Build engaged audiences through publishing by curation.
Sign up with Facebook
Sign up with Twitter
Sign up with Linkedin
I don't have a Facebook, a Twitter or a LinkedIn account
Start a free trial of Scoop.it Business
A rare snow storm hit the Middle East last week, producing record snows and extreme conditions for Syrian refugees.
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.
Are you sure you want to delete this scoop?
Yes anything can happen, even snow in the Middle East.
Not so "rare" for Jerusalem, the more beautiful in white and shining bright !!!
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: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, political.
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.
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, Israel, social media, political, Middle East.
Every year Jerusalem Day brings millions of people into the streets for support of the Palestinians and the denouncing of the Isreals. The idea was proposed in 1979 during deepening tension between Lebon and Isreal. Jerusalem day is supposed to be about Jerusalem but the slogans are all about death to Isreal, it has turned into an occasion about the political mood in Iran. Any politican in Iran that wants to gain power must be heard giving speeches aboout Isreal, and with the ever changing social media it helps to spread media clips, video, and photos of this important day throughout Iran
Jerusalem Day brings out the supporters of Palestinians. Although originally the day was supposed to be about Jerusalem, it has turned into a place to express frustration about politics. Politicians in Iran find this as an important day to speak and gain supporters.
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.
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, TED, globalization, culture, Islam.
Humor ??? The most important in life !! Can somebody imagine the everyday, Hard, Dangerous, Tedious, Blunt and Dul life without HUMOR ??? Ask the Jews people !!! The Humour, the Inteligent one, helped them living thru the hardest time to conquer, and to survive, and to remain still as "Israel", one of the Happyest Country. So, is Humor Important ?????
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.
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
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: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, political, water, environment,
In this article Professor Arnon Sofer begins to make the link between the conflicts in Syria and all other middle eastern countries with high birth rate and drought. Over the last 60 years the middle easts population has doubled but their water supply has not in fact it is 85% desert and Turkey has siezed much of the water that flowed into Syria. Many people have begun digging illegal water wells pushing the water table even lower and civil wars throughout Syria have broken out in the areas hit hardest by drought.
Seems that water, not oil, might be the cheif source of conflict in North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa in general in the near future. Water, like food, is the most basic resource we need to survive. If that is cut off people as well as nations are more likely to go war over water, since we know they will over oil. The climate change is more than just rising water on coast lines, it effects the water supply of nations and regions that have issues getting fresh water even without the climate change. Seems we have to solve the water problem, as well as the oil problem now.
It is a very interesting article, I can see why the lack of water can affect they way a country behave. Water is not a luxury is necessity. But some people might argue that the lack of water isn’t is a big factor on why Syria has all this problems. I do feel that any country with environmental problem, is a country that shows that they are not being taking care off properly. And when a population feels that they are not receiving such essential resource like water, the country start feeling neglected and that’s when people start complaining and problems start to happened
"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."
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.
"Iran poses steep challenges to its Middle East neighbors and the world. Explore the country's complex regime structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts debate the range of policy options."
Iran is in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions. One the bordered with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Iran is stratgeically positioned to have considerable control over the world’s most important waterway for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz.
Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should more about than the three main facts that that most Americans are already aware of (1-Iran has an Islamic-based government, 2-an emerging nuclear program and 3-a ton of oil). This interactive feature is a good starting point with great videos, timelines, maps, articles that assess the current situation in Iran.
Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.
This is an amzing resource to use and find out much about this country, both its past and present. With this you can understand their feeling of hatred toward the US with its support of the Shah. This is a relationship that the US needs to repair, but both sides need to work on this. This are is so important to the US and the world given Iran's geographic location right on the Persian Gulf, whcih they can cut off and controll the oil flowing from that area, plus the oil they control, plus bordering several crucial US and NATO allies. It only seems in everyone's best interest to sit down and talk. Given the support Iran gives to many terrorists organization and it's longstanding position that Israel does not have the right the right to exist, this idea of sitting down and talking may be a fantasy. However, with the new elections and the new President of Iran speaking at the UN there may be renewed hope of at least a start.
In early November 2012, three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of the Golan Heights. The move by Syria is the first violation of the zone in 40 years and concerns countries of the region. Since then some of the Syrian rebels have also been reported operating in Golan Heights.
This article (orginally featured on maps101.com, the educational wing of maps.com) is a great starting point for learning about the geopolitical significance of the Golan Heights.
Tags: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, Israel, borders, political.
The Golan Heights is a major source of the Jordan River. Its mountains border along Lebanon and Syria and provide rain and snowmelt to feed the river to provide a vital water source (strategic area and vital water source). Israel took it in 1967 - and the DMZ was entered by war torn Syria in November 2012 .
The DMZ was entered by Syria and Israel reported this to the UN ....so, as civil war in Syria threatens its neighbors , there is a fear of retaliation that may occur in the Gaza Strip as well.
This map can be used to illustrate not only the political and cultural significance of the Golan Heights, but also its environmental significance as a source of water for the Jordan-Yarmuk River Valley
Heres some info on how poeple have been living in regards to a troubled area of the world.
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.
As drought conditions have hit the Middle East, growing populations are using more water per capita then ever. See this on Google Earth with this KMZ file.
Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.
Great Google Earth resources looking at the shrinking of water storage in the Middle East. Critical reading for our water unit and a superb example of how powerful imaging like Google Earth can be.
What we don't learn from the past is bound to repeat itself-over and over again.
Year 10 - Inland water
The effects of war can be staggering and far-reaching. Often the costs are much higher than anticipated at the beginning. Read this press release for more details on the recent findings regarding the actual costs of the Iraq War, which are estimated to have cost over 190,000 lives and $2.2 trillion.
Tags: Iraq, conflict, K12, political, MiddleEast, war.
The death of 190,000 people due to war is always a tragedy. There is a positive side to this number, however. The Iraq war cost 190,00 lives in ten years, an average of 19,000 deaths a year. In World War II, the Russians alone lost 9,000,000 people, in a much shorter amount of time. We are no longer losing large chunks of our population in wars, due to new technology and combat strategies.
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
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, water, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, unit 5 agriculture.
Iran's geography plays heavily in the foreign affairs issues it is a part of, and the policies it makes.
"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.
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.
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.
I like how different cultures use trademarks from Western pop culture to create their own Barbies, comics, and videos so they are still culturally appropriate and up to date with society
Religion plays a huge role in the Arab world and although times are changung they are trying to stay true to their culture. Sherren el feki says that meshing of civilization is important. Taking popular culture and meshing it with culture will be successful. For instance the comic book 99, fitst Islam superhero. The 99 I to represent the 99 attributes. The 99 superheroes will hopefully join forces with Americas superman,etc. it is not meant to be a clash but to mix the different cultures in both ancient in modern ways.
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.
"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?
Beautiful way to show this conflicted area.
This site means so much to the Abrahamic religions. Currently the the real estate is mostly contested by Muslims and Jews. There are so many strong feelings that war can break out any time because of The Temple mount. What is left is to wait and see what happens from a poltical statement or even a biblical prophecy stand point. Those who believe in God should beleive that one day true peace will exist in this contested area. Right now with Netanyahu and other leaders a battle is waging for true ownership of the land. As years progress treaties and ceasefires are always modified to soothe the tension that exists in these areas.
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.
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: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, political, ethnicity, religion.
Ethnicity and culture are correlated, and clearly if a geographic region contains many of these, their views of each other will be shaped by various political or military actions.
This is a great visual reference to understand some of Syria's religious and ethnic groups. It's a simple way to understand the conflict in Syria. This was very helpful for me to use.
Syria is a complicated country as you can see from this map. The map shows the different ethnic and linguistic groups of Syria, and many of the groups are swirled together. The brown areas represent the Kurds who have been long oppresed, there are also Druze and Arab Christians, Armenians and others. Syria is run by the Alawites which is the greenish grey color they may only be 12% of the population but they are a massive part of the war. Many people believe that the war began for political reasons but spiraled into old divisons deeper and more vicious.
UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.
This interactive on refugees is especially timely, given that the Syrian civil war has created refugee situations in many of the neighboring countries. One of my favorite elements of the Guardian's interactive is that they provide the raw data, so students can create their own maps with the same high quality data. Equally important, this interactive shows the regional power bases of all the various factions of the Syrian rebellion that is seeking to overthrow the Assad regime. The political conflict has huge demographic implications.
Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.
"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."
Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.
"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).
Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.
I never really understood the idea of telling people to or forcing them to act certain ways. Our lives are not 'ours;' they belong to the world around us, within us and without us, not us. I think that the girls being allowed to do certain things, like sports, is a good thing, not great. Sports, in my opinion, are not the essence of life. I believe in pursuing spirituality, and I think it is good that the girls are allowed to play sports in accordance with Islamic law, but in this ever-changing world that we live in, my own non-extending personal thoughts are that any law from a religion, should encourage opportunities, not prevent or encroach on them. Cultures are different, and I'm not even really about to suggest my thoughts to anybody that might take it harshly, but it seems to me that whatever cultural laws and traits that inhibit functions such as sports, or have done so, are being put there by someone else that clearly is not as negatively affected by the 'laws.' I know police that have smoked marijuana, I know politicians that have broken the law, and I see these things as "Eh, whatever," because it doesn't really affect me. I wonder who, even in accordance to the cosmic beliefs of Islam (I'm open to a deity as an answer), put these laws here that have restricted school sports...
This article is about more than just sports. This is about a growth in women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Every bit helps and the allowance of females in private schools to play sports will hopefully spread to public schools, and girls will gain more freedoms.
Coming from America were woman have had equal rights for nearly a century its hard to grasp the concept of it just starting in Saudi. Phys Ed is a crucial part of the development of a adolescent and it is nessacary for both genders. being more lenient on woman sports can only help the nation. It will bring it possitive attention, help the flow of money, and be a platform for womens rights in the times to come.
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: perspective, Israel, culture, gender. religion, culture, Middle East.
"[This video] explores the idea Western “cultural invasion” into Saudi Arabia, and satirizes Saudi views of America in the process. The influence of Western, particularly American, culture is a big, touchy topic in much of the world, with people torn between their love of Michael Jackson and their desire to patronize compatriots over foreigners. It’s about national pride and about preserving one’s own culture. For English captions (click the little 'CC' button in the bottom-right corner after pressing play).
Skip to about 3:15 to see the segment on the Western 'cultural invasion' of Saudi Arabia and, appropriately, a very funny bit on attempting a 'reverse cultural invasion' of Saudi cultural in America."
--Max Fisher in the Washington Post
Given that Saudi Arabia's government is a strict theocratic kingdom, many people imagine that those ideas and values are representative of the general population and imagine austere and unyielding personalities. This video shows something we ratherly see in the West, local humor from Saudi Arabia that critiques their own cultural institutions.
Tags: Saudi Arabia, Middle East, globalization, culture.
well, we all need a good laugh in the troubled world we live in.
This map show Mother's Day celebration dates around the world.
While most of the world celebrates Mother's day in May, March 21st (the vernal equinox) is day most countries in the Middle East celebrate Mother's Day. So, why might the first day of spring be the day used to honor mothers? Hint: think about agricultural cycles and fertility symbols. Happy Mother's Day!
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Some folk cultures, such as the Samaritans, have historically intermarried and have been plagued by genetic diseases. Recently, they have turned to global solutions to their local demographic woes. "Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community."
Tags: folk culture, gender, population, Russia, religion, culture, Middle East.
I know a man who is Indian, and his grandparents came from India. He tells me that their people do not formally or very much at all approve of interbreeding between their people and other cultures. He says Indians stick with Indians, and that's how it's supposed to be. I think in the future that the genetic diseases will be abolished by selective characteristic modification through reproductive alteration using technology- I think DNA modification will become a popular trick in both reproduction and everyday life that will allow for the end of illness. This would allow people to marry into other cultures without fear of genetic complications, but they would still have that cultural barrier my Indian acquaintence referred to. That same dude has some funny insight about Italians and other cultures, and noted that Italian-Americans are not really Italian at all. We had a couple of interesting discussions regarding different cultures, and he told me that he is 100% Indian. I don't mean to seem degrading AT ALL but the first thing that popped into my head was how people breed dogs to be purebreds, which are coveted and expensive, as well as pure. I'm a blend of many different nationalities, and I'm proud of it... The universe is a blend of many nationalities, and I ever-ponder my connection with the Universe, and it's nice to know that I have a commonality with the Universe!
-Introduction (1 minute) -Sign up for a free Prezi account and give your students background with the Syria the Basics PREZI . (5 minutes) - Follow up with another PREZI about Youth...
Have you wanted to teach about current events in Syria but weren't sure where to start? This resource suggested by the Arizona Geographic Alliance has lesson plans, materials and resources for all grades.
Tags: Syria, conflict, K12, political, MiddleEast, war.
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."
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.
The number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict and crossed the borders hasn't ceased to increase.
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.
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.