AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO
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UN News - ‘Unprecedented’ 65 million people displaced by war and persecution in 2015 – UN

UN News - ‘Unprecedented’ 65 million people displaced by war and persecution in 2015 – UN | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The number of people displaced from their homes due to conflict and persecution last year exceeded 60 million for the first time in United Nations history, a tally greater than the population of the United Kingdom, or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined, says a new report released on World Refugee Day today.

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Dustin Fowler's curator insight, June 20, 5:32 PM
We have more displaced people today than we did after World War II (well, we do have about twice as many people on earth).  This is huge news, and there seems to be no real end to the problem, only the looming uncertainty as to how the world will handle and respond to the growing numbers of those without homes.  Out of every 113 people on earth, one of them is a refugee.  The issue of how to handle migration issues today is the very heart of the difference between how liberals and conservatives feel is the best way to make the world a better place.  
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Choices Program--Scholars Online

Choices Program--Scholars Online | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

Scholars Online Videos feature top scholars answering a specific question in his or her field of expertise. These brief and informative videos are designed to supplement the Choices Program curricula.


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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 25, 2015 2:59 PM

In this video Jennifer L. Fluri explains the borders of Afghanistan. At first Afghanistan was used as a border outline between Russia and British India. The border facing India was named the Durand line, after Sir Durand, who convinced the leader of Afghanistan to respect the line.  There is Iranian/Persian influence in Afghanistan also with the celebration of Nowruz, the Iranian/Persian New Year. That is because Southern Afghanistan was part of Iran in 1502-1736, under the Safavid Empire. Also Dari is one of the main languages spoken in Afghanistan which came from Persia. She ends the video saying “where Afghanistan is today both culturally and geopolitically has to do with their geography”

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 7:15 AM

Afghanistan's current borders are the result of political maneuvering between empires. Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor is a result of this political maneuvering. The corridor was created in order to prevent the Russian Empire and British India from sharing a common border. While many afghans may decry the notion, Afghanistan has been shaped by foreign influence. The same can be said for almost every other nation on the globe. Almost all borders are determined by some from of political maneuvering. Our borders with Mexico and Canada have been determined through treaties and wars.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 12:24 PM

As I have learned more about the world, it's been interesting to see how arbitrary national borders can sometimes be. I think we are taught in school to associate "nations" with "nationalism," and although that is generally the case for most industrialized nations (whose citizens generally feel they are "nationals" within their own borders), it is not always true for the rest of the world. We see this in the numerous ethnic disputes in African nations, in the violent Yugoslav wars in Europe, and today with the Kurd uprising in Syria and Iraq- we see ill-defined borders that do not meet the needs of their peoples, nations that do not encompass the same sentiments of nationalism. As a result, we see indifference between these various peoples at best, or open conflict between varying ethnic and ideological groups at worst. Afghanistan as we know it today is not the result of self-determination or a sense of nationalism, but geopolitical jockeying between Russia and the United Kingdom. It is not a nation, but a political buffer.

As a result, Afghanistan does not act as a single nation- it may have a central government, but that government is incredibly weak, and people in remote areas often do not even know of its existence. Afghanistan is a series of small city-states and even more isolated settlements clumped together behind arbitrarily drawn lines, living their lives in much the same manner their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. This has made the mountainous, isolated regions of the nation a haven for terrorists and religious extremism, posing a serious issue in the region that, despite billions of dollars and a decade of fighting, the US has been unable to find a solution for. Divided amongst itself, Afghanistan is a nation in name only, something that the West likes to place on the map because of a dispute between two global powers nearly 2 centuries ago.

 

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"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."   This video really resonates with my students.  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 2:03 PM

This is a good example of the use of soft power in areas where American culture is not popular. Instead of using military force to exert western Ideals on the people of Afghanistan. This Australian may have found a way to close the gap towards bringing our cultures  closer together.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:01 PM

In a society that is seen by most of the world as strict and rigid, it was interesting to see these children having fun and breaking the mold of traditional afghan kids. What makes this even more fascinating is that female children are doing some of the skating. With gender issues a hot topic in some Middle Eastern countries, letting kids have fun before being made to conform to tradition is a nice experience for them. While they still respect the culture to they belong to, it is a break from that and a breathe of fresh air for them. These youth are not seen primarily as men and woman, but as children.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:33 AM

Who could have imagined, that Skateboards could be used as a geopolitical tool? Over a decade ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan with the aim of rooting out and destroying the terrorist who attacked the nation on 911. As with most of our military campaigns in the Middle East, the mission quickly became bogged down in a nation building campaign. The people of Afghanistan have long been wary of foreign influence. Empire after empire has attempted to conquer this nation, only to suffer humiliating defeats. For any chance at sustained success, the United States must win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. This skateboard program is a perfect tool in accomplishing that objective. The parks bring all types of youths together in the spirit of fun. They are a unifying factor amongst the youth in Afghanistan.

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Countries Divided on Future of Ancient Buddhas

Countries Divided on Future of Ancient Buddhas | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Thirteen years after the Bamian Buddhas were blasted into rubble, opinion is split on whether to leave them as is, rebuild them, or make copies of them.

Via Seth Dixon
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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 12:46 PM

Most people often forget that the Silk Road passed into Central Asia and the Middle East from East Asia.  This means that along the road, travelers often put things that reminded them of home.  The Buddha statues that once existed in Afghanistan are an example of this.  They were in fact labeled a world heritage site.  Sadly, the Buddhas had been ravaged throughout history by radical arabs.  This is because their religion frowns upon (actually forbids) idols, which they considered the statues to be.  Although they had been tempered with for many years, the Taliban finally decided to blow them up in 2001.  Now, there are differing opinions across various countries as to whether they should be rebuild or not.  Afghanistan believes that they should be rebuilt so the government can claim a symbolic victory over the Taliban.  Unesco wants a restoration done right, so for now it won't allow rebuilding to occur.  Germans tried to rebuild them, but Unesco blocked it from happening.  South Korea, Italy and Japan are all willing to donate money, but have no mention of the statues.  I believe that the statues should be rebuilt, as the article points out monuments were rebuilt in France after Protestants burnt down many old Gothic Cathedrals.  I also believe it is necessary because we cannot let the culture of hate that the Taliban believes in to win.  Average Muslims realize that the statues have historical significance and that they do not need to worship Buddha to respect that this site was 1,500 years old.  I also think it would send a strong message from the Afghan government if the statues were rebuilt because it would show they, like the article states, are not going to let the Taliban rule their country.

 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:42 PM

I find it interesting that other countries are divided.  Why are they deciding the future for this country?  They can't seem to get out of their ways to come up with a real solution.  Its unfortunate.  

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:40 AM

this is a reminder of what extremism can do to ancient works of art that they view as heretical. these ancient, massive statues were carved out of living rock by ancient Buddhists, and had withstood the test of time until Afghan terrorists blew them up.

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The Geography of Afghanistan

The Geography of Afghanistan | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Students are introduced to the physical and human features of Afghanistan."


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David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:04 PM

Afghanistan is a unique country that is plagued by the media as war torn and savage. Not much about Afghanistan cultural geography and how ordinary Afghan people function is represented by mainstream news organizations and other forms of western media. Its a shame. 

Afghanistan is a mountainous country thus creating four distinct regions that have more or less there own identity. This has been seen throughout history. Geography can keep a nation separated culturally and tougher to govern on a political scale as well. This is especially present in lesser develop nations. For example Ancient Greece was tough to keep politically sound due to its nonstop Mountains. This makes communication difficult, especially in a timely fashion. It also keeps people separate from each other leading people to create there own culture. Italy is another example in regards to the Industrial North being an extreme opposite of the agricultural south. The Northern Italian geography was heavily influenced by other European industrial nations while the agrarian south remained simple. These two separate identities have been present for some time and have continued to produce conflict since the forming of the Country Italy in the late 19th century. None the less, Afghanistan is another example of geography separating a country. However the geography also gives birth to different styles of living.

People in rural Afghanistan still practice pastoralism. The movement of livestock by changing of seasons is complemented by farmers growing of crops such as barley, nuts, wheat, and fruit, just to name a few. These people mostly live off of what they produce. Within the past decade Afghanistan has undergone a process of urbanization. I argue its due to westernization of the potential/growth of a Central Business District. The respected main cities in the four different regions, especially Kabul have seen a huge population growth. This is due to cities offering education and economic mobility. The standard of living is higher and attracts people from rural areas. I can imagine it is attracting relatively young people ranging from 15 to 30 years of age whom are seeking a different way of life.

The cities rely on the rural regions for certain supplies of food and the rural regions rely of manufactured goods. Its nice to see Afghanistan pastoralists not  being luddites and excepting technology as a positive force.

My perception on Afghanistan is that its a first world country. However it is starting to form the foundation for lifting itself from first world to second world. Afghanistan has a new government (western influenced), which is essential in developing a nation. However there are signs of corruption. If able to establish a more sound country, it can begin to build its economy from within and spread outward. With becoming more politically and economically developed Afghanistan would become a second world nation. Afghanistan has a lot to go through before it can be considered second world. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, March 4, 2015 11:27 PM

Once I opened this portal I was amazed with how many resources were available, having worksheets, maps, lesson plans and videos really can help a teacher to get more in depth while teaching about Afghanistan. Having the opportunity to let the children watch video's can really help the visual learners in the classroom and well s the auditory learners. The lesson plan talks about the history and people in Afghanistan as well as maps that help trace out ethnicities in the region.The video on daily life would really help show the children how different their lives are from those in Afghanistan, to create an assignment from the video the children could do a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the lives of the average United States citizen and the daily life of someone living in Afghanistan.

Every area in the world has a different geography  and I believe it is important for everyone whether it be students or adults, everyone should learn about each region to get an understanding of how other people are living in the world around us.

As a history, social studies or geography teacher I would come back to this lesson plan and enlighten my children using the Common Core Standards so when they venture out in the world they have a grasp of what is going on around them.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:52 PM

From this, I learned that the borders are shaped for Russia and British India to have uncommon borders. Having friendly ties with Pakistan has a lot to do with the Soviet presence with in Central Asia. It is predominantly agrigul society. 20% live in urban areas and 80% live in rural areas. Urban spaces tend to be more modernized with water and electricity.  Those in the rural areas have had no running water and have been living their lives without and in a way in which we would not be used to. People in rural areas cook on open fire, life for women is very labor intensive, so it is good for big families because then the children can help, both in and out the house. 

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Daily Life in Afghanistan

Daily Life in Afghanistan | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
We tend to look at Afghanistan through the lens of conflict, with good reason. Deaths of American forces recently reached 2000 in the 11 years since US involvement in the country began.

 

Yes, Afghanistan is a war-ravaged country; but it is also a place that families call home and where children play.  This photo essay is a nice glimpse into ordinary lives in Central Asia.

 

Tags: Afghanistan, images, culture, Central Asia. 


Via Seth Dixon, Magnus Gustafsson
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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 3, 2015 1:09 PM

It appears that Afghanistan has a poor economy. It's lifestyle is definitely different from the way we live in the United States. The buildings are not as well-developed as the buildings in New York City and Chicago. Also, Afghanistan seems to lack cleanliness which allows diseases to spread throughout the country, and perhaps throughout small parts of other countries that border it.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 12:34 AM

It is important to remember that, besides all the problems, attacks, and battles/wars that are occurring in countries such as Afghanistan, people are still living there daily lives. The people of Afganistan still work, children play in the streets, and there is still laughter amongst the chaos. Through over a decade of war, thousands of people have died from both the US and Afghan soldiers. It is very concerning that nothing stops even if a disaster occurs. These people live there lives everyday perhaps not knowing what will happen next. Especially now, with the ISIS issues and Al Qaida issues, thousands of people are suffering. These images show daily lives of Afghans, carrying on in the face of bitter warfare and economic hardship. These images show people living in this region and one can easily compare to other regions that Afghans have it a lot harder than many other regions around the world. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:06 PM

Daily life in Kabul is a daily struggle as one of the most impoverished places in the world. They suffer from a lack of infrastructure to the lack of medicine in the hospitals. Many of the invasions that have occued have weakened a already weak country. That has led to many deaths and much fighting on the area. These images show many of the struggles that pepople go through on a daily basis. This was not just the people being in poverty but with the wars and stuff that have happened there has to led them to be even more worse off.