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Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
Curated by Elisha Upton
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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:10 PM

what i find interesting about this is that both syria and turkey are trying to remove the kurds from their countries. neither country will allow more kurds to immigrate into their land, but both are encouraging them to leave and go fight in the other country. the kurds seem to not care which country they live in as long as they are all together but no country wants them.

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.

 

This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 

 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping. 


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The Next Step in the Islamic Wave

The Next Step in the Islamic Wave | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining power in several countries since the Arab Spring. The rise of Islamist power in the Middle East is culturally and politically complex.  This interactive lets the user click on selected countries to see how groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas are impacting them politically. 

 

Tags: Middle East, religion, Islam, political.


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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 4, 2014 3:03 PM

The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes.
www.qurancoaching.com

Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 12, 2014 2:13 PM

The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes.
http://goo.gl/st4aLZ
Like/Share/Comment.
#quran #onlineQuran #islam #Tajweed

Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 27, 2014 1:34 PM
The Quran-Coaching is the best platform for the quran learning by taking online quran classes. http://goo.gl/st4aLZ Like/Share/Comment. #quran #onlineQuran #islam #Tajweed
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The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
In the dusty triangle where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet, there is more than one war going on.

 

Geopolitically, there is a fascinating confluence of competing interests at this border.  This is "the scariest little corner of the world." It's a dangerous place that is often beyond the authority of any of state.  It also represents (depending on how you divide the world up) at the intersection of the three major regions in the area: Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.      

 

Tags: Afghanistan, political, borders, MiddleEast, SouthAsia, Central Asia, unit 4 political.


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:35 PM

This is a dangerous place with no authority. This area is filled with fighting, bombing and constant war. But this area is also an important intersection for three major regions Central Asia, Middle East, and South Asia. 

Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:35 AM

A meeting of different worlds at a border. I can't imagine the things one would see or hear living or growing up on a border of conflict such as this. Refugees are a common site, and no authority can dominate the others, making the area effectively lawless.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:19 PM

This note talk about the place in the desert where three hostile countries confront each other on the infinite war.

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Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls

Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Syria is destined to fragment into three separate sectarian states after the regime of Bashar al-Assad is extirpated, according to Mohammad Yaghi, a Syrian jour...

 

"It no longer matters whether what is happening in Syria is a revolution or a conspiracy that preempted a potential revolution — or even a conspiracy targeting the 'non-aligned' countries. The substance of the matter is: Is it possible to save Syria from imminent disintegration?"  This article that originally came from a Palestinian news agency serves as a good material to start a discussion about centripetal and centrifugal forces.

 

Tags: Middle East, devolution, political, unit 4 political and war. 


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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 4, 2012 12:17 PM
This article reveals that diversity and stability in society may not be synonymous in a location where there is limited population diffusion. If a population is never diffused throughout a particular space, you risk creating a situation where ethnic and religious groups become highly regionalized which in turn further erode the solidarity of nations like Syria.
Chris W's comment, September 5, 2012 11:21 AM
the whole situation in the Middle East right now is on a dangerous and slippery slope when it comes to governments controlling the populations by force. the Arab Spring was a turning point in the history and current direction of the region as Arabs across the region are striving for freedoms that they see as essential to their livelihoods. In Syria's case, Assad has taken over the country using his military forces to overrun cities and villages in efforts to establish his control. Opposition forces are battling to drive Assad out of power. There are record numbers of refugees fleeing Syria as it descends in civil war. Al-Jazeera has a really good article on what constitutes a civil war and if Syria is indeed heading towards one or is in fact currently in a civil war. the link is posted here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/08/201282683723964944.html
Megan Becker's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:49 PM

Summary: Syria's composition of multiple nations has lead to stress and internal conflict in the country. This article discusses the balkanization of Syria, if these centrifugal forces were to come to the breakup of the country.

 

Insight: This article relates to unit 4 in that the devolution of Syria, and possible balkanization, is due to the centrifugal force of having several different nations inside your country, that don't share the same culture, religion, or even language. This article does a great job of explaining the forces that can lead to the breakup of a country, scarily evident in present day Syria. 

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What is the Arab Spring?

The Choices Program asks Brown University's Political Scientist Melani Cammett to briefly explain the Arab Spring.  This is a great primer to teach young students who don't follow international news to understand the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  For more videos by the Choices Program in their "Scholars Online" series, see:

http://www.choices.edu/resources/scholarsonline.php


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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:17 PM

Re-scooped from my geography course. Arab Spring led to upheaval in the region that wasn't totally like western democracy. Could be a failure, or maybe not. It seems like it worked out in some countries, but others haven't had the same experiences. That's a whole lot of oil up for grabsl.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:09 PM

The Arab Spring refers to the various popular uprisings that started in December 2010. It began officially when a farmer set himself on fire in protest to his treatment by the police. This protest by one man sparked a protest throughout the rest of the country and other countries too through out the region.  The people that have lived under authoritarian rule and lived in oppression have lost their fear to protest and rise against their government. They protest peacefully, weekly, sometimes daily. One place of protest is Tahrir Square. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:35 PM

i had no idea what Arab spring was before this video. i am now wondering how bad the oppression was if it drove a man to light himself on fire.

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Why Syria should matter to Americans

Why Syria should matter to Americans | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
In between taking care of their families, working and trying to keep up with everyday life, many Americans have caught at least a couple stories about Syria.

 

Geopolitical strategists have noted 6 reasons why the United States should care about Syria (if the fact that people are dying and suffering because of a repressive regime is not enough for you).  1) it is the physical core of the Middle East 2) Al Qaeda 3)Iran 4)Oil Prices 5) Economics and 6) Global reputation within the region.


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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:43 PM

Syria seen as the core of the Middle East and if it begins to weaken, so does the entire middle east. The violence that is riddling Syria can make it way into Iraq, where some Americans are still active in. The article goes on to highlight how Syria, while not on our list of immediate concerns, could seriously effect Oil prices due to the violence erupting in that country and how the possibility of United States involvement could have an effect on the US economy, just like the war in Iraq had an effect and cost $1 trillion as a result. The article also shows how the United States is becoming more involved, at least verbally, by saying that it has a “responsibility as a global leader to defend democratic Principles.”

Chandler and Zane's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:21 PM

Economics: Americans should care about Syrians because 1: they are people like you and me. 2: they who said " since they aren't us we don't care for them and we won't accept outsiders. Nobody that's who. Syria does have issues and problems that need to be worked on but we can't give up on them and what if we decreased in what we have. We would need somebody to take us in and if we help them, they'll help us.

Clayton and Annie's curator insight, February 10, 2015 5:26 PM

Syria is actually very important to americans and our country. Most people wouldnt expect it, but they are. it is the political core which is the main reason.

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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil

The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

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Seth Dixon's comment, December 12, 2012 3:07 PM
In essence, this is measuring "how many miles per gallon" your economy is getting.
geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 4:37 AM
Seth Dixon, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics.  What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising.  This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity."  This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future?  How does this make us re-assess these economies?  Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?"

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2014 1:49 PM

Many people are well-aware of the Middle East's important part in the world oil market, but many fail to realize that this region consumes more oil than any other. Government subsidized oil prices combined with a rising economy spurring increased population growth and development makes parts of this region thirsty for petroleum. Cars are becoming more popular and as areas develop, electricity is being produced by the direct burning of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia continue producing massive amounts of oil. This natural resource is what is going to shape this region in the upcoming years, providing major economic development that may trickle down to the people. 

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.

 

This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 

 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping. 


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Israel and Palestine

Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:40 PM

From 1946 to 2000, Palestine (Islamic individuals) have been at war with Israel (Jewish individuals) over land in Israel/Palestine. In 1946, Palestine took over most of Israel but throughout the decades up until 2000, Israel slowly won over almost every piece of Israel and now, Palestine barely has any land in Israel. From 1949 to 1967, Palestine took over a specific area of Israel known as the West Bank and another small part of Israel known as Gaza. There was a lot of war going on between Israel and Palestine because Israel discriminated against non-Jews. Palestinians became refugees but that didn't stop Israel from fighting to take over Palestinian land.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 30, 2015 1:03 AM

The video was informative, but bias. I have a stronger understanding of how Israel is exploiting, how the borders were re-drawn, and how the make up of the original border mattered. However, the author gave me these facts in a very pro-Palestinian manner. The narrator sees the Palatines as refugees instead of the Jews, who as the narrator said, were "refugees living where people already lived." This similar identity clearly resonated with the narrator who almost 2 minutes of the video speaking about how the treatment of the new refugees was wrong. While a fair amount of the rest of the video advocated a solution to help Palestinian, hence the negative portrayals of the United States backed peace talks.  

 

What was missing from this video was Israeli's story. The Jewish community had become a large force within Palestinian, but was not being aptly recognized. In fact, the Palestinian's prior to the UN offer weren't treating the Jews fair. When this offer came along, it was the Palestinian's who started the fight, a point that was down played in this video as the narrator rushed to point the finger at Israeli's wrong doings. Yet, another portrayal of this conflict mentioned in class, showed the Israeli's feel threatened because they are a minority surrounded by enemies within the region. All of this information means that the Palestinian's and other neighbors play more of a negative hand in the land dispute than what the narrator says.    

 

To be honest, I don't know enough about either side to really say who I support. However, from what I gather, neither side is a bushel of roses. As learned in class their were a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that caused the fighting and their is still a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that factor into the fighting today. Thus, the bias of this video acts as a reminder that a person looking to understand a heated conflict, such as this one between neighbors, must view the information with causation. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:30 PM

first off, this video is very pro isrelis which must be kept in mind. also i dont know what the palestinians and surrounding countries expected. the jews had nowhere to go and were sent there by england. where else where they to go? instead of accepting this the palestinians started to attack them and when they lost they wanted to come back and live there, of course the jews were not going to let them back in. neither side is completely right or wrong but i can see the jewish side more than the palestinians.

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On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories

On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political. 


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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:32 AM

A relatively grim reminder that even things as clear-cut as road systems can be inherently political. This system forces segregation by the law of which roads can be driven on, but it's a good jumping point to remember that even the placement of roads can exclude or include communities. I'm reminded of the proposed idea for a NAFTA superhighway running through Mexico, Canada, and the US. One of the criticisms was that the highway would not provide exits for anywhere but major economics centers, effectively cutting off small towns from the rest of the area.

Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:04 PM

Area/Geography: This is a diagram of what Israel is like for Palestinians and Israelis. It shows extremely restricted access for Palestinians. Whereas Israelis have all of the roads. This diagram fairly falls under the Area/Geography category because of the fact of how the Israeli government is manipulating the area/geography of the land of Israel to suit their best interest. 

Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

Here one can see the political territoriality among Israel. For example in this article webpage we saw that people with Palestinian license plates can not drive on Israeli roads. This is one of the many instances where people are segregated according to their beliefs. 

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Egypt--Reflections on an Unfinished Revolution

Egypt--Reflections on an Unfinished Revolution | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
A year the first protests in Tahrir Square, young Egyptians look back at the promise of the Arab Spring as well as the reality many revolutionaries failed to foresee.

 

The young revolutionary voices of Egypt are hardly united in their political aims and social goals.  This video chronicles the disparate voices that are a part of the shaping the revolution, but also voices that are impacted by the unfinished nature of the revolution. 


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NCSS: War and Terrorism

NCSS: War and Terrorism | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:24 PM

This must be a great teaching plan so students can be thought about what is going on in the world. It also shows them what is going on in Iraq and in the Middle East and it could probably trigger one of them to fight back and change the Middle East from all the discrimination towards women and probably destroy all these bad groups that just have a motive to destroy and kill.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:34 AM

Before 9/11 a lot of Americans didnt know much about the war on terrorism, It wasnt till after the attacks when they were directly affected did they bother to learn more about it to know why it happened and if something like it would happen again. 

Max Minard's curator insight, May 26, 2015 8:32 PM

This article brings up the topic of educating students on the major topics of current political affairs and serious terrorist incursions in the Middle East and other parts of the world. As it says, it contains 30 lesson plans that all focus on providing resources and factual information on current events that involve US war in Iraq and terrorism. I personally think that this course will successfully provide students with a better knowledge on what's actually happening around them. This can further lead them to knowing how to handle these situations in the future, where they must lead the United States. It will better prepare them for future roles in government.  

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NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World

NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
A look inside the controversial underground tunnels that link Egypt and the Gaza Strip, where smugglers funnel fuel, food, and potentially weapons into the isolated territory.

 

This video is a look inside the some of the hundreds of tunnels that are used to smuggle goods into Gaza that have become more intensely used since the blockade on goods that went into effect in 2007 when Hamas came to power.  Also, members of the Israeli military demonstrate the evidence they have that these tunnels are being used to bring weapons. 


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