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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 8:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 3:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 10:15 AM

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.

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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, July 22, 8:47 AM
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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 12, 11:13 AM

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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 6:35 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, 8:35 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.

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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 9:17 AM
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 8:21 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
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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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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 12:40 PM

The Arab Spring can be described as an uprising of Arab protesters that are no longer afraid to stand up against their rulers to improve their own political and economic conditions. Arabs march in the streets and hold signs to get their points across in hopes that things will eventually look up.

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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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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 8:18 AM

There's a lot of sarcasm behind this article, which does do a good job of explaining the geographical significance of Syria, but it also gives reasons as to why Americans should care about the country and its people "if the fact that people are dying and suffering" isn't enough, in the words of the article.

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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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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 8:35 PM
I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 5:33 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 8:03 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. 

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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 curator insight, December 12, 2012 9:38 AM

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?

 

Tags: energy, resources, Middle East, development.

Seth Dixon's comment, December 12, 2012 12:07 PM
In essence, this is measuring "how many miles per gallon" your economy is getting.
geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 1:37 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?"

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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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Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2012 6:51 PM
I must admit, I did struggle on whether to post it or not. In the video the use of term 'indigenous people' to refer to the Palestinians bothered me as did a few other references, but I did feel it tried to be accurate even if their political perspective was obvious.
I would most certainly be open to posting something more pro-Israeli since I'm not trying to advocate a particular point or push a perspective, but I did think it was a good, is somewhat flawed resource. It's near impossible to find anything without bias so I decided that sharing some flawed sources is better than not sharing any on a pretty weighty topic.
Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 10:16 AM

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.

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 4:34 PM

This video is a really helpful, simplified explanation of the fighting in Israel that is fiercely complicated and has gone on for decades now with one repressed group repressing another. If I ever need to explain the struggle to students, this video would be an excellent introduction.

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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, 8:32 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.

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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 1:24 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, 7:34 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. 

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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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