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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In this article Professor Arnon Sofer begins to make the link between the conflicts in Syria and all other middle eastern countries with high birth rate and drought. Over the last 60 years the middle easts population has doubled but their water supply has not in fact it is 85% desert and Turkey has siezed much of the water that flowed into Syria. Many people have begun digging illegal water wells pushing the water table even lower and civil wars throughout Syria have broken out in the areas hit hardest by drought. 

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 8:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 12:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 5:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric

Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Iran's annual al-Quds - or Jerusalem - Day, denouncing Israel, is as much an expression of policy as ritual, writes BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Every year Jerusalem Day brings millions of people into the streets for support of the Palestinians and  the denouncing of the Isreals. The idea was proposed in 1979 during deepening tension between Lebon and Isreal. Jerusalem day is supposed to be about Jerusalem but the slogans are all about death to Isreal, it has turned into an occasion about the political mood in Iran. Any politican in Iran that wants to gain power must be heard giving speeches aboout Isreal, and with the ever changing social media it helps to spread media clips, video, and photos of this important day throughout Iran    

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 9:43 AM

This article describes Iran's "Jerusalem Day," a day in which people gather in the streets to voice their denial and hatred of the nation of Israel. The day has become a tradition and politicians make sound byte laden speeches to rally support.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 5:39 PM

The people of Iran gather to celebrate Jerusalem Day. Each year millions of people come together to express their hatred towards Israel and support towards Palestinians. They rally and some people including politicians give speeches. Speeches by President Ahmadinejad even included the denial of the holocaust.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 12:19 PM

This day is pro-Palestinian and is a must-go-to event for politicians. Any politician that wants to be heard or even listened to in the future must make their way to this parade of protests and Iranian rituals.

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Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous.

Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous. | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Oil-rich, velvet-rope-poor Azerbaijan, a country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea, would very much like to be the world’s next party capital.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Azerbaijan is tiny about the size of South Carolina, home to 9.2 million people, it produces nothing the world wants and has no major unviversities. So why is it such a big deal? It has Oil. Back in 2006 they began pumping oil from the caspian sea and with the help of BP they now pump one million barrels of oil daily. If the proposed pipeline running from turkey to Austria is built it could bring in billions of dollars a year. Azerbijan is overwhelmingly Muslim and buys advanced weapons systems from Israel in exchange for oil, they are a new member of the UN and sided with the US against Russia on the issue of Syria. Azerbaijan is making a rise in the world all thanks to their oil goldmine  

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 11, 2013 7:30 PM

Azerbaijan has limited cultural prestige and international recognition, but it has great quantities of oil, and they are parlaying that wealth into an important geopolitical position in Central Asia.  It appears that Baku has ambitions to become the next Dubai.


Tags: Azerbaijan, political, development, Central Asia, unit 4 political.


Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 10:43 AM

Much like Dubai they are using their oil wealth to build a city on the ocean.  Also they share a border with Iran, which makes the US even more interested in the area.  They also as of late have supported the US against Russia in the Syria conflict.  This small, but oil rich and strategically located country is getting involved in geo-politics and want to make sure people know its on the map.  Long a part of the USSR it is establishing itself as a country in the world and on its way to make its own idenity.  They are also looking to lay a gas pipeline that will just increase their standing in the economy of the area and the world.  They still have thier issues, Russia could flex its muscle in the area and there is the the ongoing conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.  Going to be an interesting time in this part of the world.

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A Barrier to Peace

A Barrier to Peace | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"Why would they want to pull down these walls?” asks William Boyd mildly as he offers me a cup of tea in his home at Cluan Place, a predominantly Loyalist area of east Belfast.

 

These walls, orginally installed in the late 60s to protect Belfast residents during "the Troubles."  Today, some argue that these walls are now barriers to the peace process as they continue defacto segregation.  Walls, as barriers to diffusion, stifle communication, cooperation and interaction.  Still, these walls are symbols of communal identity and icons in the cultural landscape.  For more academic work on this, see Peter Shirlow's Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City.

 

Questions to Consider: How would a wall through an already culturally and politically divided city impact both sides of the wall?  Today, are the walls beneficial to peace in Northern Ireland?       

 

Tags: Ireland, states, borders, political. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The walls in Belfast Ireland were put in the 60's to protect the residents and today many people argue they need to come down. My grandmother just returned from a trip to Ireland and Belfast was one of the areas they went. She said it was very sad, Christians had to walk on one side of the street and Protestans on the other in one area and the tour bus driver was being voice monitered by the police the whole time. There is so much seperation in Befast because of that wall and more people dont want it taken down then want it down for anything to be done. 

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 30, 2013 9:14 AM

The barrier in Belfast, Ireland is an impressive one. It has been there since the 1960s and having it there has become a security for the residence on both sides. Neither side wants it taken down, however, they have extremely different political/religious views. It seems strange to me that these people would prefer living in prison-like conditions just because that is the way it has been for so long. So long as the physical walls stay up, so will the cultural walls between these people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 5:13 AM

This article is about large walls which were constructed fifty years ago to separate a part Belfast, Northern Ireland to protect citizens from conflicts between loyalists and separatists. Q wall separating people could temporarily protect people from violent conflict, but it would undoubtedly ensure continued conflict and intensify the feeling of "Us vs. Them." Though the people interviewed from both sides of the wall in the article like the wall since it gives them a feeling of security, the wall is likely damaging to a peace process in Northern Ireland.

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Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt

Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Protesters upset over an American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Libya, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo.

 

The idea of anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East and Northa Africa on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 was initially quite shocking. As always, a greater understanding of the cultural context and timing helps explain (not necessarily justify) the situation. The video produced by "Sam Bacile" that has sparked the controversy is truly reprehensible and as cultural insensitive as it gets. Still, the protests, by blindly lashing out at the United States embassy, only exacerbate the cultural problems. 

UPDATE: This public gathering of Libyan's in Benghazi to apologize for the death of Chris Stevens is quite poignant.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How does one single YouTube video impact geopolitics?  Culturally speaking, what makes this such a powerfully charged issue?  Will this issue become fodder for the election? 

 

Tags: MiddleEast, political, culture, Islam, religion.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Protestors were upset over an American made video denouncing Islam and attacked the United States Consulate in Libya and demonstrators stromed over walls of the United States Embassy in Cario. The video was insensitive and sparked anger throughout many. With the way the internet reaches and how social media works many more people in far reach areas are able to view these videos and create problems like this.

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Mark V's comment, September 17, 2012 6:38 PM
Reading the accounts of Libyan protests and violence that culminated in the death of Ambassador Stevens leaves many questions. Notwithstanding of which is the role of religion in an increasingly secular globalized world economy. Of course there are many back stories here as well. The ghost of 9/11, the Arab Spring, uneasiness between Israel and Iran, US military presence in the Mideast; etc. The trigger for the violence-we are led to believe- was the video “Innocence of Muslims” by a California man named Sam Bacile. Bacile’s video while short, was cartoonish and ruthless in its appraisal of Muhammad and Islam, Bacile is on record stating that “Islam is a cancer”. Bacile an Israeli-American feels no need to engage in any cultural sensitivity on the issue, and his video has clearly caused much consternation in the Arab world.
The cultural sensitivity issue is probably the hardest issue for America and West in general to overcome. Religion in the US is more of a decoration, a footnote, something that is on the decline, it is not the center of life here. For Muslims it’s the focal point , a prism from which they look at the world through. Marginalized by the world, brutalized and manipulated within their own countries, Arabs look to their religion to be a rock on which they can build themselves. To dismiss it as ridiculous, comical, or evil can only foster great distrust and anger. Within the communities of the Mideast sentiment varies and many expressed horror over the embassy attacks, blaming extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood.
Within all the confusion I think of the situation in Syria, the ongoing genocide and the chess pieces within a larger world stage. I wonder if there is a workable solution to any of the issues from North Africa to Afghanistan. One thing is certain Israel must feel insecure in the days, weeks, and months ahead, as things trend toward “us” versus ‘them”.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 3:33 PM

This video effects geopolitics in the region in a number of ways as the US may find itself bearing the brunt of the Islamic world reaction from this video since the producer was a American. The fact that Jewish donors provided funds for the film will likely further strain relations between Israel, the United States and the Islamic countries. Likewise in the upcoming 2012 election how both parties choose to address this while trying to appeal to “Christian” voters will add another layer of complexity to this issue.
This video is a clear example of just how interconnected the world we live in today really is and how a single actions can affect many others creating unforeseen consequences. Hopefully the lesson that can be learned from the “Innocence of Islam” U-Tube trailer is that people need to be more cultural sensitive when it comes to displaying public information that can be easy diffused around the world. The largely negative reaction from the global Muslim community has shown us that we cannot afford to be ignorant or cultural incentive to others in an increasing globalized and connected world. However another lesson that both the US, Libya, Egypt and the world at large should take note of is that nations should not become the focal point of acts of violence due to the actions of a few individual whether it is a terrorist or Sam Bacile. We in the West need to take into account that in the Muslim world there isn’t really a separation between church and state like there is in the here so religious matters affect every aspect of society. We should also take into mind that this was also the case in Europe not to many centuries ago, remember the Middle Ages and the inquisition.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 7:31 AM

On the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th in the United States, anti-U.S. protestors attacked Benghazi due to their anger toward an American-made YouTube video that denounced Islam.  It is amazing to see the impact that one single Internet creation can have.  It shows the power that particular media and social outlets such as YouTube and Facebook have.

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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 28, 2013 8:53 PM

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 2:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 1:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Honduras is the worlds most violent country. It has a mix of drug trafficking , it is politically unstable and has a murder rate that is four times that of Mexicos. The peace corp has even withdrawn its volunteers and contributors to the violence are the poilce. One of the problems with the police corruption is that Honduras is a big drug trafficking stop, the other problem is that the US funds the Honduras police force 50 million a year.  

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 4, 3:31 PM

Although this is dated approximately two years ago, the issue is still relevant. Honduras is geographically located in the middle of heavy drug trafficking routes. A poor economy and a history of political corruption, as well as a history of United States involvement in paramilitary training and aid has created a country that is not set up for stability. The issues in Honduras are very similar to the issues of many third world nations that deal heavily with drug trafficking and political corruption. Those in power, receiving aid from the U.S. use those assets against their political foes while the common people find themselves turning to illegal means to make a living. The police, being corrupt themselves since corruption is a trickle down disease, probably have a number of officers working for various gangs, cartels, and other nefarious groups. Because they can hide behind the authority of the “law,” they are able to use their force to further the agendas for whoever is putting money in their pocket. Whether it be for greed or unfortunate economic necessity, or out of fear of reprisal for not conforming it is the locals who suffer from the overwhelming police presence. These are issues that are found across the globe in countries and regions that have unstable politics that are fueled by conflict, whether it be resources, illicit substances, or other illegal trade.As the police pressure continues to mount, it is only a matter of time before serious reform takes place or violent revolution transforms the political landscape.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 10:36 AM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 7:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

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The role of social networking in the Arab Spring

The role of social networking in the Arab Spring | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A case study for our World Development text book...

 

How useful was digital technology, particularly social networking sites, to democracy protesters in Tunisia and Egypt?  How important are the democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa to world development?  Social media has fundamentally changed the cultural and political paradigms. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Social networking sites and digital technology is useful for news gathering, connecting and co-ordinating groups and individuals. Mobile phones can take pictures of what is going on and share them in a second and tv for the reporting of events around the world. 

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 7:34 AM

The role of social networking through media is crucial in the Arab Spring.  Social networking through media brings people from all areas of the world together.  It spreads a variety of thoughts, ideas, and questions.  It also acts as a major news source.  People in the United States can click a button and see what is happening on the other side of the world at any particular moment, and vice versa.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to this region and named it Pakistan. The name was created by a group of students at Cambrige University and used the names of their homelands. Punjab, Afghania  Kashmir, Iran ,Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan is an acronym! 

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Robert T. Preston's comment, June 6, 2013 6:28 PM
Most sites agree that this is how the country got it's name. "Stan" means homeland, but the rest of the nation's provinces provided the name when combined.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 14, 2013 6:06 AM

It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names.  Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country.  Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 11:27 AM

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

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Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests

Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The proposed construction of an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York caused outrage when it was announced two years ago. Now days after the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the facility opened last night to no opposition.

 

This is an intriguing swing based on the initial reaction a few years ago about this Islamic cultural center.  Why the fervor 2 years ago?  Why the silence now?  These are worthwhile questions to explore with our students. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In my opinion trying to stop the building of this was awful. American prides itself on being the land of the free and that includes freedom of religion regardless of what the horror that took place on 9/11. What was done on 9/11 can not be blamed on a whole population, race, or religion when it was the doing of one group. The rest of these innocent people who were are part of the United States of America were just as affected as the rest of us and it is good to see that this building was allowed to happen in peace.

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, February 3, 2013 8:02 PM

I wrote an essay two years ago, before Park51 opened, about the controversy surrounding it. Later, when I heard that it had finally opened, I was relieved. There were so many problems that the Islamic center faced because there was a lot of tension due to the center's proximity to Ground Zero. The Muslims need a place like this, especially close to Ground Zero to portray how it was terrorist groups that committed the terrible crimes and attacked the country and not the Islamic religion. In recent history, the US has had many problems with many Middle Eastern countries based on differences in beliefs, and the acceptance and tolerance of this cultural center portray how people can overcome these differences and not profile people based on religion, race, and ethnicity.

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Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Syria is a complicated country as you can see from this map. The map shows the different ethnic and linguistic groups of Syria, and many of the groups are swirled together. The brown areas represent the Kurds who have been long oppresed, there are also Druze and  Arab Christians, Armenians and others. Syria is run by the Alawites which is the greenish grey color they may only be 12% of the population but they are a massive part of the war. Many people believe that the war began for political reasons but spiraled into old divisons deeper and more vicious.  

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 3:19 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, 5:11 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, 10:25 AM

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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The Geography of Chechnya

The Geography of Chechnya | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

After the Boston bombing most poeple tend to think that Chechnya is home to terriosts but it is more than that. Chechnya is home to over 100 languages but four main langauge families. The ethnic situation is just as complex and and correlates closely with languages. The southern part of the region consits of languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Along with these languages most people are of the christian religion but some are muslim as well. In the north they speak Turkish, Iranian and Chechens. 

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 17, 2013 12:01 PM

Using this article helps to teach ourselves, students, and others about particular places in the world that are unknown or very little known.  We can use articles such as this one to be less prejudiced and more apt to think about these places of the world in a different context rather than just a negative, terrorism-related one.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 19, 2013 7:16 AM

Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 6:27 AM

It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages.  The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.

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Cartography And Conflict

Cartography And Conflict | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A newly issued Chinese passport featuring a map that lays claim to disputed territory with several neighboring countries is only the latest case of cartographic aggression.

 

"Maps, like statistics, can lie — or at least tell only one side of the story. As often as not, they can belie the level of actual governmental control or the ethnic and social realities on the ground. And competing views over 'who owns what' invariably fuel nationalistic fervor."


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Maps can lie, or at least only tell one side of a story. China sparked an international uproar over their new passports that features a map of China. The map includes territories claimed by India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

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The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet | Meagan's Geoography 400 | 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.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

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. 

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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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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.

 

Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 4:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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Protests, Self-Immolation Signs Of A Desperate Tibet : NPR

Chinese authorities have tightened security around Tibet after a series of demonstrations by Tibetans demanding more religious and political freedoms.

 

How are China's renewed efforts to control Tibet and the Monks protests geopolitically intertwined?  How does this impact the region? 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

China has tightened their security around the Tibetan monestary and the monasteries seem to be emptying out. Monks have been setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese repression. This is a sign of desperation from the monks.  

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Egypt's NGO crackdown

Egypt's NGO crackdown | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Tensions rise in Cairo as Egyptian forces raided the offices of human rights and pro-democracy groups.

 

When there is a new political regime, what impact does it have on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating within that country?  While many NGOs attempt to stay out of partisan politicals so as not to compromise the future of their organization or cause, sometimes the cause is in direct conflict with the policies of the regime.  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of 17 human rights and pro-democracy groups across the country causing harsh critism and threats toward Egypt from the US that they would freeze aid. 

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Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs

Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

The financial crisis surrounding the Euro has led many to feel that supranational organizations and regional coalitions are more trouble than they are worth.  The OAS (Organization of American States-which the USA is a part of) may dissolve and the CELAC might be its successor.  The CELAC's (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) emergence shows that the United States "is declining in a region it once called its 'backyard.'"  Spain is also diminishing in influence among its former colonies are forging new economic and political ties while Mexico and Brazil are exerting more regional influence. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The United States influence is delining in an area it called "its back yard". Along the financial crisis causing this, it has also begun to declin Spains influence in there former colonies as well. I think this could be a good thing as far these areas finally getting out from under other countires control even though they have been free for so long. But it could be bad because know that they are doing things on their own what will they do   

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Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union'

Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union' | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Russian PM Vladimir Putin calls for the formation of a "Eurasian Union" of former Soviet republics, but says it will not be like the defunct USSR.

 

Russia's cultural influence over former Soviet Republics is strong, but the desire to strengthen these old ties is deeply embedded into the cultural ethos of Russia.  It is also a key part of Russia's geopolitical strategy for greater international influence and economic strength.

 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Putin is calling for a Eurasian Union. He said it would change the political and economical configuration of the continent and have positve global effects. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have already formed an ecomonical allicance and it removes customs barriers. Putin has however denied that he is propsing for the recreation of the Soviet Union.  

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Derek Ethier's comment, October 17, 2012 10:20 PM
Russia's will to start a Eurasian Union seems to be a ploy to recreate a neo-Soviet administration obviously dominated by Russia. Millions of Russians live in these satellite nations so it will be more than easy for Russia to spread its influence and dominate this union. It would also be a bad decision for some of these nations to join in a union with Russia. Some nations, such as Azerbaijan, are rich in oil reserves, and a union with Russia could be detrimental to their development.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 13, 2013 7:16 AM

So is this just to compete with NAFTA and the EU on an economic level?  Or is this to compete with the EU on economic, political and military level, much like the EU's EuroCorps?  Putin states thie is not a return to the USSR, but Russia has always been weary with the growing of NATO and the EU on its borders.  How about if Turkey gets int the EU right on the Russian border?  This action might move thie bloc creation even more forward and Putin might become more forceful to its creation.  No that former KGB member Putin is foreful.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 5:26 PM

It is more than understandable that former Soviet satelite states are weary of any kind of union with Russia. However, some sort of treaty could benefit the block, particularly an arangement like the one already held between Russia, Belarus, and Kahzakstan. An agreement that would ease travel between the two countries appears to have little downside.