PM

The rate of people who religiously identify as Catholics has decreased sharply in the last forty years. In Latin America, where majority of population exhibit strong beliefs in Catholicism, citizens are rapidly shifting to different religions such as Protestant, or denouncing their religion all together. New generations are skeptical to believe in God. However, the new century has also brought about different issues, where practicing Catholics are reportedly victims of sexual abuse, sometimes by their parish priest. Furthermore, younger generations are more open minded and accepting of controversial topics such as gay marriage, homosexuality, and lesbianism. Demographic patterns have shifted these large communities and suffered a decrease of numbers equal to approximately 20%. With new innovations, technologies, and different patterns of living, the Catholic Church is being overlooked by more communities as a preferred religion.

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Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site

Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site | Geography Education |
A sign urging environmental action during a United Nations summit meeting on climate change was placed near a 1,000-year-old geoglyph that is a cultural treasure in Peru. Officials are outraged over the trespassing and the disturbance of the ancient grounds.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Greenpeace is falling for some of the same social media fails as the selfie generation.  Peruvian authorities are angry that Greenpeace activists damaged a forbidden archeological site that is both a national symbol and sacred site.  UN climate talks are taking place in Peru right now, so this Greenpeace publicity stunt becomes all the more ironic.  The Peruvian government is accusing them of irrevocably damaging the environment at this site.  Here is an article about how the environmental community was impacted by this Greenpeace stunt.

TagsreligionSouth AmericaPeru, environment.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 8:36 AM

In today's world, we often run into situations where preservation and advancement are at odds with one another. Instances where sites or areas are protected by historical or cultural heritage societies is just one such example. As a result, these places are often barred from making improvements or changes that would improve the quality of life for the people living there. Some places, however, also possess a natural geography that is significant and culturally valuable to the people living there. To change or mar these geographic landmarks is considered incredibly disrespectful and inconsiderate, as is the case with this Greenpeace blunder in Peru. 


The incident described in this article also seems to represent a kind of disconnect between the developed and developing worlds. Many times, developed nations feel it is there job to police the practices and beliefs of their less developed neighbors. This, of course, is a very insulting and elitist approach to enacting change that these countries see as positive. Often, the cultures and practices of these places are scorned for the sake of "progress" or "advancement", when in reality, these powerful countries are using their almost unquestioned influence to get their message across using the context of smaller, less powerful countries. Organizations and countries that are truly proponents of change and progress must strike a balance between cultural respect and effective methods. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 11:25 AM

People make mistakes with the best of intentions, and this is certainly a case of just that. Greenpeace hoped to make a lasting impression on world leaders by creating a powerful symbol illustrating the need for the world's leaders to embark on a policy of environmental conservatism; instead, they insulted the Peruvian government and desecrated a national heritage site. I feel like something like this would never have happened in a powerful Western nation; could you imagine the outrage if a historical site like the location of the Battle of Gettysburg or Jefferson's home of Monticello had been altered in such a away? Or if this sign had been hung from Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower? I feel like this group completely disregarded the sensitivities of the Peruvian government because it is only a "middle power," a nation that could easily be trumped by the group's ambitions- in short, that the nations concerns did not matter because it was "only" Peru. I find that train of thought extremely insulting and dangerous within the context of international relations- if smaller nations can be disregarded so easily in Western circles, what does that say for the future of global politics? An apology and, more importantly, a restoration project are in order, and Peru is right to demand them. I, too, would be insulted by Greenpeace's actions.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 12:23 PM

an environmental group disturbing on of the regions where man has been banned from going is insane. how do you justify defacing one of the last truly pristine places on earth, where people haven't walked for centuries, for the sake of some Eco-terrorism. did you not think through the response that this act would inspire, and if so, how did you become so dense?

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Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem

Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem | Geography Education |
A site in the Old City of Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, has been a flash point since the advent of modern Zionism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been turmoil and violence in Jerusalem this month; at it's core, much of the fighting has been around the political control of sacred spaces that are seen as critical to both groups' cultural and religious identity.  This particular sacred place is intertwined with both Judaism as well as Islam, and understanding the current round of violence demands that we understand some of the historical geography of religion in Jerusalem.  To explore more about sacred sites in general as a spatial concept, visit this link

Tagsreligion, culture, Islam, Israel, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 3:29 PM

Landmarks can have powerful meanings to different groups of people.  The Dome of the Rock is a sacred site to Muslims across the world.  The Mosque has stood on the location for centuries, and it is said to be built on the site where Mohamed ascended to Heaven.  To Jews, however, this site represents where Solomon's Temple was located.  It was destroyed two times, once by the Babylonians and another time, after being rebuilt by the Roman Empire.  Today, all that remains of this sacred site is the Western Wall.  The Wall is a sacred location to many Jews as it represents their heritage and their nation.  Yet, as the article notes, many Muslims are threatened by the new Jewish interests in the site and they fear that it will be taken by the Israeli government and the Temple will be rebuilt a third time on the Temple Mount.  This shows how much emotion can exist over a piece of land.  The Jewish need to rebuild their temple right on the very spot it once stood, it cannot be built elsewhere, meanwhile some Muslims deny that the Temple ever stood there and there are others who believe that the site should be renamed to "Al Aqsa Mosque or the Noble Sanctuary".  This is one of the great arguments that I believe will never be solved, should the Temple be rebuilt at the expense of the Dome of the Rock?  


Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:03 PM

Sacred sites in Jerusalem are having difficulties due to the differences in culture from the surrounding countries. 

Raychel Johnson's curator insight, March 22, 2015 12:19 AM

Summary: This article is simply over the Israel-Palestine conflict, and how it has evolved since its beginning. This mostly talks about how Palestine believes that if Israel gains control of Jerusalem, they will get rid of Dome of the Rock, an important place of worship for the Islams. 


Insight: I think this article accurately represents concepts of political power and territoriality well due to the fact that these two territories are having a very long dispute about this one piece of land. I think there is definitely a solution that should be relatively simple, but with the amount of meaning this location has to both places, and with the continues terrorism occurring, I don't know if a simple solution would work. 

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Kuwaiti cartoonist battles opponents on how to portray Islam to the world

Kuwaiti cartoonist battles opponents on how to portray Islam to the world | Geography Education |

"Naif al-Mutawa, creator of comic book series THE 99, spoke with Al-Monitor about the recent death threat by the Islamic State and how US President Barack Obama's enemies became his."

Seven years after the Kuwaiti psychologist and entrepreneur first launched his comic book series based on the 99 attributes of Allah, he's facing a sudden onslaught of death threats, fatwas and lawsuits (his comic books were highlighted in this TED talk on cultural change in the Islamic World). His US distributor, meanwhile, continues to sit on a TV deal, in part because of pressure from conservative bloggers who object to any positive description of Islam.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:23 PM

This could have been a great way for Muslim customs to be taught to a whole new demographic of people all over the world.  People are very uneducated all across the globe when it comes to religions outside of their own.  Anytime you can show a side of your culture to a large audience to change a negative perception it should be taken advantage of.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 2:55 PM

I love this. In a world where there are so many negative stereotypes being portrayed in the media, it's refreshing to see someone leading the fight of presenting the truth in a way that's easily consumable for mass media. I find it disgusting that conservative groups have actively fought against the production of these comics because they do not want their young children "exposed to militant Islam." Seriously? You feel threatened by a religion indoctrinating your children because they are so young, because you don't want it replacing the religion you're indoctrinating your children with at such a young age? I find it sickening that people actively want to perpetuate incorrect stereotypes to fit their own agenda, as they are actively aware of their ignorance and EMBRACING it! It's unbelievable. I can only imagine how frustrated Naif must feel- to Westerners, he's a religious extremist, and to the Middle East he's presented as a Zionist. He's attempting to keep the middle ground in one of the most polarizing issues of the 21st century, and I wish him all the luck in the world. What he's doing is necessary for reconciliation and eventual progress, but he is certainly being punished for it in the short-term. I'll have to give his comic a look, and hopefully his show is still on Netflix as well.

Patty B's curator insight, March 11, 1:04 PM
I was surprised to learn that al-Mutawa began receiving death threats only after President Obama made remarks regarding "The 99." To me, the comic makes Islam easier to relate to. It takes some of the mystery surrounding Islam away, mystery that is often exaggerated and perpetuated by Western media outlets. The threats exemplify the fact that so many people in the Western world fail to understand basic differences regarding the Muslim religion, as well as the Middle East region altogether. People have so many preconceived notions of Islam that they denounce anything that has to do with it before even comprehending the actual matter at hand. 
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Golden Temple of Amristar

"The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world. Read the related article."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent.   While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions.  This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and to demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 

Tags: culture, India, South Asia, religion.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 2015 4:33 PM

The Golden Temple of Amristar, located in the northern Punjab region of India, is renowned as the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion. 80,000 -160,000 people come here each day to enjoy a free eatery on top of prayer. This is the largest free eatery in the world. What an unbelievable idea that this huge number of people can enjoy free food. Food is cooked up by workers in large vats in order to feed the masses. This is not a homeless shelter, there was a man in this video who said he was from a prominent family and he can to the temple because he felt peace of mind here. The temple is covered in glitter and gold hence its name.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 24, 2015 10:53 AM

I think this idea is excellent. Sikhism is a blend of Islam and Hinduism.  They believe that everyone is equal and strive for peace and tranquility.  The Golden Temple is, essentially, a place to go to get away from the fast-paced and cut-throat environment of everyday-life.  They accept all races and religions.  I love this model and idea.  I hope the Sikhs gain more attention and spread their simple idea of peace, love, and volunteerism.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 7, 2015 8:29 AM

This video provides some valuable insight into a religion that not many people know about. Sikhism combines elements of Hinduism and Islam, but rejects the Hindu concept of a caste system. It is practiced predominantly in the Punjab region of India, but practicing Sikhs can be found around the world. The Golden Temple of Amristar is one of Sikhism's most important holy sites, and adherents of any religion are welcome at the temple. There is a large community kitchen inside the temple, where volunteers produce tens of thousands of meals for temple visitors everyday. Everyone who visits the temple sits and eats together in the community eatery, as Sikhs believe all people are equal, and so they are not concerned with separating visitors by gender, race, or religion.


Sikhism and its Golden Temple are really interesting examples of cross-cultural pollination. While it is not unusual to see cultures adapt elements of fashion or music from other cultures, it is unusual to see one culture fuse its religion with another. Generally, religion is seen as a concrete ideology with immutable truths that should not be disturbed or tampered with. Sikhism sheds this rigidity and incorporates elements of two major religions into one, creating a religion of peace, equality, and tolerance. This is the ideal of any religion, and Sikhism exhibits wonderfully. The Punjab region of India acts as a melting pot for Hinduism and Islam, creating a geographic center for ideologies that reach far beyond their geographic origins. Though Sikhism is a small religion compared to Islam or Hinduism, it provides a fascinating and excellent example of how cultures can come together peacefully to create something new and positive. 

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Media and Culture--Perspective and Bias

"Religious scholar Reza Aslan took some serious issue on CNN Monday night with Bill Maher‘s commentary about Islamic violence and oppression. Maher ended his show last Friday by going after liberals for being silent about the violence and oppression that goes on in Muslim nations. Aslan said on CNN that Maher’s arguments are just very unsophisticated.  He said these 'facile arguments' might sound good, but not all Muslim nations are the same. Aslan explained that female mutilation is an African problem, not a Muslim one, and there are Muslim-majority nations where women are treated better and there are even female leaders."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are far too many oversimplifications when people throw around the terms "Muslim-majority countries" and this video shows that a more nuanced understanding is needed.  That being said, it would be naive to pretend as though Islam today were without some structural problems.  As stated in the linked article, "In 2013, of the top 10 groups that perpetrated terrorist attacks, seven were Muslim. Of the top 10 countries where terrorist attacks took place, seven were Muslim-majority.  Of the 24 most restrictive countries (according to Pew Research), 19 are Muslim-majority. Of the 21 countries that have laws against apostasy, all have Muslim majorities."

Question to Ponder: How does the media play a role in shaping the conversations we have in society about different cultures and places?  How can 'painting with a broad brush' lead to stereotypes and inaccurate conclusions?  

Tagsplaceregions, culture religion, Middle East, media.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 22, 2015 1:21 PM

Last semester i took a anthropology class on the middle east. The class was one of the biggest eye openers for me, When we started the class the professor asked all the students to right down the words that came to mind when they thought of the middle east. Their words were hurtful and mean, and our professor born and raised and turkey was not surprised. The media in America portrays the "Middle East" as this evil desert full of terrorist, disease, poverty, and oppressed women. It is painted with a very broad brush, and gullible America eats it up. It is also a huge injustice because the Middle East covers many countries and they are very diverse. There is many languages, religions, lifestyles, they range greatly. Not every country is " Bad" in fact none of them are, they are just under bad times. I also feel very sorry for the natives of these lands, the peaceful people that are just trying to survive and live. They are beautiful people and i loved studying about them and i always felt a little guilty for associating them with the groups performing heinous acts against their people. What i realized is that often the most vulnerable people, the ones who need us the most are the ones who get forgotten about and the media is part to blame for that.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 5:58 AM

The media plays a substantial role in enhancing stereotypes about Muslims. In order to simplify an issue, the media often lumps groups of people together and identifies them as sharing one set of beliefs. In a constant twenty four hour news environment ,nuance is often sacrificed for a quick ratings driven story. The media is often appealing to the lowest common denominator. The media should make a better effort to explain the differences between each Muslim nation. The Middle East is a complex area, and it deserves complex coverage.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:33 PM

yes, some Muslim countries have been lead by women. how many woman governors have there been. Texas is the size of Iraq. scale matters, and if all Muslim countries were merged they would never elect a woman as their leader, if one even ran and survived. the us has at least let them run.

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The world as it is: The influence of religion

The world as it is: The influence of religion | Geography Education |

"Seldom has it been more important for Americans to form a realistic assessment of the world scene. But our current governing, college-­educated class suffers one glaring blind spot.

Modern American culture produces highly individualistic career and identity paths for upper- and middle-class males and females. Power couples abound, often sporting different last names. But deeply held religious identities and military loyalties are less common. Few educated Americans have any direct experience with large groups of men gathered in intense prayer or battle. Like other citizens of the globalized corporate/consumer culture, educated Americans are often widely traveled but not deeply rooted in obligation to a particular physical place, a faith or a kinship."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a truly intriguing op-ed that argues that many Americans have a 'blind spot' by failing to recognize the power of religion and tribal bonds in global affairs. While many in the west assume that a new world order has emerged, these old communal forces still rule much of the world and they have some profound geopolitical implications (the author explores Russia, Asia and the Middle East in particular). 

Tags: religion, culture, conflict, political, geopolitics.

Brett Laskowitz's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:17 PM

My APHUG students will read this article before even beginning our study of religion.  My hope is that this may at the very least help them empathize with the religious fervor that still has such a profound impact on the culture of much of the world.  

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 18, 2015 12:26 PM

With the rise and fall of human civilizations have come the rise and fall of religions as well. Americans have grown unaware of the  beliefs and teachings of other religions. They do not know the difference between ethnic and universalizing religions. They do not know that Islam is the fastest expanding religion in the world even though Christianity still has the most followers. Unit 3 Culture

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:57 PM

This article shows how religion affects the world around us and its importance in governments. Especially in the middle east (Saudi Arabia), countries often import factors of their major religion into their government. 

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Comparing the five major world religions

"It's perfectly human to grapple with questions, like 'Where do we come from?' and 'How do I live a life of meaning?' These existential questions are central to the five major world religions -- and that's not all that connects these faiths. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED ED Lesson outlines the basics of five major world religions which in turn have profoundly reshaped the cultural geographies we see today.  While the narration in the video might be a bit dry, the visuals immerse the viewer into the cultural context from which these religions emerged.   

Tags: religion, culture, TEDChristianity, Islam, unit 3 culture.

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, September 5, 2014 9:13 AM

Great insight into our 5 major world religions.

Brett Laskowitz's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:06 PM

This is also a good introductory video for the Religion unit.  It will at least give students a general overview of the major world religions as a baseline of information to reference when diving deeper into the unit content.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 1, 2015 10:10 AM

unit 3

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Gendered Cultural Narratives

Gendered Cultural Narratives | Geography Education |

"As a Muslim woman who chooses to wear hijab,I'd like to apologize for this poster, to my non-hijab wearing cohorts.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The hijab is an incredibly complex cultural artifact full of social meanings all over the political spectrum.  This poster shows some of the social pressures exerted on women in Iran to wear the hijab.  This poster comes from Iran where the government is using this platform to encourage traditional values and gendered norms using a chocolate bar/candy analogy.  This poster struck a nerve on social media throughout the Middle East in part because blends some modern cultural diffusion elements with some older folk traditions.  Many hijab-wearing women don't want other women to be shamed into conforming, and many women wear it the hijab in public, but privately subvert the cultural norms on social media.  What stereotypes and perspectives are embodied in this poster?  Why do you think this poster was seen as inflammatory or culturally insensitive by many?  This image would be a great discussion starter for cultural  patterns and process as well as the geography of the Middle East. 

TagsIran, gender, MiddleEast, Islamreligion, culture, social media.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:03 PM

This idea that women do not have human rights takes place in Saudi Arabia. What this poster is saying is that women are sweet creatures metaphorically just like candy. As you can see on the right, the candy is wrapped and covered just like the woman covered in a hijab and on the left, the candy is unwrapped and it shows the exposure of the woman and her features. Saudi Arabia has a strict rule about women being covered up and not exposing themselves to the outside world just like the image on the right.

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 25, 2015 8:19 PM

This poster/advertisement raises many questions. Having discussed it in detail during class it left me with a few questions and comments. One is whom created this poster? Two, where was this poster advertised? Three, its an extremely original piece of propaganda which passes judgement on woman and the way they are to live. Four, as discussed in class, the color green is a dominant "true" Islamic color. But what's also interesting is that the preferred character of women is on the east side of the poster while the scandalous-less preferred- woman is on the west side. Western influence in a middle eastern Islamic region is not quite received with open arms... Its almost saying Arab women should stay true to Islam and cover themselves. Women whom are influenced by western culture have lost there way and are damaged goods that no true man of Islam would want to pursue. 

This piece of propaganda has many layers to it. Although I personally am not too keen on the message it is an interesting and creative "piece" to say the least. Its too bad it is used to label and even dehumanize women.  

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:37 PM

Im sure this poster was highly offensive to many people in the middle east, both male and female.  There is a lot of meaning in each picture, but the basic point seems to be that the image on the right is the way that a lady is supposed to dress, the way that is more appropriate.  Conservative with the candy wrapped, it shows that a woman should dress and act a certain way, while the other image has a girl, who appears to be naked with her hair blowing around, who looks like she has no values, or respect for her religion.

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Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy

Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy | Geography Education |
Is limiting the use of the Arabic word for God a sign of growing intolerance towards minorities?
Seth Dixon's insight:

In Arabic, the word Allah means God.  Christian Arabs refer to God as Allah and Arabic versions of the Bible reference Allah.  As Arabic and Islam have diffused in interwoven patterns, the linguistic root and the theological meanings have became intertwined to some.  BBC World and Al-Jazeera have reported on this issue as the Malaysian government has attempted to ban the use of the word Allah to any non-Muslim religious group.  Language and religion just got very political.  

Tags: languagereligion, political, Malaysia, SouthEastAsia, culture, Islam.

Caterin Victor's curator insight, June 25, 2014 4:25 PM

 Yes !!  The religion of love and peace, is not a religion, and sure that  not a pacific love,  just a bunch of hatred and criminals wich endanger  the  world, in the name  of a pedophile crazy, Muhamad, and  and  inexisting  allah, a  Devil, not a  God !!  The  Obama`s   "Holly  Curan ", a  dirty   instruction book  for killing !! 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 27, 2015 8:28 AM

Religion and politics are often effect each other in ways people can never imagine. Even in Western nations, were religion is separated from the state, religion still plays a major role in many political debates. This law banning the use of the word Allah by non- Muslim people in Malaysia is an extension of the political movement within Islam. Politics has been the major reason for the rise of the radical sect of Islam. It developed as reaction to the perceived westernizing of Muslim nations that was occurring in the 20th century. The Iranian revolution was a response to the westernizing polices of the Shah. It replaced a secular government with a theocratic one. ISIS main goal is to establish a caliphate i.e. a ruling empire. Throughout history, religion has been used as an excuse to build dynasties and gain more power. Politics in the true motivation behind much of this radicalization.

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World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think | Geography Education |
There are about 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world's population, making Islam the second-largest religion.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Did you think that most of the world's Muslim population lived in the Middle East and North Africa?  If so you are not alone, but the Middle East and North Africa account for only 19.8% of the global Muslim population.  In fact there are more Muslims in India and Pakistan than the Middle East and North Africa.   

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

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:55 PM

Showing the distribution of Islam around the world. Outside of the middle east, Indonesia has the most Muslims. This religion is one of the fastest growing in the world. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:46 PM

This article was good to look at because the majority of people assume Muslims are only in the Middle East. There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Two-thirds of the Muslim population live in the Asia-Pacific region than in the middle east. More Muslims actually live in India and Pakistan. Muslims make up the majority of the population in 49 countries around the world. Islam has become the world's second largest religious tradition after Christianity. I would love to know some reasons behind why certain Muslims live in other areas. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:33 PM

This interesting map/infographic shows where Muslims are concentrated around the world. What I found most interesting and a little bit counterintuitive was that the highest number of Muslims is found in the Asia- Pacific region rather than in Northern Africa or the Middle East. When you consider how large Indonesia's population is, however, and the fact that more than three-quarters of it identify as Muslim, it makes a bit more sense. What is really staggering is the fact that there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making nearly a quarter of the global population Muslim. 


What this map shows is the ability of religion to transcend political, economic, and cultural borders. Though Islam is a religion with its origins in the Middle East, it has grown and spread across the world to now have adherents on every continent. Of course, Islam is not the only major religion to have accomplished this feat, but it is particularly important to keep in mind considering the fear and criticism with which Islam has been met in recent years. People tend to think of Muslims as uniformly extremist advocates of violence who wage holy wars no matter the cost. This is, of course, untrue and characterizes the kind of dangerous stereotyping that occurs in regards to many different religions. While this map seeks to show numbers and percentages, it also shows that there are many, many more Muslims in the world than the extremists highlighted in the news and that Islam is not defined by these radicals. 

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Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs

Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs | Geography Education |
Facing religious discrimination in the Hindu-dominated job market, many are forced to assume fake identities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not that uncommon in India unfortunately.  As the articles states, a government commission was appointed in 2005 to investigate the degree to which Muslims were disadvantaged in social, economic and educational terms.  The commission concluded the socio-economic condition of most Muslims was as bad as that of the Dalits, who are at the bottom rung of the Hindu-caste hierarchy, also referred to as the "untouchables." 

Tags: labor, industry, economic, poverty, India.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:11 PM

In the marketplace, one of a different religion has to mask her true identity to be able to sell the food there. Not only is this woman facing pure discrimination she is facing it because of what she believes in. Nothing is more horrible than being stripped away from something you believe in. In order for her to sell food in this marketplace, she must do so to survive.

Jackson and Marduk's curator insight, October 27, 2014 4:03 PM

Religion: The main religion in India is Hindu. Since this is so widely practiced in India, other religions are discriminated. This article explains how some people have to act like they practice Hindu just to get a job.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 2, 2015 3:39 PM

Having to masquerade as a different religion in order to get a job is not a concept that most Americans are familiar with, as we live in a highly secular society.  India, which too is supposed to be a secular society, is failing at this as the article shows.  Muslim women have to pretend to be Hindus in order to get a job, as many Hindus (who are dominant in India) will refuse to higher people who follow Islam.  There are historical reasons for this, as the Hindus of the country were dominated by the Muslims for years under the Mughal Empire.  However, it is a sad fact that the secular country of India which is striving towards becoming a superpower would treat citizens of a different faith in such a poor manner.  This is very interesting for Americans to think about, and it even parallels our history.  In the 19th Century and even the earlier 20th century we were much more aware of religions and ethnicity and these groups stuck together, however by the time of the 1960s and 70s this landscape was rapidly disappearing.  India should itself move on from this practice, yet I believe it will be difficult given the nature of the situation, and the baggage carried by the groups.


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Mount Moriah: The most contested real estate on Earth?

Mount Moriah: The most contested real estate on Earth? | Geography Education |

"Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews and Christians call it the Temple Mount." 

What happens when various religious groups claim the same territory as their own?

Mrs. B's curator insight, February 10, 2014 9:08 AM


Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 14, 2014 11:35 AM

This article and picture points out just how hard it is to “solve” the problems in Israel.  The constant overlapping of buildings on holy sites complicates the issues more than anything political ever could.  Belief is one of the biggest driving forces for conflict in the world and this illustration reminds us of that.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 2014 1:54 PM

In some of the oldest civilizations on earth, religion is the most important aspect of life. There will always be extreme conflicts in these ancient areas all over religion.

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Mapping World Religions

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video mapping the historical diffusion of major world religions is obviously an over-simplification but that is part of its value for students.  

Tags: historical, culturereligion, diffusion, mapping, visualization.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:17 PM

This was a nice video of good length that allowed me to see how the world is broke up into different regions. I know that religion is a main factor of how places are divided and so I thought this video was a nice visualization of that. The map with the timeline was nice to have and I liked how it gave us an estimate of how many people are following each religion today. The video also helped me see how religion can be a main factor in defining world regions.

Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:26 PM

In this video we are able to see the growth and fall of religions. It was quite fascinating to see the number of people in each religion and where in the world the spread. I thought it was helpful to see the dates of events that either caused spread or destruction of religions . For example the birth of Muhammad and the Crusades. THis shows the spatial distribution of religion. 

Ryan Tibari's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:58 AM

This video puts world religions in a more basic form. Shows the patterns that religions take on a global scale, outlining the most prominent and least prominent throughout the world. 

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Incredible images capture dazzling symmetry of Iran's mosques

Incredible images capture dazzling symmetry of Iran's mosques | Geography Education |

"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."

Tagsreligion, culture, IslamIran, Middle East.

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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The Great Mosque of Djenné

The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, is a magnet for tourists, but it is increasingly difficult for locals to live a normal life around it.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This New York Times short video is an intriguing glimpse into some of the cultural pressures behind having the designation of being an official world heritage site.  The great mosque combined with the traditional mud-brick feel to the whole city draws in tourists and is a source of communal pride, but many homeowners want to modernize and feel locked into traditional architecture by outside organizations that want them to preserve an 'authentic' cultural legacy.

Tags: Islam, tourism, place, religion, culture, historical, community, Mali, Africa.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 22, 2015 6:41 PM


Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:50 PM

it is horrifying that a government could force people to live in abject poverty and that the only source of income in this area is a tourist trap that needs to be rebuilt every few years in its entirety.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:22 PM

This major tourist attraction site is very interesting, a mosque made of just mud. Everything is mud besides the mosque, business and individual homes. So unfortunately for the citizens, this is not a great place to live. Since this place is historic, outside sources such as the UN do not really want to help the people out because they want the city of Djenne to be preserved as a historic site and they want everything to be as if it was ages ago, they will not even allow interior redesign. It seems though as if the only money they will ever receive is pretty much tourist money,  They do want to modernize, but in a way that keeps the history visible. they have failed to modernize in other sectors, such as garbage disposal. their garage is destroying their water which is running through their streets and making the water quality bad, which in turn, makes the mud quality bad for building.

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How harsh environments make you believe in God (or gods)

How harsh environments make you believe in God (or gods) | Geography Education |
A new study links climatic instability and a lack of natural resources to belief in moralizing gods in cultures around the world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I’m not posting this in spite of its controversial nature—I am sharing this precisely because it has raised eyebrows.  Many have read this and seen elements of environmental determinism in the cultural analysis of religions (despite the researcher’s insistence that their findings should not be taken as a form of geographical determinism).

While there appears to be a correlation between a belief in moral god(s) and a harsh environment, others could also look at this map and see the mapping of poverty, colonialism or historical evangelism.  Environmental determinism was used to justify colonialism and racist ideologies, geography fully rejected anything with even a hint of environmental determinism.  Geographers are hypersensitive to the critique of environmental determinism; that is why it is difficult to find modern geographic research that knocks on the door of determinism. 

Questions to Ponder: How much environmental determinism is in this research?  What alternatives exist to environmental determinism?  How much of a factor is the environment in shaping cultural patterns? 

Tags: environment, religion, culture,  unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

Scott Langston's curator insight, November 16, 2014 6:25 PM

Inspiring faith? Is God an environmental construct?

Kelli Jones's curator insight, December 2, 2014 1:06 AM

This article talks about how where we live can influence our religion. I couldn't agree more. Although I have been an active member of a church for a long time now I can't help but think that if I didn't live in the US I wouldn't be a Christian. If I were born in China for example I may not even know the name Jesus Christ. That's a scary thought. 

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:59 PM

This shows how different cultures have adapted to harsh environments 

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What Westerners can learn from the Hajj

What Westerners can learn from the Hajj | Geography Education |

"Though it may come as a surprise to outsiders, the journey to Mecca is a manifestation of globally moderate Islam."

The Mecca region of Saudi Arabia has recently been in the midst of Hajj season. The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is strongly encouraged of all Muslims who have the means to undertake it. Importantly, by bringing together 2 million to 3 million people from across the globe, the Hajj pilgrimage is a manifestation of the diversity and moderate nature of global Islam. This image of the Muslim world as cosmopolitan and reasonable stands in stark contrast to the militant Islamist fundamentalism we more regularly hear about in media coverage — with the Islamic State and Boko Haram being the most recent manifestation of this.

TagsIslam, Saudi Arabiaculture, religion, Middle East.

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:22 PM

Shows the impact of the Hajj on the Muslim people as Muslims around the world travel if they are able to see this holy place. 

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 11:03 AM

Showing how Muslims are affected by the Hajj as they eperience the holy travel. This time of year, people from all around the world travel to see the city and take place in religious customs that have been around for centuries. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:00 PM

this is very important for people to understand, muslims are not the problem, they are not evil they are not extreme they are not terrorists. islamic groups are those things. but the fact of the matter is that the extrmeists are a problem and a ruining the perception for all muslims. the only way to fix this is for other muslims to be the ones to stop these groups, until they do so they will always be associated this way, no matter how many articles come out to the contrary and no matter how much they try to distance themselves from these groups

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The myth of religious violence

The myth of religious violence | Geography Education |
The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But, Karen Armstrong writes, the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple

After a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms. Many secular thinkers now regard “religion” as inherently belligerent and intolerant, and an irrational, backward and violent “other” to the peaceable and humane liberal state – an attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples as hopelessly “primitive”, mired in their benighted religious beliefs. There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. When secularisation has been applied by force, it has provoked a fundamentalist reaction – and history shows that fundamentalist movements which come under attack invariably grow even more extreme. The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.

Tags: religion, culture, conflict, political, geopolitics.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:13 PM

I would say that Religious Has nothing to do with war but there has been several religious problems in this world, so when it comes to war and religious I don't even know what to think, since God means peace no war. Religious is now separate from political issues, and this is perhaps a good idea but again, I don't know what to think about it.

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 19, 2015 5:12 PM

This is a very intelligent article about the problems of secularism in our modern world. "An attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples" has an incredibly sardonic feeling to it. Secularism has been a favorite mindset of Americans in recent years. This is a great mistake in my opinion. Religion is such an easy thing to stereotype and Americans have done just that. Unit 3 Culture

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:55 AM

This article talks about religious violence, but especially Jihad. ISIS is ripping through Syria and they are quoting the Quran everytime they behead or kill someone. Islam has been a huge influence in warfare since the beginning of time. 

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For Yazidis, Exile From Spiritual Homeland in Iraq Dilutes Ancient Culture

For Yazidis, Exile From Spiritual Homeland in Iraq Dilutes Ancient Culture | Geography Education |
Some are contemplating migration, severing ties to their holy land. Others want to stay and protect their shrines.
Seth Dixon's insight:

When we discuss the geography of religion, frequently we are discussing the distribution of particular religions.  However, some religions are deeply embedded in particular places and their spiritual rites, customs and traditions are intrinsically linked with sacred spaces and particular geographies.  The Yazidi are are religious group that is deeply connected to the mountains of northern Iraq--areas that are now being evacuated because of ISIS.  Some are contemplating migrating to safety, but severing their ties to their holy land. Others want to stay and protect their sacred spaces.

Tagsplace, culture religion, Middle East.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2014 12:07 PM

"I cannot leave Lalish, or live without it," Pir Said said. "People, whoever they might be, are most present in their own land. When they leave it, they disappear—they melt into other communities. We're present here as a community in Lalish. If we leave, we think we will be weakened."

Many religions are incredibly tied to place. The Yazidis in Irag are a religious minority that blends ancient Mesopotamian beliefs and Zoroastrianism with Christian, Jewish, and Sufi influences. They are incredibly tied to the land, and fear that being chased out will ultimately end in the weakening of their religious community. Yazidis are no strangers to this, and in the recent past they have lost entire villages to Hussein's Arabization project. For the Yazidis, their religion is much more a way of life than just a spiritual belief. Like many different peoples, they fear that being forced to move will cause their religious community to be taken over by the beliefs and lifestyles of where they have to live.  

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:59 PM

The Yazidis are loosing their spiritual identity due to their exile from Iraq. They are being forced out of the country and it is slowly diluting the diversity in their religion as they are becoming more spread out and great cultural artifacts are lost. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:11 PM

I interesting story. It reminds me of all the unique small cultural groups mentioned in Strabo's Geography. Unfortunately as is the case o most small groups historically is they were either eradicated or assimilated. This group seems to have only a choice between those two and may not be able to preserve themselves. ISIS eradication or Western assimilation. It is unfortunate this is the historical cycle or that so soon after Saddam's fall they once again had to flee. Their culture/religion I do find odd though given it is a mixture of everything that has been in that region for over 2000 years and seems to only have identity because it has been rejected by every other group. To me it lacks identity in and of itself but that is a discussion for another time. Also geographically being a hill people they are disadvantaged because they have historically lower numbers (due to poor agriculture) in addition to the fact that most people who lived in the plains saw hill peoples as savages and uncivilized because they took longer to create settlements and often raided lowland peoples as well (history likes to rhyme sometimes). Overall the best solution for this situation geographically perhaps would be to give them an enclave in a mountainous portion of another country so they could retain their identity and be safe for the time being.

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Topography of Religion

Topography of Religion | Geography Education |

"The Pew survey sorts people into major groupings--Christians; other religions, including Jewish and Muslim; and 'unaffiliated,' which includes atheist, agnostic and 'nothing in particular.'  Roll your cursor over the map to see how faiths and traditions break down by state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a particularly useful interactive map with a lot of teaching applications.  It is a nice visual aid to process the religious data in the United States.  

Questions to Ponder: What patterns do you notice?  Are there religious regions that could be drawn based on this data?   What geographic factors have created the differences in the religious geographies of the United States?

Tags: culturereligion, Christianity, USA. regions, diffusion, mapping.

Ignacio Quintana's curator insight, December 1, 2014 6:56 PM

Even though this is just an info-graphic, this is very interesting. What we can see from this map is the spatial organization of religion specifically in the U.S. It's interesting to see how protestant makes up the majority (but apparently not according to the article above this from Haak's page) and how drastically these views can change from coast to coast, and state to state. What I find particularly interesting is that you can clearly find hearths of many of these religions, for example, Utah has an extremely out-numbering amount of Mormons. For obvious reasons that is, but still very educational to see the centers of many of the big religions in the United States.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 8:46 PM

Looking at the map, it looks like the Northeast is predominately Catholic while the further South you go along the Eastern coast, you find more Protestants, mostly Evangelical, especially in the from Confederate States. The Mid and Northwest seems to hold a healthy mix of all the Christian denominations while places in the Southwest have a higher Catholic percentage, my guess would be from immigration from Mexico. The one odd ball out in the Southwest is Utah with its 58% of Mormons.

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:04 PM

Different cultural religions and senses of place in America. This graph shows the diversity of religion around the united states as it varies from place to place. 

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Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban

Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban | Geography Education |

"The government's attempt to clamp down on religious expression has backfired among Uyghurs."

Seth Dixon's insight:

China has used various means to eliminate minority groups' cultural identity, and human rights groups argue that this ban on Ramadan is no different (children and government employees are banned from fasting, allegedly for health and safety concerns).  Ethnic Uyghurs speak a Turkic language are more culturally connected to Cental Asia than East Asia.  Predominantly Muslim, the Uyghurs are defying some of the more controversial laws that they feel single them out.   

Tagsethnicityconflict, politicalreligion, China.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:04 PM


Amanda Morgan's curator insight, December 16, 2014 3:58 PM

This article is inspiring in that it shows cultural minority groups defending their cultures and religions

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 4:19 PM

Chinese efforts to suppress religion and extremism in western China have had an opposite effect, with the people often disregarding laws and efforts against practicing Islam. Celebrating Ramadan and bringing children to a mosque are technically illegal, but it has pushed people to make an effort of involving their children. It is an effort to counter the Chinese push to wipe the regions traditions and culture away, but has created an effort by the people to pass on their culture. Even the law limiting children is widely ignored as it does not fit with the locals beliefs.

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The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split

The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split | Geography Education |
The division between Islam's Shiite minority and the Sunni majority is deepening across the Middle East. The split occurred soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, nearly 1,400 years ago.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The ghosts of religious wars past are rattling in Iraq; The geography of the Sunni-Shiite division is incredibly important for a good understanding of world regional geography as well as modern geopolitics. This NPR podcast examines the  historical and religious aspects of this split to then analyze the political and cultural implications in the Middle East today.  Additionally this Pew Research article highlights the 5 countries where the the majority of Muslims are Shiite, with some good demographic data to add to the analysis. 

Tags: MiddleEast, Islamreligionhistorical, culturepodcast.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:11 PM

The Islam-Sunni favors the father-in-law of Muhammad Abu Bakr and is strictly orthodox. The Islam-Shi'ite favors Muhammad's son-in-law Ali and it mostly practiced in Iran, southern Iraq and southern Lebanon. Sunni on the other hand is practiced throughout the northern part of Africa and throughout the whole middle east. In the middle east, 85% of the muslim population between Sunni and Shi'ite is Sunni and 15% practices Shia. Between Sunni and Shi'ite, Sunni appears to be the more popular and dominant Islamic religion.

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 31, 2015 5:04 PM

The middle east is a topic of discussion for people throughout America. I say the Middle East in a broad sense because there are a numerous amount of topics one could discuss in regards to the middle east. Politics, violence, terrorism, the faith of Islam in general, the list goes on. But it seems not many people go into the Sunni Shiite conflict in depth. In order to understand much of what goes on in the Middle East one needs to understand the two divisions between Islam, why they exist and what has been the history/significance of the relationship. I wonder sometimes if the people reporting the news realize what they are saying, whom the people/groups of people involved are, and what the significance of there being is. The video shown in class involving the two news reporters discussing/asking questions  about the Middle East with a scholar on the show definitely proved people are ignorant to the Middle East. They painted it with a "broad brush." If they can't even realize the vast size of Islam and the fact that they are generalizing when reporting terrorism thus linking the faith of Islam in general to it then I can only imagine what it would do to their heads to find out that there are two main divisions of Islam. It's bad when the people reporting the news don't understand the significance of what they are saying. It raises questions as to how the American people, whom are not well versed in the Middle East, interpret Islam and its people. Reading articles and listening to discussions would certainly help educate people and honestly this "scoop" was very clear in stating the origin, meaning, and significance of the two different divisions.  

I find the oil situation in the Middle East interesting to say the least. The Shiite's are the clear minority in Islam yet they control 80% of the Middle East's oil. It is crazy to think how the Safavid Dynasty set up shop in what is now Iran... In time Iran would prove to be rich in oil. Other parts of the middle east that are extremely rich in oil like southern Iraq, the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon are also Shiite. So in this case the minority has access to and controls an extreme amount of wealth. I'm sure there are people whom discuss the Middle East and oil yet don't know the religious aspects of the territory. Just through taking five minutes to read an article such as this an individual may form a different perception of Islam or specifically, in regards to this paragraph, oil in the Middle East. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:57 PM

having been to this part of the world and encountered obviously countless muslims and talking to several. i learned and witnessed first hand the hate that these people have for eachother, they are on such opposite sides of this religion and it is perplexing because it is the same religion and the debate is over such minor details of it (but judeism christianity and islam are all pretty much the same with minor differences arnt they?)

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Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of Mohammed

Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of Mohammed | Geography Education |

"Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed, who was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 570 AD. His birthday is marked in way ways is different Muslim countries."  

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great photo gallery, but I wanted to make a special note of this image.  The caption for this picture says, "Egyptians watch as Muslims march on the street to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed in Cairo, Jan 13, 2014."  Is this a representative group of Egyptians?  What demographic group would we expect to see in the second story balcony?  What does the architecture tell us about the cultural norms of the society?

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 2:50 PM

Muslims rejoice, celebrate and honor Mohammed around the world on his birthday. These photos not only represent the celebrations of Mohammed but mark his lasting legacy and influence as an Islamic Prophet.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 2014 2:53 PM

It is nice to see a depiction of the celebrations and happiness of Muslims instead of just violence by radicals. Muslims are frequently misrepresented by the heavy news coverage of the tiny amount of evildoers. It would be like depicting all of the US as Klan members.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 4, 2014 1:52 PM

Women and Men in some Islamic countries live entirely different lives in regards to their geographic spheres. The women dominate the private sphere, they are sheltered from the public sphere. Their architecture reflects that fact. Windows and balconies are constructed so people can see out but not see in from the street. Homes are built so the houses across from one another are not lined up with the front doors directly across from one another. Streets are winding and made so the homes are extremely private. This reflects society in regards to how people view gender. Females are kept out of the public sphere and when they do venture out into the streets, they are encouraged to have a male escorting them. This image above shows the balcony as a barrier keeping females "protected" from the public sphere.

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Cultural Syncretism

Cultural Syncretism | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities?  Try this).  This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before.  This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new.  Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.

Tags: language, culture, the South, APHG, religion, landscape.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:01 AM


Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 2014 11:02 PM

This was taken in Memphis, TN. I liked how it mixes the religion with the surrounding culture and dialect, really interesting and shows that people can have the same religion and different backgrounds.