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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.
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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.
"GIS has given us the chance to re-examine how the Civil War battle was won and lost."
July 1-3 mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and it seems only appropriate to share these rich, interactive resources to commemorate the event (this particular interactive feature uses an ESRI storymap template). This fantastic example from the Smithsonian Magazine shows how history teaching and research can be benefited by using GIS with the example of Gettysburg. Many student today visit the sites of the Battle of Gettysburg and get a greater appreciation of battle by getting a sense of the lay of the land and the challenged confronting both armies. National Geographic has additionally put together resources to display other Civil War battles. GIS is not a tool that is just for geographers; any analysis that requires spatial analysis can be mapped.
Tags: historical, war, landscape, spatial, GIS, ESRI.
Looking for GIS integration into history classes? Smithsonian has a great page using the Battle of Gettysburg.
the rent of the civil war
"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
This is a painful page in world history, but it needs retelling. The Soviet era profoundly reshaped the cultural, political and economic geographies of the region.
Tags: Russia, migration, Central Asia, historical, war, ethnicity, political, gerrymandering.
Amazing the amout of people Stalin sent to the gulags as politucal prisoners. He even sent his own soldiers to them if they were captured and held in German POWs camps. He though with them just evein seeing the west would lessen his hold. Completely changed the ethnic geography of Soviet Russia
Kyra - for your project.
Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people. It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.
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.
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.
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.
France is ready to stop Islamist militants who control northern Mali, the French president says, following a plea for help by his Malian counterpart.
In April 2012, Islamist rebels seized power in Northern Mali and have declared independence, proclaiming this region The Islamic State of Azawad. Recently they have begun to amass armies on the southern limits of their territory and presumably are seeking to topple all of Mali. The former colonizer, France is being called upon to assist as is the United Nations. This area is part of a region known as the Sahel, the transition from a dry North Africa to tropical Sub-Saharan Africa, from a Muslim/Arab north to a Christian/Animist/Black region of Africa. The human and physical geographic divisions in this region plays a major role in this conflict.
Islamist militants control Northern Mali
What also was very dangerous about this was that Mali became a safe haven for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, because of their Islamic ties to the rebels. If we allow them to control this region, who knows what they could plan. We spent all this time making them run, giving them a new base would undo a lot of work that has been done in the past 12 years.
The extent of the campaign is shocking.
This map is just overwhelming when you consider that each data point represents a bomb dropped on the city.
It was called the Blitz for a reason. For months, nobody in London was safe. As seen on the map, nearly every inch of London was affected by Nazi bombs. Not only were there bombs falling, but also planes and other war machines involved. The modern version of London is surely a rebuilt version of its 1940's counterpart.
This is one of my favorite maps that I have seen. How devastating it must have been to live in London at the time, never knowing where the next one would land to destroy the city.
With a simple class hashtag (e.g.-#geog400ric) you can create a backchannel for student to collaborate outside the classroom walls.
This map shows each verified incident of violence in Gaza and Israel since last week's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari. Geospatial technologies combined with social media are changing how we learn about (and wage) wars.
Brown University's Choices Program has many excellent resources for social studies teachers including "Teaching with the News." Many teachers are seeing the importance of Syria, but might lack the regional expertise to put it in context or to the time to link it with the curriculum. If that is the case (and even if it is not), this is the perfect place to find lesson plans on the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Tags: political, MiddleEast, conflict, war.
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.
45 percent think the U.S. should intervene, but only half can identify the country.
On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Knox Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer during an anti-war protest at Kent State University.
This is a poignant image that strikes a chord with me. History is embedded within place even if the historical events are not memorialized within the landscape. May 4, 2013 not only marked the anniversary of the Kent State tragedy, it also was the day that the great Wilbur Zelinsky passed away. He was a geographer who analyzed the cultural landscape as well as anyone ever did, and I consider myself fortunate enough to have had conversations with him while I was at Penn State.
Tags: historical, war, landscape.
Photos like this that juxtapose the original photograph to present day surroundings always grab me. What an interesting discussion this could be in a history classroom!
Kent State: Past and Present | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
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.
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.
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.
As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit
Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world. Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries. The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war. This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty.
UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.
Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.
How to handle it?
I'll let Douglas Keeney's own words and this image speak for themselves: "The geography of human conflict as seen from space at night. The Strait of Hormuz as seen at night from the space station is a beautiful lesson in the geography of conflict. How much we learn by simply tracing the fingers of human populations as seen superimposed over the geography of Earth. Enjoy."
-From Lights of Mankind: Earth at Night From Space
What would a picture look like from a drone's perspective? Where are these places that are being targeted? This Instagram account is incredibly thought-provoking and informative.
Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.
"Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets." This photo essay shows 34 powerful images that are emerging from this deadly conflict. If students need some background to understand who are the major players in this conflict, this glossary should be helpful.
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.
The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes. This is her story.
This photo is in Rome, where there is an exhibit based on NGS photos, and in Las Vegas as well. In both places the lines were long to get in.