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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

Via Seth Dixon
Nancy Watson's insight:

Both History and Geography explained in these maps

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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Gambia president rejects English language

Gambia president rejects English language | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
President's decision to shift official language from English to local language comes months after its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:25 PM

Gambia does not want the English language to be the official language that is spoken anymore.  Noting that it reflects the UK and they don't believe that they and the UK have much in common especially on the platform of human rights.  Cutting the English language as the official language continues to cut ties with the UK.  One of the problems with this is if there are multiple local languages spoken in Gambia which one are they going to choose as the official language.  With this more problems are presented, those that do not know the local language that is chosen to be official will have to learn the new language quickly if they want to have any idea as to what is going on in their own country.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:32 PM

The president’s reaction is more than understandable. His country is in the midst of trying to heal after de-colonization. His actions show he is trying to cut out the west altogether. It is an extreme move, but if done correctly it could give the country a chance to start over to develop their own culture again. I think having a more local language could have the potential to unite the country. However, given the many dialects spoken in a typical African country, I do wonder what language will actually be chosen. If anything, there might have to be a few official languages so as to keep the peace among the population. Furthermore, English will still need to be learned. As much as Gambia may resent the United States or the UK those countries are too dominant. As such, the nation will have to do business with them or one of the many other countries that speak English. When this happens, English will be the expected language and not an African dialect because Africa doesn’t have the power to really negotiate its terms. Therefore, I think all this will end up being is a symbolic stand as the world is far to interconnected for Gambia to truly cut off ties with the western world permanently.  

 

I can also see where the president is coming from in regards to the human right’s issues as well. I am in no way condoning the countries handling of domestic affairs. I think a firing squad is outdated to say the least. However, being talked down to by a country who egregiously violated the population without ever really making amends is insulting. Furthermore, being reliant on their money is probably insufferable. I would say the country might need the money, but given how aid is improperly implemented in most foreign countries I don’t even think cutting them off matters much. Still, one might think that after experiencing such social injustice the leader would be a little more compassionate to its people. 

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 8:46 PM
unit 3
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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London

Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Discover the number of countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Find out which countries are not participating in the Olympic Games and learn which non-countries are participating as well.

 

204 countries are participating in the Olympics?  There aren't even 204 countries in the world!  This article looks at the political geography of international recognition.   One interesting case not discussed in the article is that of Taiwan.  Taiwan is participating, but marched under a non-Taiwanese flag under the name Chinese Taipei because the IOC wanted the mainland Chinese to return to the games. Also, South Sudan, Kosovo and the Vatican are not participating (although pondering them competing, especially the Vatican, is something that deeply amuses me).  Another intriguing thought: how many of the participants were former British colonies?   For classroom resources based on the Olympics, see: http://www.scoop.it/t/history-and-social-studies-education/p/2254468864/london-the-olympics-and-geography


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Emily Larsson's comment, August 26, 2013 9:08 PM
I love the Olympics! Its amazing how almost all of the countries in the world can come together for an event and forget about the conflicts they have back at home.
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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.

 

This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 2015 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.  

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Shifting post-colonial economic geographies

Shifting post-colonial economic geographies | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive.  After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 12, 2015 2:36 PM

This article shows that the former Spanish "New World" colonies are becoming equal with their former motherland.  Spain now relies on relationships with Latin and South America because the economic downturn of the mid-2000s hurt Spain much worse than it hit the United States.  However, some Spanish still view themselves as superior to the South Americans, and their is still resentment of Spain in countries such as Panama, because the leaders claim that the Spanish still think of them as primitive natives, referring to the region's Mayan pasts, in a pre-Columbian world.  Yet, for the most part the relationship is beneficial and it is actually helping Spain out greatly, as these former colonies are now investing into the country.  Today, Spanish young people are even going to South and Central America in search of work because of the current economic stagnation in Spain.  This shows how things can change greatly overtime, and that yesterdays imperialist power, can now be in need of help from its former subjects.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 27, 2015 8:02 PM
This phenomenon is interesting. Mainly due to the fact that in the past the Spaniards have been quoted as describing native Latin-Americans as "backwards", "barbaric", and "savages". It's funny how some people can be made to eat their own words.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 5, 2015 10:51 AM

This article provides an interesting story about the shift in economic power from colonizer (Spain) to colonized (Latin America). Of course, colonialism in the sense that many of us think of it has not truly existed for a century or so. But that doesn't mean that its effects can't still be felt around the world. Many former colonies are still economically dependent on their former colonizers and are still feeling the adverse effects of (in some cases) rapid decolonization. In some instances, however, economic, and in some sense, political power has shifted to the former colonies. This certainly seems to be the case with Latin America and its former biggest colonizer, Spain. As the numbers show, the flow of investment and goods between the two countries has reversed over the last two decades or so, with Latin America now pouring more money into Spain than the reverse. 

 

What this has created is a sort of paradigm shift not only in an economic sense, but a geographic one as well. Where Europe and the U.S. were once major economic powerhouses on the global stage, now nations in Latin America and other developing countries around the world are seeing a gain in economic power. The availability of resources, large labor markets, and industrialization have allowed these countries to strengthen their economies and engage in foreign trade and investment that they were previously locked out of. As a result, developed nations such as China and the U.S. are now forced to recognize that developing nations half a world away are potential competitors when it comes to trade and investment. That this could mean a geographic shift in the centers of economic power in the coming decades is certainly possible, and something which the wealthiest and most developed countries around the world will surely monitor with great interest. 

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The Separatist Map of Africa

The Separatist Map of Africa | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.

 

This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state.  Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.   

 

Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.


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Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Unit IV - Non American

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:04 AM

is sad to see how people just refer to it as "Africa" when every part has its own name. Even myself don't know many of them since they are irrelevant for the western people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:08 AM

This interactive map does a great job of not only showing the sate of political struggles and military conflict within the whole of Africa. This shows the new countries many dissidents  and rebels wish to establish in order to give their people a cultural and ethnic home land. This give a good picture of simply how chaotic some parts of Africa truly are and how destabilized many regions are.