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Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In northern Saudi Arabia near Jordan, oil resources are sparse and so is surface water.  Water might just be the more important liquid natural resource, especially for sustaining a population.  There are underground water reserves that are stored in aquifers, layers of rock that hold water.  The water that collects in aquifers may take many years to replenish so this practice is sometimes referred to as water mining.  

   

Question to ponder: If Saudi Arabia is rich enough to buy their own food and they are at a competitive disadvantage for food production, why would they invest so much money on farming marginal lands? 


Tags: food, agriculture, waterMiddle East, Saudi Arabia, unit 5 agriculture

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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 6:51 PM

These satellite images provide some interesting perspective about the scarcity of water in Saudi Arabia. Due to rainfall totaling only about one inch a year, Saudi Arabia has been forced to drill for water trapped beneath the desert sand in order to sustain agriculture and life. The progression of the images shows that this water drilling has clearly done some good for Saudi Arabia in terms of green space, but scientists estimate that pumping water will only be a viable option for another 50 years or so, at which point, Saudi Arabia will be forced to explore other options for finding water. 

 

It is safe to say that many other countries around the world do not share the problem of finding water that Saudi Arabia does (though climate change has surely led to increased droughts in recent years).It puts into perspective, then, the universal struggle of the search for natural resources. In countries where water is in abundant supply, people are generally more concerned with securing oil or other means of energy creation. In a place like Saudi Arabia, however, which is incredibly rich in oil, people don't worry about energy, but about water. It just goes to show that we often don't appreciate what we have until it is put into perspective just how difficult it is for people who don't have what we do. Like the U.S. or China must do for oil and other energy resources, Saudi Arabia must find a viable option for securing water before it is too late. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:27 PM

Saudi Arabia is a very rich in drilling industry for oil. However many of these fields are green are popping up all over the place as drilling is occuring. Why is this? Well much of the drilling releases water that is trapped within the rocks. This water then flows to the surface where it creates a underground water puddle that keeps the soils moist which in turn allows for greens and other plants to grow. This is more commonly known as water drilling.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:08 PM
These random fields of green are coming from the rocks that still have water that is trapped inside them from the last ice age. Saudi Arabia reaches these underground rivers and lakes by drilling through the desert floor, directly irrigating the fields with a circular sprinkler system. This technique is called center-pivot irrigation. Because of low rainfall, they get minimum water each year. Hydrologists estimate water will only be able to be pumped out for 50 years. With water popping up fields of green, a new agricultural economy will appear, maybe farming life and new resources that the country never had for their people, they will now have.
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A Layman's Geography Guide to the Most Confusing Region Of the World: Iran

A Layman's Geography Guide to the Most Confusing Region Of the World: Iran | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Iran's geography plays heavily in the foreign affairs issues it is a part of, and the policies it makes.
Seth Dixon's insight:

"Iran sits smack in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions on Earth. Much of its western flank is bordered by either Iraq or the Persian Gulf, and it has considerable control over one of the world’s most important waterways for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz." 


Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should know beyond the three main facts that that most Americans are aware of (Iran has an Islamic-based government, an emerging nuclear program and a ton of oil).  This article is a good starting point. 


Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.

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Pop culture in the Arab world

TED Talks At TEDGlobal University, Shereen El Feki shows how some Arab cultures are borrowing trademarks of Western pop culture -- music videos, comics, even Barbie -- and adding a culturally appropriate twist.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED talk cleverly discusses the cultural processes of globalization by examining two examples from the Islamic world.  The examples of the TV station 4Shbab and the comic book series The 99 show that all global cultural interactions don’t have to result in a homogenous “melting pot.”  Local cultural forces can tap into the powers of globalized culture that can create dynamic local cultures that are both intensely local and global. 


Questions to Ponder: What does the speaker mean when she by refers to cultural interactions as a mesh (as a opposed to a clash or mash) of civilizations?  What other examples of cultural meshes can you see that show these processes? 


Tags: TED, religion, culture, Islam, globalization, popular culture, unit 3 culture.

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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 11:23 AM

I don't think popular culture and folk culture interact very well. They believe in completely different things and live different types of lives according to their values. The speaker means that the cultural interaction is intertwined together because of the islamic people who have borrowed cultural ideas from other ancient and modern civilizations and adapted it to their own. That's why it's meshed as a opposed to clashing or mash. For example, the music video channel that's like MTV. I think it's kind of funny how they made the people in that music video, that's from the USA, look like we also worship Allah. Also, the comic books show religious values in it, especially since the characters come from it. They want young people to not get sucked in to the outside world or modern culture from different societies, so instead they want to incorporate their religion with our ideas of culture.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 5, 2014 8:22 PM

unit 3

Jamey Kahl's curator insight, March 27, 2016 11:09 PM

This TED talk cleverly discusses the cultural processes of globalization by examining two examples from the Islamic world.  The examples of the TV station 4Shbab and the comic book series The 99 show that all global cultural interactions don’t have to result in a homogenous “melting pot.”  Local cultural forces can tap into the powers of globalized culture that can create dynamic local cultures that are both intensely local and global. 


Questions to Ponder: What does the speaker mean when she by refers to cultural interactions as a mesh (as a opposed to a clash or mash) of civilizations?  What other examples of cultural meshes can you see that show these processes? 


Tags: TED, religion, culture, Islam, globalization, popular culture, unit 3 culture.

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The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil

The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil | Geography Education | Scoop.it
CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics.  What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising.  This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity."  This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.  


Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future?  How does this make us re-assess these economies?  Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?

 

Tags: energy, resources, Middle East, development.

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Seth Dixon's comment, December 12, 2012 3:07 PM
In essence, this is measuring "how many miles per gallon" your economy is getting.
geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 4:37 AM
Seth Dixon, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics.  What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising.  This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity."  This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future?  How does this make us re-assess these economies?  Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?"

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2014 1:49 PM

Many people are well-aware of the Middle East's important part in the world oil market, but many fail to realize that this region consumes more oil than any other. Government subsidized oil prices combined with a rising economy spurring increased population growth and development makes parts of this region thirsty for petroleum. Cars are becoming more popular and as areas develop, electricity is being produced by the direct burning of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia continue producing massive amounts of oil. This natural resource is what is going to shape this region in the upcoming years, providing major economic development that may trickle down to the people. 

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The Next Step in the Islamic Wave

The Next Step in the Islamic Wave | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining power in several countries since the Arab Spring. The rise of Islamist power in the Middle East is culturally and politically complex.  This interactive lets the user click on selected countries to see how groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas are impacting them politically. 


Tags: Middle East, religion, Islam, political.

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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 4, 2014 3:03 PM

The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes.
www.qurancoaching.com

Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 12, 2014 2:13 PM

The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes.
http://goo.gl/st4aLZ
Like/Share/Comment.
#quran #onlineQuran #islam #Tajweed

Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 27, 2014 1:34 PM
The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes. http://goo.gl/st4aLZ Like/Share/Comment. #quran #onlineQuran #islam #Tajweed
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Israel and Palestine

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:40 PM

From 1946 to 2000, Palestine (Islamic individuals) have been at war with Israel (Jewish individuals) over land in Israel/Palestine. In 1946, Palestine took over most of Israel but throughout the decades up until 2000, Israel slowly won over almost every piece of Israel and now, Palestine barely has any land in Israel. From 1949 to 1967, Palestine took over a specific area of Israel known as the West Bank and another small part of Israel known as Gaza. There was a lot of war going on between Israel and Palestine because Israel discriminated against non-Jews. Palestinians became refugees but that didn't stop Israel from fighting to take over Palestinian land.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 30, 2015 1:03 AM

The video was informative, but bias. I have a stronger understanding of how Israel is exploiting, how the borders were re-drawn, and how the make up of the original border mattered. However, the author gave me these facts in a very pro-Palestinian manner. The narrator sees the Palatines as refugees instead of the Jews, who as the narrator said, were "refugees living where people already lived." This similar identity clearly resonated with the narrator who almost 2 minutes of the video speaking about how the treatment of the new refugees was wrong. While a fair amount of the rest of the video advocated a solution to help Palestinian, hence the negative portrayals of the United States backed peace talks.  

 

What was missing from this video was Israeli's story. The Jewish community had become a large force within Palestinian, but was not being aptly recognized. In fact, the Palestinian's prior to the UN offer weren't treating the Jews fair. When this offer came along, it was the Palestinian's who started the fight, a point that was down played in this video as the narrator rushed to point the finger at Israeli's wrong doings. Yet, another portrayal of this conflict mentioned in class, showed the Israeli's feel threatened because they are a minority surrounded by enemies within the region. All of this information means that the Palestinian's and other neighbors play more of a negative hand in the land dispute than what the narrator says.    

 

To be honest, I don't know enough about either side to really say who I support. However, from what I gather, neither side is a bushel of roses. As learned in class their were a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that caused the fighting and their is still a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that factor into the fighting today. Thus, the bias of this video acts as a reminder that a person looking to understand a heated conflict, such as this one between neighbors, must view the information with causation. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:30 PM

first off, this video is very pro isrelis which must be kept in mind. also i dont know what the palestinians and surrounding countries expected. the jews had nowhere to go and were sent there by england. where else where they to go? instead of accepting this the palestinians started to attack them and when they lost they wanted to come back and live there, of course the jews were not going to let them back in. neither side is completely right or wrong but i can see the jewish side more than the palestinians.

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Sahel food crisis

Sahel food crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The hunger crisis in the Sahel region of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad has been deepening since the start of this year.


The Sahel is a classic transition zone--a border that is not a sharp division, but a gradual shift from one region to the next.  This area has environmentally marginal lands, but is as population pressures continue, marginal lands need to sustain more people. 

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 3:25 PM

With an ongoing hunger crisis in the Sahel, areas such as Chad, Niger and Mali find it hard to make ends meet. These areas in the Sahel are not having the best of luck with their crops this year. Areas suffer from infestation of locusts, drought, and high food prices. Over 13 million people are affected and could suffer from hunger.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 2:41 PM

This map presents the struggles being faced by those living in the Sahel region during their major food crisis. The Sahel region is a transition zone separating Northern Africa from Central and Southern Africa by a dry, harsh landscape. Besides acting as just a physical divide, it also divides the Arabic and Islamic northern region from the southern and central regions and their differing religions and languages. While the Sahel region is historically very dry, droughts have become more and more common. The people living in the Sahel can no longer depend on the land for food and have turned to aid in order to stay alive. As an area of increased desertification, many are worried that climate change will make this region unlivable, thus uprooting different peoples and causing strife in other regions. 

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:44 PM

The Sahel is a region that lies basically in the middle of Africa and extend from West to East. It represents the boarder between the desert and the savannah. Having a semi-arid climate this region is not the most ideal place for living conditions. This comes in part because Africa is so large that the transport of goods and travel is almost impossible without the use of motor vehicles and access to the coast. Taking this into account one might predict severe hunger in areas of the Sahel, especially those that lie in the middle. As the population continues to rise, the shortage of food continues to take a toll on the local communities. Aside from food, proper healthcare is also needed to prevent lethal diseases from spreading

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Israel - Gaza conflict

Israel - Gaza conflict | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.


"Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets."  This photo essay shows 34 powerful images that are emerging from this deadly conflict.  If students need some background to understand who are the major players in this conflict, this glossary should be helpful

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Wen Shi's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:17 AM

I was so shocked while reading this ariticle and seeing those pictures. The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is something that is deeply rooted in the history of the two nations. And the war, resulted by this conflict, has taken away many people's lives. The 2 countries's people are suffering. Many kids are just at our ages, they could not get education or anything else that we take for granted here, even had to bear the pain of losing relatives and homes. I could never imagine how sad and disastrous wars can be. :(

Hossan Epiques Novelle's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:58 AM

The two countries should take the chance to resolve the conflict amicably before the situation tips over and war is inevitable. The loss of lives resulting from the war would be pointless.

Zhiyang Liang's curator insight, July 13, 2014 12:02 PM

In my perspective, why does people will have a thought of eliminating prejudice is that prejudice can lead to unfair treatment or the violation of rights of individuals or groups of people just like the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

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The Conflict in Syria

The Conflict in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Brown University's Choices Program has many excellent resources for social studies teachers including "Teaching with the News."  Many teachers are seeing the importance of Syria, but might lack the regional expertise to put it in context or to the time to link it with the curriculum.  If that is the case (and even if it is not), this is the perfect place to find lesson plans on the ongoing Syrian conflict. 


Tags: political, MiddleEast, conflict, war.

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The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

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


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


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

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

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

Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:35 AM

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

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:19 PM

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

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The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine

The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability.  While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.   


Questions to Ponder:  How is this a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?

 

Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.

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Melissa Burr's comment, October 10, 2012 10:13 AM
This map is persuasive because it does not show the usual Palestine. This map is fragmented and the geographic impacts it shows are the routes taken in at leisure for maritime activity and also shows the urban and popluated areas in the past and how how the sraelites impact those areas.
Matthew Jones's comment, October 10, 2012 10:16 AM
The reason this is a persuasive map in my opinion is that this map does a very good job of allowing the reader to understand the focus in which it intends to present. information key which it offers is crucial to the map b/ it help the reader better understand and analyze this map in its entirety. as far As the second question unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable as far as the impact his map as on palestiine or isreal.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 10, 2012 11:24 AM
This map is unique and not typical. The way that Palestine's land is severed and each transportation access point is clearly shown and highlighted, makes this map's data very persuasive and impactful. This map examines the Israelis' control of the land.
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On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories

On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political

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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:32 AM

A relatively grim reminder that even things as clear-cut as road systems can be inherently political. This system forces segregation by the law of which roads can be driven on, but it's a good jumping point to remember that even the placement of roads can exclude or include communities. I'm reminded of the proposed idea for a NAFTA superhighway running through Mexico, Canada, and the US. One of the criticisms was that the highway would not provide exits for anywhere but major economics centers, effectively cutting off small towns from the rest of the area.

Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:04 PM

Area/Geography: This is a diagram of what Israel is like for Palestinians and Israelis. It shows extremely restricted access for Palestinians. Whereas Israelis have all of the roads. This diagram fairly falls under the Area/Geography category because of the fact of how the Israeli government is manipulating the area/geography of the land of Israel to suit their best interest. 

Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

Here one can see the political territoriality among Israel. For example in this article webpage we saw that people with Palestinian license plates can not drive on Israeli roads. This is one of the many instances where people are segregated according to their beliefs. 

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Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt

Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Protesters upset over an American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Libya, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo.


The idea of anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East and Northa Africa on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 was initially quite shocking. As always, a greater understanding of the cultural context and timing helps explain (not necessarily justify) the situation. The video produced by "Sam Bacile" that has sparked the controversy is truly reprehensible and as cultural insensitive as it gets. Still, the protests, by blindly lashing out at the United States embassy, only exacerbate the cultural problems. 

UPDATE: This public gathering of Libyan's in Benghazi to apologize for the death of Chris Stevens is quite poignant.  


Questions to Ponder: How does one single YouTube video impact geopolitics?  Culturally speaking, what makes this such a powerfully charged issue?  Will this issue become fodder for the election? 


Tags: MiddleEast, political, culture, Islam, religion.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 17, 2013 5:03 PM

Protestors were upset over an American made video denouncing Islam and attacked the United States Consulate in Libya and demonstrators stromed over walls of the United States Embassy in Cario. The video was insensitive and sparked anger throughout many. With the way the internet reaches and how social media works many more people in far reach areas are able to view these videos and create problems like this.

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

On the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th in the United States, anti-U.S. protestors attacked Benghazi due to their anger toward an American-made YouTube video that denounced Islam.  It is amazing to see the impact that one single Internet creation can have.  It shows the power that particular media and social outlets such as YouTube and Facebook have.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:18 PM

I remember reading about this, and I had hoped at the time that tensions between the US and much of the Islamic world might have improved by now. However, that has sadly not been the case; violence in Iraq and Syria have continued to breed bad blood between the West and North Africa. The attack in Benghazi helped to give conservative groups the necessary ammunition to continue their attacks on Islam and certainly did not help public perception of the faith, breeding further hatred within our own country. Although many Libyans congregated to apologize for the violence, the region has not stabilized and anti-US sentiments are still rampant in pockets, much like they are throughout the region. The legacy of this attack has had serious ramifications for US-Muslim relations, and I can only hope that the situation does indeed change in the next 3 years, much like I had hoped they would within the previous 3.

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NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.


"[This] data show an alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India," said Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of the study and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine. "The rate was especially striking after the 2007 drought. Meanwhile, demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management because of different interpretations of international laws."


Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a perfect example of geospatial technologies can lead to a better understanding of how the Earth's physical systems are changing because of human geography.  Teaching geography is about showing how these systems are interconnected.   

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 9:24 AM

Water is a big issue in an arid area.  The fact that we can measure the amount of groundwater present in an area with a satellite is amazing to me.  The issue of water rights and control in this region will someday over take that of oil rights and use in my opinion.  Once people get used to free flowing water to use on demand it will cause problems politically when these sources of ground water inevitably dry up.

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Refugees from Syria

Refugees from Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict and crossed the borders hasn't ceased to increase.
Seth Dixon's insight:

UNICEF workers have stated: "More than 600,000 have fled the conflict in Syria and registered as refugees. The number of Syrians who have left without registering is unknown but is likely to be hundreds of thousands. We do know, however, that children make up around half the number of refugees and that is certainly no way for any child to live their childhood."


Tags: Syria, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

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Kyle Kampe's curator insight, October 30, 2013 5:16 PM

The ongoing military conflicts in Syria have caused a significant refugee problem. Refugees are evacuating Syria and entering its geographically close neighbors, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt.

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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit
Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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


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

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:10 PM

what i find interesting about this is that both syria and turkey are trying to remove the kurds from their countries. neither country will allow more kurds to immigrate into their land, but both are encouraging them to leave and go fight in the other country. the kurds seem to not care which country they live in as long as they are all together but no country wants them.

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Geography Education | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.


This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 


Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping

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U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid

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


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

 

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

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

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

James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 10:17 AM

(Africa topic 3)

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

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:24 PM

the only reason i can see for not including paslestine is that they do not have defined country boarders. this would make it difficult for them to be included in decisions made by the U.N. once they have established boarders (something they need to work out with israel and the U.N.) i can not see any reason to not include them. conversely, if they are included in the U.N. then it seems that it would only help to resolve the issue since they would both seemingly be more linked together in a positive way.

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Human Conflict Seen From Space

Human Conflict Seen From Space | Geography Education | Scoop.it

I'll let Douglas Keeney's own words and this image speak for themselves: "The geography of human conflict as seen from space at night. The Strait of Hormuz as seen at night from the space station is a beautiful lesson in the geography of conflict. How much we learn by simply tracing the fingers of human populations as seen superimposed over the geography of Earth. Enjoy." 

-From Lights of Mankind: Earth at Night From Space


What would a picture look like from a drone's perspective?  Where are these places that are being targeted?  This Instagram account is incredibly thought-provoking and informative.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, January 29, 2015 12:02 AM

Most likely, these lights represent urban areas which contains a higher population. As we can see in this photo, one territory stands out more not because of it's lights, but because we know that it is a higher population. Also we see urban areas that "never sleeps." What I mean by "never sleeps" is that the city functions late at night and still has people explore it 24/7.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:56 AM

The view from space is always life changing. The image underscores the conflict taking place in the region. Only from the sky, can use see the vastness of the conflict taking place. Television and film cameras can only capture so much of a war. Looking down from the sky gives us a better view of the overall devastation taking place. The Middle East is truly on fire.

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Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

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

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Gaza-Israel crisis 2012: every verified incident mapped

Gaza-Israel crisis 2012: every verified incident mapped | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This map shows each verified incident of violence in Gaza and Israel since last week's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari.  Geospatial technologies combined with social media are changing how we learn about (and wage) wars. 

 

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What is in a Name?

What is in a Name? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: Middle East, political, states, perspective, unit 4 political.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 10:07 AM

(Africa topic 2)

Asking what lies within a name is more of a subjective question than it is objective. Yes, all names have some sort of meaning or origin behind them, but it isn't always relevant. I doubt that my friends really ever wonder why my last name is Hobson; they just use it to refer to and identify me. On the other hand, a genealogist might take great interest. Similarly, it seems as if the dispute of regional names, such as Israel and Palestine, has a similar contradiction: some just want to refer to the region in the easiest, most familiar way possible, while others take it directly to heart. Perhaps more of a distinction should be made between physical and political naming conventions. An example would be classifying Israel and Palestine to both be in the physical region of Palestine, whereas certain areas (which are still being debated) should be referred to as Israel when speaking politically.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 2:56 AM

While this comic is clearly done in jest it really highlights the importance a name holds to people. Their are some issues which heavily divide people, in this case the tensions between Israel and Palestine and lead to the formation of very strong opinions. With these opinions come the aspect of properly assigning a title to them. In some cases the same thing is known by many names and is highly contested.  

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Archeology from Space

TED Talks In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archeology" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.


The uses of geospatial technologies is NOT limited to studying geography, but it is the bedrock of many research projects that involve spatial thinking (as demonstrated in this TED talk).  Geographic principles and geographers can be very important  members of interdisciplinary teams.


Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, TED, MiddleEast, historical

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Joshua Lefkowitz's curator insight, January 15, 2014 11:13 PM

This sounds really intruging to me; I have heard of astroarchiology before in the aplication of finding undiscovered large objects (cities, towns sttlements) by using satellites to map deviations in teh earths surface accurately enough to distingush structures like a building foundation. I just find this sort of thing fascinating. I am still in awe that this dort of thing is possible.

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An Annotated Map of Today's Protests and of the 'Muslim World'

An Annotated Map of Today's Protests and of the 'Muslim World' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.

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Martin Daumiller's comment, September 16, 2012 2:53 AM
The map is slightly poor. 100% and more world muslim population? There is a great mix-up between muslims living in a country and percentage of muslims living in a country, therefore turning the U.S., Russia, etc. also into the discussion.
Also there is a distinction between not-protesting and not supporting the protests, which should influence the authers comparision of different mentalities.
The main idea against stereotypes and generalization is a very worthy one, but the way is article shows it is flawed.
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Welcome To The New Middle East

Welcome To The New Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The violent protests at U.S. embassies this week seemed to catch the new Middle East governments flat-footed. So are these attacks an aberration on the rocky road of nation building, or a harbinger of a region moving toward greater chaos?


This nicely puts the political instability of North Africa in context to understand the recent attack on U.S. embassies.


Tags: MiddleEast, political, states.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 6:33 PM
Although change is continuous we must remember that it does not occur instantaneously. The Arab Spring and the removal of many autocratic governments has created in many of these countries a power gap that the new governments are trying to fill among other local competing factions. Before we judge the New Middle East we must take into account that these actions were done by individuals in the response to a video uploaded by an individual. Should the worth of a nation be measured by the acts of a few people? Likewise the anti-Islamic video that went viral stuck at the heart of Middle Eastern beliefs and it should not be surprising that it was not well received by Muslims. Remember the public outcry in the US over the “victory” Mosque in New York? Multiply that feeling by a factor of 10 and we might understand how many Muslims felt about this video.