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"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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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.
Few know "boondocks" is a relic of U.S. military occupation in the Philippines.
I imaged that the term 'the boondocks' was of Asian origin, but I was surprised to learn how this U.S. military lingo was able to become a mainstream term. The Tagalog word bundok means mountain and given the guerrilla warfare tactics, U.S. soldiers thought of their enemies as hiding 'in the boondocks.' This term spread throughout the military to mean an isolated region, but today the term has morphed from its military-based meaning of mountainous jungles to one that can also describe a sparsely populated rural America. This is a fascinating article from NPR's Code Switch team that focuses on issues of culture, identity and race.
Tags: language, toponyms, historical, conflict, culture, diffusion.
We have all heard the phrase living in the "Boonies" The boondocks was a word that was taken from a philipino word called Bundok, that meant the guerilla warfare they were experiencing from phillipino insurgents during the Spanish American War with the America. In this war which Teddy Roosevelt helped lead we gained US Puerto Rico and Guam as new Territories from the Treaty of Paris. The war was fought against Emilio Aguinaldo who was a master at guerilla tactics against American soldiers. This was a desperate war involving coloniazation or exerting our power as a country against other countries that ammassed a huge death toll. Now that we know the word boondok, is not an all American word that was popularized in the 1950's but it was actually taken from the Phillipino language during a time of fighting in the Jungle or the Sticks. But boondocks also refers to a people living around mouintainous regions. Just some food for thought.
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.
PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan again condemns the anti-government protests in Turkey, saying they do not constitute a Turkish Spring.
Many young citizens are accusing the Turkish government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and have taken to the streets as they fear that their secular society will follow more traditional Islamic values (just last week, the sale of alcohol was outlawed). Over 1,700 have been arrested in 67 cities in these protests in the last few days.
Tags: conflict, political, Turkey.
North Korea turned up the temperature yet another degree on its neighbors Monday, warning that it would not give any advance notice before attacking South Korea.
This CNN video briefly highlights why many pundits think "this time is different" --the rhetoric and threatens have gone far beyond what North Korea has done in the past. You might also enjoy the Plaid Avenger's always irreverant analysis in this 'plaidcast.'
Tags: North Korea, war, conflict.
great article in my openion i think the we should just bomb them and end all of this. and i found it wired that they are breaking the armisist from south korea .
Kim Jung-Un's reckless actions and threats that were the highlights of the beginning of his regime was nothing more than a frivoulous attempt at displaying his power. He wanted the world to see his legitimacy as a leader, whether or not it was known he is the leader of a cult of personality. He wanted us to take him seriously, and in a way we did, as these threats were the talk among the nation for a bit.
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here). How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past? How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent?
Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.
In the literall sense these colonial powers are no more. All theses countries have theire own form of indepenece and many have o officall ties to their mother countries. But what theses mother countries did to many of their colonies was cut them down at the knees where ther would need to continually rely on the mother for help or face damnation. These mother countries make alot of the commercial decsions for their previous colonial states and with that they hold the power to affect the whole nation.
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.
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.
"Mr Füzes had voiced support for the Székler people, a group of ethnic Hungarians who live in Transylvania, after two Romanian counties banned the display of the Székler flag (pictured above with men in hussar uniform) on public buildings. Zsolt Nemeth, Hungary’s state secretary for foreign affairs, described the ban as an act of “symbolic aggression” and called for local councils in Hungary to show solidarity by flying the Székler flag from town halls. The Hungarian government then raised the Székler flag above Parliament, further enraging Bucharest..."
Flags are important symbols of cultural identity and displaying them can be a strong political statement. For Hungarians, displaying symbols of a "Greater Hungary" shows some desire for irredentism--to redeem Hungarians of the 'wrong' side of the border. For those Hungarians in Romania this is an act of defiance that show that they want greater autonomy.
For sports fans, ESPN did a "30 for 30" documentary on the early 90's Yugoslavian basketball team that was a major talent (1990 World Champions) but was torn apart as devolutionary forces fractured the countries and the once-teammates were estranged after what some perceived as disrespectful acts to the Croatian national flag. Vlade Divac (a Serbian) was pitted against some of his best friends from Croatia as the civil war was playing itself out on the court as well. This is a great way to get a sports fan to learn about ethnic conflict and about the importance of cultural symbols ("Once Brothers"--$1.99, free for Amazon Prime users).
Tags: political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, Europe, culture.
Months have gone by since the last of the grisly mass killings that have marked the conflict’s darkest moments.
Cartels are still fighting each other, but they are no longer taunting the military and the police by doing it in such a blatantly public manner. Drug-related homicides are stable (and alarmingly high) at 12,000 per year but less in the border cities and more in the northern interior. The cartels are trying to avoid engaging the military, seeing that "spectacular acts of violence only bring more pressure to bear on them."
Tags: Mexico, narcotics, conflict.
The drug wars are still around, but as the artical states it is being done is less public ways and in remote areas. The drug lords will not push to much for if they do they will bring more of the military on them, not just the local police which really could not stop them. Also the more publilc it is the more the US would want to get involved to try to stem the problem. The will continue to lay low as this type of story dies down and the US focuses on something else, like Syria at the moment.
Drug related killings are unbelievably high at 12,000 a year in Mexico. They are avoiding the military and police and keeping the killings quite to the rest of Mexico as well. The police and Military are no longer allowed to parade the suspected drug members in front of cameras anymore either. But just because things are being kept quite doesnt mean they are anyless deadly
As we have seen over the decades, it does not matter which approach Mexico takes to fight it's drug war, the violence never stops. The solution does not lie within Mexico however. As long as Americans are in need of drugs, the cartels will do everything in their power to supply them. It is such a profitable business that most are willing to risk their lives to get a cut of it. The problem will not be solved until the US decides to change it's drug policies, something that will weaken these cartels and end the drug war in Mexico.
"The map [above] sorts the countries of the world into three groups based on their relative coup risk for 2013: highest (red), moderate (orange), and lowest (beige)."
While this is not predicting a coup in any of these places, this map is a visualization of data that was used to assess the factors that would make a coup likely (to see an alternate map, here is the Washington Post's review of the same data that mapped the 30 countries most likely to have a coup).
Questions to Ponder: What factors do you think would be important in compilling data of this nature? What makes a country susceptible to this type of governmental overthrow? What creates governmental stability?
Tags: political, conflict, unit 4 political, governance, Africa.
Factoren die meespelen zijn hieronder genoemd.
The algorithm for successful coups uses just four risk factors, one of which is really just an adjustment to the intercept.
The algorithm for any coup attempts, successful or failed, uses the following ten risk factors, including all four of the ones used to forecast successful coups.
Balancing the interests of stakeholders in the Malian polity will be difficult, however some key steps should be taken.
This is a great article for give to students to provide them with the geo-political context to understand the situation in Mali. It also give a great reminder for observers and the involved parties to not lump all Tuareg civilians in the north with the Islamists groups that are in control. "This failure to consistently distinguish between different groups in the North by multiple stakeholders...portends longer term trouble." For additional reading, see this Geography in the News article on Mali, tailor-made for classroom.
Tags: Mali, Africa, political, conflict, war.
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.
Flags are tangible symbols of communal identity and political power. If the meaning behind these identities are unresolved, the symbols of these identities in public spaces becomes all the more there is contentious. Currently, the Union Jack is a lightning rod for controversy in Northern Ireland and the riots stemming from this are harming the local economy.
Tags: Ireland, political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, economic, Europe, unit 4 political.
Residents of rural areas feel shut out of their states' politics, so why not create their own?
One county commission discribed these political movements thus: "It's grounded in the legitimate feeling that if you're marginalized by geography, it's easy to feel neglected by the central government." The political division between urban and rural citizens can lead to pockets of the population feeling as though the state government ignores your and the surrounding communities. It took the Civil War to separate West Virginia from Virginia, and while many may want to be in a different state, it's not happening simply because there is grassroots support for greater local autonomy. Hypothetically, let's say that many new states are generated; what consequences might come of this? Would it leading to further gerrymandering?
Tags: political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, borders, gerrymandering.
These rural colorado area feel that being overheard or misrepresented by their local government would lead them to seceed and create their own state. This may be a good idea only in making sure they are being heard as an autonomous state it will only be a potentially bad thing if they attempt to be their own country. urbna centralized governments may overlook farmers anf other people who have needs that dont coincide to well with government whose agenda is focused on urbanizing and expanding in a non agricultural way. It is aparent though that there are leaders who do want a seccession and want to see the rural areas come together and feel that they are being more better represented.
On election day this year, several Colorado counties voted on whether to secede from Colorado and create a new state. Many of the counties voted in favor of the idea. (See the link below for more info on the Colorado secession movement.) This is not the first time groups of Americans have considered (and voted on) breaking away from their state. When political issues come up and decisions are made by the government and/or the people, some get their way and others do not. The article explains one way that some people have decided to take action when they do not feel their interests are being served.
BONUS for my students:
1) What steps do you think should be taken before people consider seceding from their state?
2) What are some possible pros and cons of breaking away from a state to create a new one?
3) Hypothetically speaking, what would it take for you to want to create a new state?
Here is the link to the article about Colorado's secession movement:
Some states urban and rural areas have had differences and beliefs when it comes to politics. For example Virginia and West Virginia have had their differences and this is what has caused them to seperate. If every state did this there would be too much craziness because im sure each state would have a different belief and nobody would agree on anything.
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.
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.
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
From the NY Times: "North Korea, which seemed to be running out of tubs to thump, found a new target for its ire in a propaganda video released Saturday on Uriminzokkiri, a government Web site.
To a soundtrack of fervent synthesizers and inspirational light rock, the video announces that North Korea will aim nuclear weapons (that it may, or may not, be able to launch) at Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Honolulu and… Colorado Springs, Co.
The unorthodox move — apparently an attempt to target the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, and the United States Air Force Academy — is compounded by the fact that Pyongyang does not quite know where the city is. The map shown in the video places it somewhere in Louisiana."
I wish this had sub-titles, but it is an incredibly awesome bit of North Korea's famous jingoistic propaganda from their media that essentially is the least free press in the world (maybe subtitles would ruin the unintentional comedy). I find this equal parts hilarious and unnerving, but totally mesmerizing.
After watching this video it makes it really hard to believe any of this is possible at all to anyone in the world watching it, other than making the people of North Korea believe it to keep up moral in the contry itself.
"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.
If Pyongyang is as bent on war as it wants us to believe, why is it keeping the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial complex open?
News reports coming out of North Korea are grim and threatening right now. However, this Washington Post article argues that it might be all for show. The Kaesong Industrial Complex was opened in 2002 as a gesture of peace. Located just across the northern side of the border, it is staffed by South and North Koreans (South Korea get super cheap labor, North Korea gets an infusion of currency, both get positive PR). The Kaesong Industrial Complex continues to operate with the permission of the North Korean government. Were that to ever change and North Korea shut down this joint venture, THEN we'll know that they are serious. Watch this short video for an overview of the geopolitical situation on the Korean peninsula as of March 2013.
Tags: North Korea, war, labor, industry, economic, conflict, unit 6 industry.
Very interesting insight.
-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 race for energy resources makes unresolved territorial disputes more dangerous in both North-East and South-East Asia
Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, China, Japan, East Asia.
Many of the geopolitical conflicts in the East Pacific have their roots in the territorial disputes over islands that at first glance seem as if they wouldn't be worth the trouble. However, since the the UNCLOS agreement gives countries 200 nautical miles off their coasts to be an Exclusive Economic Zone, that greatly enhanced the strategic value of controlling these islands.
This is a great example of geopolitics and territorial disputes over small pieces of land that seem insignificant yet could result in armed conflict over who controls them and their surrounding waters. In one case, you will see that apparently WWII isn't even over!
There is a big lesson to be learned from this map and what it means. No territory on this earth is completely not valuable. Specifically ones with long coast lines and natural resources. This shows how Geography comes into play with economic profit. Now, if this division is not working for the East Pacific then the ideal thing would be to divide it equally. But, that never works does it..
" Asia is willing to go to war with small islands in order to gain full control and rights of the ocean borders. China is very assertive and aggressive. They even go to the extreme as to use boats to hit Vietnamese and Phillipino ships to show that the ocean is theirs. It is all because countries or islands with a coastline are to have rights over their land and 200 nautical miles as well. It is just becoming a problem because how do you evenly distribute or differentiate who's is who's."
January 19, 2013—The West African nation of Mali is making headlines after a wave of French military actions on Islamic extremist groups now controlling the northern part of the country. National Geographic Senior Writer Peter Gwin has...
This 6-minute video clip is a good way to help students understand the ethnic and geopolitical context of the Mali conflict. What impact did the superimposed borders of colonialism have in creating the conflict?
Tags: Mali, Africa, borders, political, conflict, war, colonialism, National Geographic.
La crisi propera no es deixa fer prou atenció als canvis geopolítics a l' Africa.
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.
Eighteen months ago, central Mogadishu was like an African Stalingrad.
Somalia's political troubles are not over, but it is no longer the drought-ridden country overrun by Islamist extremist that it was two years ago. For years it held the dubious title of "the world's most failed state." Al Shabbab, the militant group linked to Al Qaeda, left the capital of Mogadishu in 2011 and in 2012 lost their last stronghold. Piracy still exists off the Somali coast, but it has lessened as a semblance of political order is being restored to the Horn of Africa.
Tags: Somalia, Africa, political, conflict, war.
Many other countries complain about the US getting into things that aren't our business, but what I've noticed, if we don't intervene, it does become our problem because of all the ties we have around the world. One place fights another because they think something isn't going their way. But if one place goes down, there is other places that rely on the place that just fell. Then it becomes a butterfly effect and more people are affected than intended.