Haak's APHG
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Syrian Journey: Choose your own route

Syrian Journey: Choose your own route | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it
Put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian migrant and see whether you could make the right choices on the journey to Europe.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:01 PM

Citizens of Syria have experienced difficult times since their country entered into a period of continual war in the past few decades. People migrate to Europe in demand of better life for their families. All begin with a plan and a &helper,&  called trafficker or coyote in Mexico, and money to cross few borders and be able to live life free from war. Although, with countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with a massive migrations, tough economies, lack of jobs, nothing and no one is safe. However, Europe is very attractive in terms of quality life and safety to raise families. Furthermore, to be able to survive during this migration transition, many risks are involved and even in some cases, killings. Immigrants migrate by boat, truck, train, and sometimes even walking. Day or night immigrants keep moving and pay  high prices to be transported to the next point. It takes them weeks, months, and even years to reach thier final destinations. This is the same for those immigrants in Mexico and U.S. 

Claire Law's curator insight, April 25, 2015 8:41 PM

UK interactive resource to put students in the shoes of refugees fleeing conflict

zane alan berger's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:42 PM

this is a virtual stimulator showing the struggle of a Syrian migrant, proving that one risky decision can be detrimental for these people. this can be related to the migration unit

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Quiz on the Differences Between Sunni and Shia Islam

Quiz on the Differences Between Sunni and Shia Islam | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it
Most of the world's major religions are made up of multiple sects or denominations, and Islam is no different. Islam's two major sects are the Sunnis and the Shiites, and the division and interplay between the two is a major factor in the geopolitics of the Middle East. How well do you understand Sunni and Shiite Islam? Take our quiz and find out!

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 2015 10:19 PM

After taking this class about Political Islam I thought I knew about Sunni and Shiite Islam.  Taking this quiz I definitely mixed up a lot of the information.  It seems like it would be simple to understand the differences and the similarities, but they are so parallel its easy to get the information mixed up.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 3:09 PM

"Muslim Extremists!" "Death to militant Islam!" "Muslims are terrorists!" These cries are often heard from conservative factions of the United States, who are a lot more eager to blindly hate than they are to learn about the lives of the same people they want dead. Islam encompasses some 1.3 billion believers, and there are significant deviations in both the faith and its application among such a wide population of believers. Before this exam, I knew about the Sunni majority and the Shia minority currently in conflict in the Middle East, but my understanding of the distinction between the two faiths was vague at best. I also did not recognize that each of the two main branches are then further split into different denominations, much in the same way that Christianity is today within our own country. As different and "other" we try and make the Middle East out to be, they are not that different in their religious practices (and their fanatics ruining the name of the religion for everyone else) than many conservatives would like them to be. I definitely enjoyed taking this exam, particularly within the context of everything I have been learning about with what is happening in Syria. I had no idea Assad was not just a regular Shia, but instead a member of a much smaller, stricter denomination. Learning about this region has definitely been an eye-opening experience for me, in the sense that I know a lot less about the world than I thought I knew.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:53 PM

I am not very educated on the religion but I do know from my notes in class that religion is what stops Iraq from unifying. That country is made up of three religions Muslims , Sunnis and Shiites.

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Kuwaiti cartoonist battles opponents on how to portray Islam to the world

Kuwaiti cartoonist battles opponents on how to portray Islam to the world | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it

"Naif al-Mutawa, creator of comic book series THE 99, spoke with Al-Monitor about the recent death threat by the Islamic State and how US President Barack Obama's enemies became his."

 

Seven years after the Kuwaiti psychologist and entrepreneur first launched his comic book series based on the 99 attributes of Allah, he's facing a sudden onslaught of death threats, fatwas and lawsuits (his comic books were highlighted in this TED talk on cultural change in the Islamic World). His US distributor, meanwhile, continues to sit on a TV deal, in part because of pressure from conservative bloggers who object to any positive description of Islam.

 Tags: Middle East, religion, Islam.
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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:23 PM

This could have been a great way for Muslim customs to be taught to a whole new demographic of people all over the world.  People are very uneducated all across the globe when it comes to religions outside of their own.  Anytime you can show a side of your culture to a large audience to change a negative perception it should be taken advantage of.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 2:55 PM

I love this. In a world where there are so many negative stereotypes being portrayed in the media, it's refreshing to see someone leading the fight of presenting the truth in a way that's easily consumable for mass media. I find it disgusting that conservative groups have actively fought against the production of these comics because they do not want their young children "exposed to militant Islam." Seriously? You feel threatened by a religion indoctrinating your children because they are so young, because you don't want it replacing the religion you're indoctrinating your children with at such a young age? I find it sickening that people actively want to perpetuate incorrect stereotypes to fit their own agenda, as they are actively aware of their ignorance and EMBRACING it! It's unbelievable. I can only imagine how frustrated Naif must feel- to Westerners, he's a religious extremist, and to the Middle East he's presented as a Zionist. He's attempting to keep the middle ground in one of the most polarizing issues of the 21st century, and I wish him all the luck in the world. What he's doing is necessary for reconciliation and eventual progress, but he is certainly being punished for it in the short-term. I'll have to give his comic a look, and hopefully his show is still on Netflix as well.

Patty B's curator insight, March 11, 1:04 PM
I was surprised to learn that al-Mutawa began receiving death threats only after President Obama made remarks regarding "The 99." To me, the comic makes Islam easier to relate to. It takes some of the mystery surrounding Islam away, mystery that is often exaggerated and perpetuated by Western media outlets. The threats exemplify the fact that so many people in the Western world fail to understand basic differences regarding the Muslim religion, as well as the Middle East region altogether. People have so many preconceived notions of Islam that they denounce anything that has to do with it before even comprehending the actual matter at hand. 
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Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 6:19 PM

This map shows tha tthere are an overwhelimg amount of Arabs especially in centeral Syria. And then on the coast lline it is mostly mixed with pink representing the overwhlming other majority.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 2014 8:11 PM

It appears from this article that Syria is a complicated country. The map shows the different ethnic and religious groups of Syria, along with other groups, all of which live within a small area. Syria, along with other countries within the Middle East have been faced with one serious issue or another. Many different people live within a very small area; those people practice different religions and are ethnically and culturally different. Unfortunately, being different in this part of the world may get you killed.   

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 1:25 PM

Maps such as this one are very valuable when trying to understand conflict.  In Syria and the greater Levant area, unbalanced power and representation in politics is the result of many different religious and ethnic groups living in such close proximity each other, allowing conflict to become very invasive.

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Teach Mideast

Teach Mideast | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it

"TeachMideast is an educational outreach initiative developed by the Middle East Policy Council. TeachMideast is a resource designed primarily to give high school and community college teachers the foundation they need to teach about critical , complex, and intriguing subjects."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 2, 2015 3:50 PM

After writing an article about cultural empathy and stereotypes for National Geographic Education, I was delighted to hear from the educational outreach coordinator at Teach Mideast.  The amount of resources they have for teachers is impressive--check it out!


Tagsreligion, culturehistorical, political, Middle East.

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A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria

A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it
A school that lays in ruins, hospitals and refugee camps under attack, and a city center with the size of Manhattan destroyed by shelling — these are some of the shocking details of a new United Nations report on the conflict in Syria, four years after in began.

 

Tags: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, political, remote sensing.


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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:57 AM

Due to the current terror war in Syria, it has caused many people to flee to surrounding countries or countries where there is no terror and discrimination. This has caused them to be refugees or internally displaced persons.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:42 PM

The stupidity of this whole thing is the reparations and its cost. Its the injury and death tolls during the conflicts followed by the high cost to rebuild. One must ask is the war or conflicts worth it.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:20 PM

from the air the war looks like many historical photographs of bombings, and in this age of precision warfare it is somewhat disturbing that warfare can still look like this. this is a destruction of infrastructure on a scale unseen in the middle east since the Iran-Iraq war.

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The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split

The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split | Haak's APHG | Scoop.it
The division between Islam's Shiite minority and the Sunni majority is deepening across the Middle East. The split occurred soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, nearly 1,400 years ago.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:11 PM

The Islam-Sunni favors the father-in-law of Muhammad Abu Bakr and is strictly orthodox. The Islam-Shi'ite favors Muhammad's son-in-law Ali and it mostly practiced in Iran, southern Iraq and southern Lebanon. Sunni on the other hand is practiced throughout the northern part of Africa and throughout the whole middle east. In the middle east, 85% of the muslim population between Sunni and Shi'ite is Sunni and 15% practices Shia. Between Sunni and Shi'ite, Sunni appears to be the more popular and dominant Islamic religion.

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 31, 2015 5:04 PM

The middle east is a topic of discussion for people throughout America. I say the Middle East in a broad sense because there are a numerous amount of topics one could discuss in regards to the middle east. Politics, violence, terrorism, the faith of Islam in general, the list goes on. But it seems not many people go into the Sunni Shiite conflict in depth. In order to understand much of what goes on in the Middle East one needs to understand the two divisions between Islam, why they exist and what has been the history/significance of the relationship. I wonder sometimes if the people reporting the news realize what they are saying, whom the people/groups of people involved are, and what the significance of there being is. The video shown in class involving the two news reporters discussing/asking questions  about the Middle East with a scholar on the show definitely proved people are ignorant to the Middle East. They painted it with a "broad brush." If they can't even realize the vast size of Islam and the fact that they are generalizing when reporting terrorism thus linking the faith of Islam in general to it then I can only imagine what it would do to their heads to find out that there are two main divisions of Islam. It's bad when the people reporting the news don't understand the significance of what they are saying. It raises questions as to how the American people, whom are not well versed in the Middle East, interpret Islam and its people. Reading articles and listening to discussions would certainly help educate people and honestly this "scoop" was very clear in stating the origin, meaning, and significance of the two different divisions.  

I find the oil situation in the Middle East interesting to say the least. The Shiite's are the clear minority in Islam yet they control 80% of the Middle East's oil. It is crazy to think how the Safavid Dynasty set up shop in what is now Iran... In time Iran would prove to be rich in oil. Other parts of the middle east that are extremely rich in oil like southern Iraq, the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon are also Shiite. So in this case the minority has access to and controls an extreme amount of wealth. I'm sure there are people whom discuss the Middle East and oil yet don't know the religious aspects of the territory. Just through taking five minutes to read an article such as this an individual may form a different perception of Islam or specifically, in regards to this paragraph, oil in the Middle East. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:57 PM

having been to this part of the world and encountered obviously countless muslims and talking to several. i learned and witnessed first hand the hate that these people have for eachother, they are on such opposite sides of this religion and it is perplexing because it is the same religion and the debate is over such minor details of it (but judeism christianity and islam are all pretty much the same with minor differences arnt they?)

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Israel and Palestine

Hey friends-it's time to stop saying, "It's too complicated!" Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer. about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..


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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.