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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
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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

Via Seth Dixon
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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?

 

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 1:15 PM

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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Gentrification spelled out

Gentrification spelled out | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
As upscale, high-rise condos and hipster bars opened nearby, longtime customers joked: Is this really still “the ’hood”? Not anymore.

 

In a gentrifying neighborhood in Washington D.C. that was historically African-American, Fish in the ’Hood was an iconic restaurant that captured the feel of the area.  Just this May, the storefront restaurant was renamed Fish in the Neighborhood.

Questions to Ponder: Why?  Does it matter?  What does it mean?


Via Seth Dixon
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Amy Marques's curator insight, July 30, 2013 10:58 AM

I think this is a good example of how the neighborhood changes with the people who live in it. The restaurant being renamed to neighborhood from hood does change the feel. "Hood" really did represent the people who lived there. It does not change the quality of the restuarant but it might change who goes there. By changing their name to neighborhood it might attract a different crowd of people living in high-rise condos who might not have gone their before because the name was hood instead of neighborhood.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, September 15, 2013 8:36 PM

I read this article after Moss's op-ed piece, and the tactic that White used in order to keep his business is the practical kind of survival tactic that I found missing in Moss's piece. White says, “We’re adjusting, because it’s the only way to survive. I try to look and see what’s around me.” Instead of refusing to adapt his business to the changing environment, White did what a successful businessman should do: satisy the demands of his clientele. His clientele changed, so his business did. Stories about businesses like White's make me less sympathetic to the people who "cry gentrification."

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 12:16 PM

This article was a very interesting read. It shines a light that, with a moderate and humble pace, gentrification might not completely dismantle a community's cultural identity. Although this shop-keep is making an attempt at keeping up with the change he see's in the neighborhood, it might not be entirely necessary. 

Bottom line, people who are new to a community should be entering and supporting local businesses that have ties to the neighborhood and not just the kitchy hipster bars that pop up like dandelions in an untended meadow.  

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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. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:35 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 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. 

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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 14, 2012 9:18 AM

While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states.  South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage.  By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them.  Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.  


Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?  


Tags: Italy, states, autonomy, ethnic, language, devolution.

Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 11, 2012 1:59 AM
It's unbelievable that ethnic crimes continue to be committed in the world today, even after the atrocities performed by Hitler. When Yugoslavia collapsed, the power vacuum left behind caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. In Africa even in the present day, these kinds of things continue. It makes you wonder what kind of a world we are really living in.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:54 PM

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government