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Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline

Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, ISIS has looted ancient sites, using the plunder to help finance its operations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This short comic-book style interactive from National Geographic is incredibly well-done and very engaging.

 

Tags: National Geographic, Syria, political, terrorism, ISIS, historical.

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Do terror attacks in the Western world get more attention than others?

Do terror attacks in the Western world get more attention than others? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Reports of bombings tend to get huge numbers of mentions on social media, but that doesn't always mean a similar level of news coverage.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The short answer is obviously "Yes."  Yet, this question brings up other questions about cultural empathy and how 'connected' we might feel to people of other places than our own global neighborhood.  This political cartoon-ish map

has more truth in it than we might like to admit; it is subtitled 'How terrible it is the the Western world when a tragedy happens in...?'

 

Questions to Ponder: Does the 'where' influence if we perceive the event as a true tragedy or not (or maybe just the magnitude or importance of the tradegy)?  How come?  What does this say about us as inidividuals, society, and the media?  How can we teach our students in a way to foster more cultural empathy?

 

Tagssocial mediaplaceculture, political, terrorism, media. 

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jorden harris's curator insight, April 4, 9:52 AM

to me it is mind boggling how we can pay more attention to countries with national threats than others especially with ISIS being so prominent which is a war that is going to take help from not only the united states but the other affected countries

                                                                                                        - J.H

Logan scully's curator insight, April 4, 10:11 AM
It somewhat bothers me how that terrorist attacks outside of Europe and North America is pretty much just ignored by the social media while people are sitting in the hospital for crimes in which terrorists and other religious radicalists have done to their area and country.-L.S.
Brealyn Holley's curator insight, April 7, 10:20 AM
For the question "Do terror attacks in the Western world get more attention than others?" In my opinion the answer would be yes because a lot of the terror attacks in the Western world are bigger and are expected more than terror attacks near  us. ~BH
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Where ISIS Gained and Lost Territory This Year

Where ISIS Gained and Lost Territory This Year | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Islamic State has lost 14 percent of the territory it held in January, according to a new analysis.

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict.

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The Myth of the Caliphate

The Myth of the Caliphate | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Myth Article #1: Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstances.


Myth Article #2: ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.


Myth Video #1: This video points to the reasons that recruits are attracted to extremism (not just poverty and ignorance).


Tags: politicalgovernance, religion, Islam, historical, terrorism, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 26, 2015 5:12 AM

Myth

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 30, 2015 2:32 PM

The idea of the Caliphate seems to be more of what all the groups which called themselves Caliphates seem to be pursuing. It seems to me that the fact of the matter is less important than the idea, as what happened one hundred years ago is far less important than what is believed to have happened. That ISIS is a state can be argued, but the fact that they are fighting a conventional war is indisputable. Yes, the tactics we use must be shifted, but this means that support from aircraft or by indirect means are even more viable than they were during the Second Gulf War.

 

 

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Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World

Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.
Seth Dixon's insight:


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, November 21, 2015 3:41 PM
The Paris attacks from ISIS are now being discovered as linked to other attacks that ISIS has planned out. They have up until now according to the article, done 'lone wolf' attacks and now are changing to bigger and city kind of attacks across the globe. They are taking over much of the Middle East and Africa, in hopes to make that area chaotic enough to start more global conflict and another world war, accoring to the article. There have been studies and research in tracking ISIS and they have found that attacks in many other cities in the world have been inspired by ISIS as well.
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:23 PM

These maps were very helpful in understanding the spread and threat of ISIS. It also helps the understanding of just what a wide range of places they have attacked is. They are capable of striking much of the world in the name of fundamentalism. However, the video of Muslim's chanting is one of those things that can kind of turn down the fear, especially of admitting refugees, that has gripped much of the world. We are as safe as we can be, but idea's are bulletproof and there's no end in sight to the elimination of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:55 AM

Read this article and fill out your Socratic seminar question sheet for the inner/outer circle on Tues, Dec 8

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Teaching about 9/11

"In the years after the attacks of September 11, debates about how the United States should respond to the threat of terrorism remain of central importance. The death of Osama bin Laden, the rise of 'homegrown' terrorists, and the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists pose new questions and challenges for policy makers and citizens. Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy helps students consider the issues surrounding the 9.11.01 attacks and the U.S. response to terrorism in a constructive context that promotes dialogue about future policy directions." http://wp.me/p2dv5Z-1AU

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video paired with this lesson plan from the Choices Program will help students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks as will this lesson from Teaching History. For a geospatial perspective on 9-11, this page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.  The images from that day are a part of American memory and change how the event is remembered and memorialized in public spaces.  Also on global terrorism, the Choices Program has also produced some materials on how to teach about ISIS as an emerging geopolitical threat. 


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What's the Yemen conflict really about?

What's the Yemen conflict really about? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Is the conflict due to geographical rivalry, sectarian divisions, disappointment after the 2011 revolution or is it part of a wider regional power play?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Saudi Arabia has recently announced that they stop their 4 week long bombing campaign against a rebel group in Yemen.  Like many complex geopolitical conflict, it is hard for students to begin to understand what the fighting is really about, but this article is a solid introduction to the Yemen conflict


Tags: Yemen, political, conflict.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, April 24, 2015 12:42 PM

Something we should know about another insane conflict in which the United States became involved to worsen an already difficult situation

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:36 PM

In 2011, it is told that people from all religion would gather together in the town square, to eat from the same plate, pray for peace together and learn in the same schools; they were not separated by religion. Now Houthis changed from victims, to armed militia. Those who would've given their life back in 2011 for the sake of a better future would not be so willing now due to the fact they would only be collateral damage. 

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Teaching September 11th

Teaching September 11th | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In the years after the attacks of September 11, debates about how the United States should respond to the threat of terrorism remain of central importance. The death of Osama bin Laden, the rise of 'homegrown' terrorists, and the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists pose new questions and challenges for policy makers and citizens. Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy helps students consider the issues surrounding the 9.11.01 attacks and the U.S. response to terrorism in a constructive context that promotes dialogue about future policy directions."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video paired with this lesson plan from the Choices Program will help students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks as will this lesson from Teaching History. For a geospatial perspective on 9-11, this page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.  The images from that day are a part of American memory and change how the event is remembered and memorialized in public spaces.  Also on global terrorism, the Choices Program has also produced some materials on how to teach about ISIS as a new emerging geopolitical threat. 


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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:02 PM

I feel that the attacks of September 11 2001 need to be taught in schools.  This being said the levels of what is taught needs to be varied with the grades that the information is being taught to.  Younger grades should understand that we were attacked as it is a very important part of history.  As students become older different things should be taught, such as the death of Osama bin Laden as well as some of the policies that have been implemented to keep the United States safe.

Marianne Naughton's curator insight, September 12, 2014 9:12 AM

Teaching Historical Tragedy ...

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 6:06 AM

Teaching September 11th

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This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now

This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting article; place and context mediate cultural interactions.  I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to be a Muslim in the Boston area right now.  This geographer wishes that everyone could feel safe everywhere.    


Tags: terrorism, religion, Boston, Islam.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 20, 2013 3:33 PM

Being from around the area and listening and watching the tv during the boston bombings all I really thought about was how the city and families were effected by the tragic event. However I never really thought about how it impacted muslim people in the area. For people to put a blame on all muslim people is not right. We are not all the same, which means not all muslims are the same. Some muslims have lived their whole lives in the US and for people to catogorize them all as terrorists isn't right. All people should be treated them same way. It is sad to read the article and think that some muslims in Boston walk around in fear of being beat up or killed just because of their culture. The bombings effected an entire city and muslim people people should be able to mourn with the rest of the city. They grew up there just like we did. So what makes them so different from me and you? Not all muslims are killers like the two boys from the bombings. It is really sad to me that they have to live their lives in fear everyday in a place that they call home, just because of their culture. No one deserves to live like that. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for muslim people in Boston. 

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:38 AM

Terrorism is a huge problem in our Country today. I'm not trying to racist saying this but I feel like they do it to themselves. Coming into our country and terrorizing our nation thats okay? Yes not every Muslim is a terrorist im not saying that but you never know if they are or not. Since 911 we cant trust anyone, and theres a reason for that. I understand that they should not have to feel any different then the average American but the past is what we all dwell on.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:19 AM

Some are saying that racism doesnt exist anymore but it does. Muslims still live in fear that they are being judged everyday because some Americans generalize Muslims with terrorism

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More Risk, but Less Fear, in Cities

More Risk, but Less Fear, in Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This week's Boston Marathon bombing fit with the norm of U.S. terrorist events and threats in one important way: it occurred in a major city. American concerns about terrorism, however, seem to ignore that pattern...There’s a divide on people’s thoughts about terrorism. People that live in places most likely to be hit by terrorism seem the most sunny about the country’s anti-terror prospects and efforts. And those in rural places,  are more concerned and pessimistic."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article cites data from the PEW Reseach Center that implies that city dwellers seem to feel less dread about terror threats than their suburban and rural counterparts, despite the fact they live in the primary target zone (see full size infographic here--note that the data was assembled before the Boston Marathon attack).  


Question to Ponder: Why are the Americans most vulnerable to terrorist attacks the least concerned with terrorism? 

 

Tagsterrorism, statistics, USA, infographic, urban.

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Boston and Syria

Boston and Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: Syria, terrorism, Boston.

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Alejandro Restrepo's comment, April 21, 2013 11:49 PM
I came to find out that this was photoshopped, but the message still read the same, except it was Arabic.
Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:03 PM

certainly a powerful picture. as horrible as the Boston bombings were how can anyone imagine living through violence like that day in and day out.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:18 PM

"Boston bombings represent a sorrowful scene of what happens every day in Syria. Do accept our condolences". These words were posted on a banner that was made by some citizens of Syria after the Boston Marathon bombing. Notice the background of the picture. It does not look like a happy place. It almost looks as if the building behind them may have been bombed. After all, the citizens do tell us that bombings happen to occur every day in Syria. Even though they live a torturous life like this day in and day out, they still felt the need to send their condolences which was very respectful. As I look at this picture more and more, I noticed that all of the people holding up the sign are male. Maybe this has to do with the bombings in such that they maybe all lived in that building in the background. It is amazing to me that despite their world being bombed day after day, some are cracking smiles, they manage to hold up their countries flag, and hold their hands up with peace signs.

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Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali

Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Balancing the interests of stakeholders in the Malian polity will be difficult, however some key steps should be taken.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:33 AM

Problems in this area will only increase if the powers that be do not take the innocence of the civilian population into account.  When trying to put down a terrorist insurgence it is imperative that a government tries to safe guard the population.  If not it will only drive these people into the arms of the insurgents.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:44 PM

Removing the Mali president was only the first thing French military did to this nation. Mali needs to move forward from anti-terrorism and hopefully they can do so with little difficulty.

Shounam's curator insight, October 8, 2014 6:08 PM

Stop mistaking the image of muslim or islamic people as terrorists.

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Mapping Sept. 11

Mapping Sept. 11 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In collecting cartographic materials relating to the events of 9/11, the Library's Geography and Map Division is concentrating on documenting the role maps played in managing the recovery effort.


This page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources of geospatial images (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought. 


Tags: Mapping, geospatial, remote sensing, historical, terrorism

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Matt E.'s comment, September 12, 2012 10:19 AM
I found the thermal imaging and the lidar was very interesting, because it provided data and potential threats that rescue workers on the ground might be unaware.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 12, 2012 10:34 AM
These thermal imagery and LIDAR maps are very useful and high-tech for the year 2001. I have not seen maps like this in regards to the landscape of Ground Zero. What an awesome tool that was able to organize a scene like this one that was out of control.
Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 16, 2012 8:13 PM
These images are very interesting because it provides you with such a clear visual of just how much was effected by the disaster. I wasn't ever able to view the actual 9/11 location after the incident but these maps provide enough detail.
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Global Peace Index

"The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict. Explore the state of world peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map. www.visionofhumanity.org "

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began, due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity while Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, has reached historically high levels of peace.  This might not seem shocking, but there is a great richness to this dataset that can provide detailed regional information as well as answer some big questions about global security.  Explore the data on your own with this interactive map of Global Peace or also of the states within the United States

 

Tags: political, terrorism, conflict, development, statistics, visualization, mapping, governance.

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Women secretly film inside ISIS stronghold

Women secretly film inside ISIS stronghold | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Two Syrian women took a hidden camera through the northern Syrian city of Raqqa to document their life under ISIS rule, according to CNN affiliate Expressen TV.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a rare glimpse inside the heart of ISIS controlled territory.  If you have never considered this perspective, imagine that you were an ordinary citizen living in an area that was overrun by ISIS, and are hoping to keep your family alive.  What would you life be like? 

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, ISIS.

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Anna Hoppe's curator insight, March 21, 10:08 AM

This is a rare glimpse inside the heart of ISIS controlled territory.  If you have never considered this perspective, imagine that you were an ordinary citizen living in an area that was overrun by ISIS, and are hoping to keep your family alive.  What would you life be like? 

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, ISIS.

bridget rosolanka's curator insight, March 21, 2:53 PM

This is a rare glimpse inside the heart of ISIS controlled territory.  If you have never considered this perspective, imagine that you were an ordinary citizen living in an area that was overrun by ISIS, and are hoping to keep your family alive.  What would you life be like? 

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, ISIS.

Jodi Esaili's curator insight, March 22, 9:38 AM

This is a rare glimpse inside the heart of ISIS controlled territory.  If you have never considered this perspective, imagine that you were an ordinary citizen living in an area that was overrun by ISIS, and are hoping to keep your family alive.  What would you life be like? 

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, ISIS.

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Saudi Arabia forms 34-nation Islamic alliance to fight terrorists

Saudi Arabia forms 34-nation Islamic alliance to fight terrorists | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The new counterterrorism coalition includes nations such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt as well as war-torn countries with embattled militaries such as Libya and Yemen.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is too new for me to speculate as to the effectiveness or support that this new alliance will have.  What are the national, regional, and global motives of each of these 34 states?  I think we will all keep an eye on this moving forward  (Articles from CS Monitor, CNN and Al Jazeera).  Not everyone is convinced that this is anything more than public relations.

 

Tags:  political, terrorismIslam, geopolitics.

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Treathyl Fox's curator insight, December 25, 2015 10:45 AM

Does Allah know we (non-Muslims) needs peacemaking friends in the Muslim world?  Just thinkin'.

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ISIS: A New Threat

ISIS: A New Threat | Geography Education | Scoop.it

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East
  • Interpret political cartoons on the U.S. response to ISIS
  • Identify the techniques used by cartoonists to express political opinion
  • Monitor the news media coverage of ISIS over time
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Choices Program produces some great materials and this is from their Teaching with the News series.  The newest in the series is a resource guide for the terrorist attacks in Paris.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS, Choices.

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Paris attacks mark a shift in ISIS-Al Qaeda relations

Paris attacks mark a shift in ISIS-Al Qaeda relations | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The attacks suggest that ISIS is being forced into 'mainstream' terrorism long before it had planned to and a terrible meeting of the minds between Al Qaeda and ISIS."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is more 'instant analysis' than a sustained inquiry into the attacks, so take the conclusions with a grain of salt.  However, the idea that the strategic aims of ISIS (a.k.a.-IS, ISIL) and Al-Qaeda are starting to align is worth investing.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics.

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IRENE's curator insight, November 15, 2015 8:09 AM

Los ataques que sufrió París ya han sido reivindicados por el ISIS.

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What it would look like if the Hiroshima bomb hit your city

What it would look like if the Hiroshima bomb hit your city | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Maps bring the horror of Hiroshima home -- literally.  

Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology, created a NukeMap that allows you to visualize what the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions would look like in your hometown. Kuang Keng Kuek Ser at Public Radio International has also developed a version, using slightly different estimates.

Here is what Little Boy, the Hiroshima bomb, would look like on Wellerstein's map if detonated in New York City."

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, August 7, 2015 11:12 AM

The NukeMap allows you to set different determinations such as bomb size, etc, as well.  

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, August 8, 2015 11:53 AM

Human Nature!

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 11:48 AM

I highly suggest tinkering around with "NukeMap," as I have spent the last 30 minutes seeing how different bombs would destroy my neighborhood and the surrounding areas- it will even adjust for varying casualty rates in areas with higher or lower populations, even just by moving the detonation site a couple of streets away. It's pretty cool at the surface, but to examine the destructive capabilities of some of these weapons is downright terrifying. You view the blast radius encompassing your home, your entire existence, on a computer screen, and its easy to forget the devastation of it all disappearing. For those who survived the atomic bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was no simulation to tinker with, but instead a reality more terrible than anything I've ever had to endure in my own personal life. Thousands of lives lost, thousands more left irreversibly shattered, never to be the same again. All because men in government buildings on opposite sides of the ocean couldn't get along. No one wins in war.

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The world as it is: The influence of religion

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

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oral History and September 11th

Oral History and September 11th | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This lesson plan from the Choices Program will:

  • Explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview.
  • Consider the benefits and limitations of using oral history to learn about the past.
  • Assess their own views on September 11th.
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Harper Wharton's curator insight, September 10, 2013 11:01 PM

Tomorrow is 9/11, a day that America will never forget. At my old school, we learned a lot about 9/11, and when it was the day of the Twin Towers we would watch videos on the incident and read books on it. Learning about the Twin Towers is an intersting topic to me because I love to find out why the people would do this to America and how America retaliated. I would love to find out more about the Twin Towers this year. 

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Border Walls

Border Walls | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Geographer Reece Jones discusses his recent book Border Walls, examining the history of how and why societies have chosen to literally wall themselves apart.  He gives a brief history of political maps, how international lines reshape landscapes, and how the trend towards increased border wall construction contrasts with the view of a “borderless” world under globalization."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This 30-minute audio podcast is a great preview of Reece Jones' book Border Walls; and discusses many concepts important to political geography.  The physical construction of barriers is an old practice (Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall), but those borders were the exceptions.  The recent proliferatrion of walls to separate countries is dramatically reshaping our borders and impacting economics, politics, migration and other geographic patterns (How recent? Over half of the borders with walls and fences we see today have been constructed since 2000). Although walls are often justified as a means to prevent terrorism, most of the world's walls can best be explained as dividing wealthy and relatively poorer countries to prevent migration (download podcast episode here).  You can also read his New York Times article on the same topic.   


Tags: book reviews, podcast, borders, political, landscape, states, territoriality, sovereignty.

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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 9:00 AM
listening to some of the podcast you can get an in-depth synopsis of this. the walls that divide our countries and even towns over time have all the criteria and/or reasoning. Great Wall of China to keep invaders from starting war, Berlin Wall to divide german supporters of war, America/Mexican boarder is to keep illegal immigrants from coming, fence in your moms backyard is to keep neighbors/animals out of yard. Walls all have the same concept of avoiding war, trespassers and privacy. this is seen in not only everyday living but in military use as well.
Amanda Morgan's comment, September 13, 2014 4:49 PM
I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.
Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 10:52 AM

I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.

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The Geography of Chechnya

The Geography of Chechnya | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
Seth Dixon's insight:

After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region.  This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.   


I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals.  On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students.  As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 19, 2013 10:16 AM

Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 9:27 AM

It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages.  The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:46 PM

This map does a fantastic job of highlighting the cultural diversity within Russia and the former Soviet states. Understanding how these cultural regions overlap one another is paramount in understanding the region's tensions and the repercussions that result including Chechen terrorism in Russia and even in America (Boston bombings).

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks
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In Fact, the U.S. Has Been Winning the War on Terror

In Fact, the U.S. Has Been Winning the War on Terror | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Terror in the United States have evolved since 1970: once the tool of left-wing radicals, then right-wing radicals, terrorist attacks are now uncommon, often unsuccessful, and not nearly as deadly.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While terrorism is being discussed in the media as a rising trend in the United States after the Boston Marathon, the statistics don't show that analysis to be true.  This resources compiles maps, charts and graphs so you can evaluate the historical terrorist patterns for yourself.


Tagsterrorism, statistics, USA, media.

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Suggested by Marc Crawford , Mankato East High School
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Attacks on Mosques in U.S. on the Rise

Attacks on Mosques in U.S. on the Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Acts of violence against Muslim Americans and their houses of worship have increased, especially in the weeks since Ramadan began this year.


Tags: religion, Islam, culture, conflict, terrorism, unit 3 culture.

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