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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Geography Education | Scoop.it
There are major hurdles in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestine.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed peace talks in Washington in July for the first time in three years. While the talks are initially expected to focus on procedural issues, they are already beginning to take on a last-ditch quality. Explore some of the contentious issues that negotiators have faced in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This five-part video report from the New York Times is from 2011, but still has some pertinent information, even if the situation has changed in some of the particulars.  These videos brings important voices from a variety of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; together they all  show how a complex cultural and political geography leads to many of the difficulties in creating a long-lasting peace.  The discipline of geography doesn't simple study the peace process--it is a part of it.  The creation of borders and the cartographic process play a critical role in solving territorial issues.  Geography can be both the problem and the solution. 


Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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sriddle geo's curator insight, July 17, 8:48 PM

Found this article and the videos to be very interesting after the conversation we had earlier in the week in class.

Mr. David Burton's curator insight, July 17, 10:49 PM

Thoughts from my friend Seth...

 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This five-part video report from the New York Times is from 2011, but still has some pertinent information, even if the situation has changed in some of the particulars.  These videos brings important voices from a variety of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; together they all  show how a complex cultural and political geography leads to many of the difficulties in creating a long-lasting peace.  The discipline of geography doesn't simple study the peace process--it is a part of it.  The creation of borders and the cartographic process play a critical role in solving territorial issues.  Geography can be both the problem and the solution.

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The tragedy of the Arabs

The tragedy of the Arabs | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A THOUSAND years ago, the great cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo took turns to race ahead of the Western world. Islam and innovation were twins. The various Arab caliphates were dynamic superpowers—beacons of learning, tolerance and trade. Yet today the Arabs are in a wretched state. Even as Asia, Latin America and Africa advance, the Middle East is held back by despotism and convulsed by war.  

Pluralism, education, open markets: these were once Arab values and they could be so again. Today, as Sunnis and Shias tear out each others’ throats in Iraq and Syria and a former general settles onto his new throne in Egypt, they are tragically distant prospects. But for a people for whom so much has gone so wrong, such values still make up a vision of a better future."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While the title of the article is more inflammatory than I would prefer, the analysis in this article from the Economist does a good job linking the cultural, economic and political struggles in the Middle East.


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

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 6, 1:44 PM

Another great article by Seth Dixon

 

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The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split

The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.


The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 12, 9:18 PM

These folks are no good.

 

They're as dangerous, mean-spirited, and delusional as the conservatives of our own society.

 

Motivated by religious fervor (doesn't matter which one it is), and an authoritarian desire to impose their vision of how a perfect society ought to be, these people ought to be put into mental health clinics and given actual treatment for being dangers to themselves and dangers to others.

 

We, the United States, cannot, and should not, do anything to stop ISIS initially.  We should let them take over, let their brutality lead to popular insurgency against them.

THEN, we ask the people of the region, collectively, whether or not they want our assistance in removing ISIS from control and influence in their society.  We want them to be turning these folks in, to be reporting those who are seeking to join these conservative movements to authorities.  Then, we can advise the authorities to treat the incoming prisoner like the mentally ill and psychologically disturbed/traumatized individuals that they seem to be.

 

We need a mandate and a request from the people living in their SOCIETIES, before we can go in and fight (if we're going to do such a thing, given our current state of war weariness and spent accounts).  We should not be taking direction just from their governments, and we shouldn't read their governments' requests as the need and will of their general public.

 

When fighting these kinds of conflicts, it's of the utmost importance that you maintain popular legitimacy and the mandate from the people to use force against what would otherwise be a persistent and deep-seated problem.  These conservatives can only be removed from the social scene when the public wants them to be removed AND, you must be as kind, benevolent, and effective as possible at handling the people afterward.  No impositions, no expectations; just let them lead their lives on their own, once you help them remove a tumor from their society that they want to have removed.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

 

Think about it.

sledderwool's comment, June 13, 1:26 AM
Thats brilliant...
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Qatar government admits almost 1,000 fatalities among migrant workers

Qatar government admits almost 1,000 fatalities among migrant workers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Report details deaths of 964 workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh from cardiac arrests, falls and suicide
Seth Dixon's insight:

Qatar's population pyramid has a very distinct shape that you will only find in places with high migrant worker populations.  This type of demographic influx is now common in oil-rich gulf states as the forces of globalization draw in pools of labor so countries like Qatar can now 'import' the low-wage workers needed to keep their economy rolling.  The economic, cultural and political power imbalance  between the classes leads to many migrant workers being exploited, leading to the social problems listed in this article.     


Tags: Middle East, Qatar, globalization, migration, economic, labor.

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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, May 17, 7:05 AM

Qatar's high migrant population is a result of its oil reserves and need for labor. 

 

Population pyramid unique to a nation with large migrant worker population http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Qatar_population_pyramid_%282005%29.jpg

Jordan Schemmel's curator insight, May 21, 1:03 PM

Do migrant workers have the same rights as native workers? This continuing set of issues from Qatar brings that question to the forefront as they prepare to host the 2022 World Cup.

Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 28, 7:05 PM

Migrant workers often represent the minority group in a particular country, such as Qatar (in this example). As such, migrant workers often have little rights or worker securities that most often accompany other workers and protect their rights; however, with the current immigrant explosion in Qatar as a result of the booming oil industry, it is easy for these migrant workers to be exploited and unaccounted for. 

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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 | Scoop.it
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.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 10:40 AM

Religion is a widely popular theme throughout the world. People participate in thousands of different religions and who know Islam could become the second largest in the world?

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 1:29 PM

The Muslim world is very misunderstood, especially in the United States.  When someone hears "Muslim" they might immediately think of Arabs in the Middle East.  However, Muslims are spread throughout the world and Islam is practiced by many types of ethnic groups (not all Arabs are Muslim either!)

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:09 PM

Islam is a huge widespread religion. There is no surprise that it could ever become so large. The majority of Islamic followers is in the Asia-Pacific part of the world where that is no shocker either.

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Rare snow storm hits Middle East

Rare snow storm hits Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A rare snow storm hit the Middle East last week, producing record snows and extreme conditions for Syrian refugees.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Jerusalem recorded 15-20 inched of snow, while Cairo received it's first snow in 112 years.  Just because something is rare or unlikely doesn't mean that it can't happen.  See this snowstorm as documented by satellite imagery.     

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2:59 PM

When snow hits the Middle East, Syrians are affected in different ways. Refugees fight the bitter cold outdoors. The Middle East is not used to snow. Areas are forced to go into shut down because they do not have the tools or skills to battle this rare weather. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 2:33 PM

So strange to see an area that I think of as the desert covered in snow. They all seemed to be enjoying it though. Is this a side effect of global warming?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:16 PM

I live in New England, so there isn't much to say about an oddball snowstorm. Yes, its weird that it happened randomly in Syria but the fact is that mother nature can surprise us more often than not.

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Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Students will:

  • Analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Syria.
  • Consider the role of the U.S. public, the president, and Congress in the decision of whether to use military force.
  • Work cooperatively within groups to integrate the arguments and beliefs of the options into a persuasive, coherent presentation.
  • Explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.
Seth Dixon's insight:

You want resources for teaching the most important geopolitical issue right now?  This set of resources from the Choices Program is just what you are looking for. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political.

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Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric

Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Iran's annual al-Quds - or Jerusalem - Day, denouncing Israel, is as much an expression of policy as ritual, writes BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Iranian government officially holds a 'Jerusalem Day' every year to spout anti-Israeli rhetoric.  I want that to be the dropback for this TED talk where Israelis and Iranians share pictures of tolerance, respect and love for each other on social media.   


Questions to Ponder: How can your country of origin shape your cultural perspective on other societies and reaffirm a national identity?  In what ways can individuals resist and subvert the official state-sanctioned narrative?  How is social media changing grass roots geopolitics?


Tags: Iran, Israelsocial media, political, Middle East.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 12:43 PM

This article describes Iran's "Jerusalem Day," a day in which people gather in the streets to voice their denial and hatred of the nation of Israel. The day has become a tradition and politicians make sound byte laden speeches to rally support.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 8:39 PM

The people of Iran gather to celebrate Jerusalem Day. Each year millions of people come together to express their hatred towards Israel and support towards Palestinians. They rally and some people including politicians give speeches. Speeches by President Ahmadinejad even included the denial of the holocaust.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:19 PM

This day is pro-Palestinian and is a must-go-to event for politicians. Any politician that wants to be heard or even listened to in the future must make their way to this parade of protests and Iranian rituals.

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Using Humor to Learn

Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes to the TEDxSummit stage in Doha, Qatar to take on serious issues in the Middle East -- like how many kisses to give when saying “Hi,” and what not to say on an American airplane.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This comedian doesn't just get laughs; he uses stand-up as a platform for discussing important social issues and to foster greater cultural understanding.  His big goal is to break stereotypical perspectives of Muslims and show that "there are good people everywhere."  Here is another of his entertaining and educational TED talks.  


Tags: Middle East, TEDglobalization, culture, Islam.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:18 AM

This comedian sure does his best job at showing that the Middle East is not the chaotic war zone we see on American television every day, and what a better place to do it in than Qatar, a place where he would have a very diverse audience.  He made light of each race in the audience, drawing laughs instead of slander. He made jokes about Lebanese, Qataris, Saudis, and Iranians, amongst others.  This really broke many of the stereotypes that exist about people of Middle Eastern descent in our society. Instead of seeing them protesting or fighting amongst themselves, we see them enjoying each other’s company just as every race in America does every day.  

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 14, 11:45 AM

This comedian is very funny and he is right middle easterners are not seen t be funny in western media.  It is important to see that everyone like to laugh and that we are all the same.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:20 PM

This is actual comical. Learning can be boring to some people while learning in fun ways can be awesome. He uses funny ways of telling people what to do and not to do and it works for the crowd.

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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting article and the concepts in it were recently echoed by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times; some seem the linkages that he is making between population growth and drought with war and conflict as being environmentally deterministic while others think that it is appropriately taking the geographic factors into consideration.  Conflicts over water can erupt, but how much of the conflict can be attributed these factors?  What do you think? 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, water, environment,

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Syrian refugees update 2013

Syrian refugees update 2013 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily.  Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

These 37 images are excellent, but I chose to share this particular one, because the combination of poverty and happiness embody the purpose behind refugee camps.  While the living conditions are grim and far from ideal, they are better than the alternative for these refugees and the assistance that they are receiving from the international community can be a ray of hope for the future of these children.  In this picture, Syrian refugee children play in Sidon, located in southern Lebanon. 


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

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MAANDO_PROTOTYPE's curator insight, March 13, 6:19 PM

http://syria-freedom-2014.tumblr.com/
FREEDOM GRAFFiTi WEEK Syria ... MAANDO...PROTOTYPE
#Syria #MAANDO #PROTOTYPE #SYRIAN

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 3:13 PM

Conflicts in Syria have led almost 4 million refugees to displace to Jordan. Refugee camps have been set up to aid these families the best ways possible. although conditions are still tough, they are much safer than in Syria. These photos embrace the combinations of struggle and joy. Children cry and children play. Families create homes within the tents and make due with what they have.

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Crisis Guide: Iran

Crisis Guide: Iran | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Iran poses steep challenges to its Middle East neighbors and the world. Explore the country's complex regime structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts debate the range of policy options."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Iran is in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions. One the bordered with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Iran is stratgeically positioned to have considerable control over the world’s most important waterway for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz.


Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should more about than the three main facts that that most Americans are already aware of (1-Iran has an Islamic-based government, 2-an emerging nuclear program and 3-a ton of oil).  This interactive feature is a good starting point with great videos, timelines, maps, articles that assess the current situation in Iran. 


Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 22, 2013 12:35 AM

This is an amzing resource to use and find out much about this country, both its past and present.  With this you can understand their feeling of hatred toward the US with its support of the Shah.  This is a relationship that the US needs to repair, but both sides need to work on this.  This are is so important to the US and the world given Iran's geographic location right on the Persian Gulf, whcih they can cut off and controll the oil flowing from that area, plus the oil they control, plus bordering several crucial US and NATO allies.  It only seems in everyone's best interest to sit down and talk.  Given the support Iran gives to many terrorists organization and it's longstanding position that Israel does not have the right the right to exist, this idea of sitting down and talking may be a fantasy.  However, with the new elections and the new President of Iran speaking at the UN there may be renewed hope of at least a start. 

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Gendered Cultural Narratives

Gendered Cultural Narratives | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As a Muslim woman who chooses to wear hijab,I'd like to apologize for this poster, to my non-hijab wearing cohorts. http://pic.twitter.com/IoLfDPEGx7

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.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, July 16, 10:18 AM

unit 3 and 6 Why is this viewed as inflammatory by some?

Nancy Watson's curator insight, July 25, 10:07 AM

Interesting discussion

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Would Turkey accept a Kurdish state?

Would Turkey accept a Kurdish state? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
As the likelihood of an independent Kurdish state on Turkey’s eastern border grows, Ankara is losing its historical resistance to the idea.


Developments in Iraq have left Turkey facing the prospect of an independent Kurdish state on its eastern border. Such an idea would have been abhorrent for Turkey a mere decade ago for fear that its existence would incite separation among its own restive Kurds. The standard Turkish narrative at the time was that an independent Kurdistan was a Western project aimed at destroying Turkey, an age-old ambition. Even the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was viewed in this context by many. The picture is no longer so black and white.

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Iraq's Current Devolution

"A radical fringe Islamic group names ISIS is fighting to establish a extremist Islamic state in Iraq and Syria...and beyond. They control eastern Syria, western Iraq, just took control of Iraq's 2nd largest city of Mosul and are advancing on the capital Baghdad.  In this podcast, the professor John Boyer outlines just a few of the contributing factors to why this significant event is taking place, the geographic/historic background of the state, and the consequences for the future of the region."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you haven't yet discovered John Boyer, a.k.a. the Plaid Avenger,  I recommend exploring his site.  He has numerous resources for world regional geography and current global affairs.  His colorful persona is highly entertaining for college age-students as his class attracts over 3,000 students each semester (you can decide for yourself whether that personality works for you and your classroom).  This particular 'plaidcast' discussion focuses on Iraq's current devolution and possible total collapse. 


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsborders, colonialism, devolution.

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Conversation: Al Assad Consolidates Power in Syria

Conversation: Al Assad Consolidates Power in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Stratfor Founder and Chairman George Friedman and Chief Geopolitical Analyst Robert D. Kaplan discuss how Bashar al Assad has legitimized his authority over the course of the Syrian conflict.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Stratfor specializes in global intelligence in key geopolitical regions.  Syria certainly fits that description and in this video, the two most public faces of Stratfor discuss the reasons for the Syrian Civil War from and internal perspective and also impacts from a broader outside lens. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Global Oil Reserves

Global Oil Reserves | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Who has the oil? http://pic.twitter.com/7Njc7OD8rw

Seth Dixon's insight:

Natural resources are not evenly distributed...this distribution pattern impacts global economics, industrialization, development and politics tremendously.  


Tags: industry, economic, energy, resources.

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Richard Lloyd Thomas's curator insight, March 13, 11:22 PM

Inequalities exist as well

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 26, 6:03 PM

This graph depcits Sauda Arabia with the most oil reserves in at 262 Billion barrels and in second place coming in at 132 billion barrels is Iran. These barrels are a very important assett to not only the US but to the world. This is why gas is so expensive because most of the time the US has to import it from differnt countries in order to obtain the amount we need for resources and mostly everything is based on oil as far as some fossil fuels are concerned. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 14, 5:22 PM

India is demonstrated at 2,000-2,999 in range of bbps. This amount of oil reserves is very important to the revenue of the country and the way that the poeple survive, natural resources such as oil are a very important and costly resource to obtain. Having oil in your country helps with trade and revenue income and trade routes are compiled which helps the economy.

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Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of Mohammed

Muslims around the world celebrate the birth of Mohammed | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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?

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 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, 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.

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Mount Moriah: The most contested real estate on Earth?

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

"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?

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

#Jerusalem

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 14, 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, 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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Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map of the various ethnic and religious groups in being shown on major media outlets as some Western countries (including the United States) are considering military action in Syria.  This and other maps like it powerfully conveys while many may conceptualize Syrians as a single monolithic group, that idea is a fiction that was created in the absence of geographic content to fill the void. 


Additionally this diagram has also been circulating lately for the same reasons; this flow chart lays out the Middle East's political rivalries and alliances.  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is a well-quoted proverb to simplify Middle Eastern political alliances and rivalries.  Seeing this web, you can only imagine that living by that dictum can certainly lead to complicated geopolitical conflicts among countries and culture groups.


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, ethnicity, religion.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 6:19 PM

This map shows tha tthere are an overwhelimg amount of Arabs especially in centeral Syria. And then on the coast lline it is mostly mixed with pink representing the overwhlming other majority.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 8:11 PM

It appears from this article that Syria is a complicated country. The map shows the different ethnic and religious groups of Syria, along with other groups, all of which live within a small area. Syria, along with other countries within the Middle East have been faced with one serious issue or another. Many different people live within a very small area; those people practice different religions and are ethnically and culturally different. Unfortunately, being different in this part of the world may get you killed.   

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 1:25 PM

Maps such as this one are very valuable when trying to understand conflict.  In Syria and the greater Levant area, unbalanced power and representation in politics is the result of many different religious and ethnic groups living in such close proximity each other, allowing conflict to become very invasive.

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Interactives: War and Refugees

Interactives: War and Refugees | Geography Education | Scoop.it

UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive on refugees is especially timely, given that the Syrian civil war has created refugee situations in many of the neighboring countries.  One of my favorite elements of the Guardian's interactive is that they provide the raw data, so students can create their own maps with the same high quality data.  Equally important, this interactive shows the regional power bases of all the various factions of the Syrian rebellion that is seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.  The political conflict has huge demographic implications.    

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

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The Conflict Zone

The Conflict Zone | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In a new series of four eight-minute videos, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator working to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. In this series of four eight-minute videos, Abu Sarah meets with people from both sides of the conflict in order to better understand and communicate how this international dispute impacts their everyday lives."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements.  The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics."  This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).


TagsSaudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 9:53 PM

The article displays the constant battle the women of Saudi Arabia face on a daily basis. However, this is a small sign of women in this area slowly getting more rights. This is an important right granted to women. Being allowed to participate in sporting activities or other types of physical exercise is very important in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2:49 PM

This is a push in the struggle for women's rights in Saudi Arabian. For the first time girls will be allowed to play sports in private schools. The ultraconservative kingdom still requires that the girls were descent and  decent dress and and Saudi women teachers are going to have priority in supervising the activities.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:23 PM

Female rights in countries like Saudi Arabia are nothing like in the U.S. Much like in other Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia allows little to no extra curricular activities for girls and women. Allowing them to play some specific sports is a huge deal!

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Public Space, Gender and Religion

Seth Dixon's insight:

Recently, Five women activists have been arrested for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  Israeli policewomen detained members of the religious group Women of the Wall for breaching orthodox rules governing prayers at the site, which only allow men to dress this way. This is Judaism's most holy site and orthodox traditions govern the legal code over who is permitted to be in this place and what they may do; this fight represents a struggle to redefine the meaning and usage of public space in Jerusalem (among other complex issues).


Tags: perspectiveIsrael, culture, gender. religion, culture,
Middle East.

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Ryan Randomname's curator insight, January 16, 12:27 PM

Khanh Fleshman's insight: This article relates to Key Issue #1 becuase it shows how religion affect different demographics. It also brings other components into play in the long-standing discussion about religion.

 

Vinay Penmetsa; This is related to the section because it relates religion and gender inequality in the world.

 

Graham Shroyer's insight: This relates to this section because it talks about religion and it also talks about how it conflicts with other issues like gender inequality.

 

Rishi Suresh: This relates to Half the Sky because it shows the relationship between religion and gender equality. 

 

Zahida Ashroff's Insight: This is relevant to Key Issue # 1 because this article shows the relationship between gender equality and religion. Gender Inequality can be influenced by religion.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 12:20 PM

This article is about a Jewish women's group and its desire to have equal rights when it comes to prayer at the holy site of the Western Wall. This battle touches on a number of political issues including equal rights, religious freedom (in how one worships), and restrictions which may be placed in public spaces. While this issue seems trivial to me, the traditionally male practices being used by women may be considered an insult to their religion, or this could just be another instance of overbearing patriarchy in the Middle East.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:33 PM

Women's rights are a huge issue in the past and in society today. Whether or not religion has anything to do with it, women's rights have been stripped for even the most absurd reasons. Religious reasons among others do trump women's rights. Its sad that women can be treated this way but its true.