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Scooped by Mr. David Burton!

Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East.

Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East. | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Ninety-five years ago today, Europe carved up the Ottoman empire. That treaty barely lasted a year, but we're feeling its aftershocks today.
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Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
There are major hurdles in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestine.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed peace talks in Washington in July for the first time in three years. While the talks are initially expected to focus on procedural issues, they are already beginning to take on a last-ditch quality. Explore some of the contentious issues that negotiators have faced in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Via Seth Dixon
Mr. David Burton's insight:

Thoughts from my friend Seth...


Seth Dixon's insight:

This five-part video report from the New York Times is from 2011, but still has some pertinent information, even if the situation has changed in some of the particulars.  These videos brings important voices from a variety of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; together they all  show how a complex cultural and political geography leads to many of the difficulties in creating a long-lasting peace.  The discipline of geography doesn't simple study the peace process--it is a part of it.  The creation of borders and the cartographic process play a critical role in solving territorial issues.  Geography can be both the problem and the solution.

sriddle geo's curator insight, July 17, 2014 8:48 PM

Found this article and the videos to be very interesting after the conversation we had earlier in the week in class.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:00 PM


Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:37 PM

This video explains why defined borders are an important part of any potential solution for the conflict, and why it is such a complex issue. While agreeing on a border that benefits both seems like it should be an easy task, the realities on the ground and actions from both sides make it anything but easy. 

Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Human Geography!

NYTimes video: "Skateistan"

NYTimes video: "Skateistan" | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

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

Via Seth Dixon, Matthew Wahl
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, 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.

Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Persian or Iranian? Is there a Difference?

Persian or Iranian?  Is there a Difference? | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Over the next few months, Ajam Media Collective will host a series that focuses on and describes various elements of the cultural, ethnic and linguistic mosaic that we refer to collectively as Iran...


What is in a name?  We know that there are subtle differences between Hispanic, Indigenous, Latino and Mexican that are bound with the history of these words and how they have been used by both insiders and outsiders to construct identity.  Likewise, the distinctions between the terms Persian and Iranian are often used interchangeably.  However there are political, ethnic, linguistic and religious connotations that shape the meanings behind these terms.  While I don't necessarily agree with all of the arguments, this is an interesting look at the historical roots of these distinctions and the ramifications of these terms.   

Via Seth Dixon
Ms. Harrington's comment, July 3, 2012 11:17 PM
This is interesting, I have wondered this myself, when hearing a person describe themselves as Persian. The article goes on to say being Persian is a cultural subset of Iranians, who share a common language and culture. It can be conditered a cultural or political statement to call ones self Persian rather than Iranian.
Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:23 AM

This has always been a question between my friends and I, as one of my friends identifies as Persian. In my limited experience in the US it seems that the people who identify themselves as Iranian have immigrated in the last two generations or so. In comparison to families which came over quite a few generations ago who refer to themselves as "Persian"

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 17, 5:00 PM

This is an interesting phenomenon.  I believe we even have a little bit of the "that's not American"-swagger here in the U.S., but thankfully diversity is still celebrated more in our country than anywhere else.  This article points out many of the reasons why there has been and always probably will be much tension within the Middle East.  Like in Iran, most Arabic countries have several different tribes and ethnic groups residing within its borders.  The problem occurs when the countries try to make one culture, one language, or one ethnicity dominant over the others.  

Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Globalizing the Local, Localizing the Global

Sheikha Al Mayassa, a patron of artists, storytellers and filmmakers in Qatar, talks about how art and culture create a country's identity -- and allow every country to share its unique identity with the wider world.


Oftentimes, we in the more developed world seek to change cultural practices and institutions in the developing world. This talk speaks to the importance of locally based agents for cultural change, specifically within the context of the Middle East. While we might wish to see what many perceive as universal rights spread throughout the world, the local cultural geographies must be taken into consideration into how to carry out any initiative that seeks to change local institutions.

Via Seth Dixon
Katharine Norman's curator insight, September 15, 2013 1:19 AM

Sheikha provides an amazing talk that leaves no one denying that culture is the underlying thread that ties us all together.

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Germany Has a Refugee Problem, and the Problem Is the Germans

Germany Has a Refugee Problem, and the Problem Is the Germans | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Anti-immigrant sentiment is fueling violence and arson. What's the matter with Deutschland?
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Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Garinger APHUGE!

Israel and Palestine

My friend Seth Dixon has provided a great intro to this video...


Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace ( 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.

Via Seth Dixon, Ms. Carter
James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 9:58 AM

(Africa topic 1)

{{Note: Some topics and locations pertain to multiple geographic regions (i.e. northern Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia, and topics in different regions may refer to the same country or location because of this.}}

I found it interesting to watch a video that comes from an implied anti-Israel standpoint, especially since the organization which made this video is called the Jewish Voice for Peace. Though there has always been disagreement as to who should occupy some of the most hallowed land in the world, it seems that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems more out of the UN repartitioning plan. Regardless of clashing religions and cultures, it does seem unfair that a minority of people control the majority of land and resources. This makes me wonder why exactly the UN made the Israeli state there: was is purely because of the Jewish religion associations?, or because no other country wanted to absorb the increasing number of refugees?, or because the UN wanted to gain a stronghold in the Middle East?, or perhaps a combination of all of the above?

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 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, 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. 

Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

An Annotated Map of Today's Protests and of the 'Muslim World' via @APHumanGeog

An Annotated Map of Today's Protests and of the 'Muslim World' via @APHumanGeog | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
The violent backlash against the American film is taking place in Muslim societies, but it doesn't seem to correlate with Islam's reach.


This is a good reminder that the generalizing about "all Muslims" is as inaccurate as generalization about "all Christians" or any other group.  The world and people are much more nuanced than that. 


Tags: MiddleEast, Islam, conflict.

Via Seth Dixon
Martin Daumiller's comment, September 16, 2012 2:53 AM
The map is slightly poor. 100% and more world muslim population? There is a great mix-up between muslims living in a country and percentage of muslims living in a country, therefore turning the U.S., Russia, etc. also into the discussion.
Also there is a distinction between not-protesting and not supporting the protests, which should influence the authers comparision of different mentalities.
The main idea against stereotypes and generalization is a very worthy one, but the way is article shows it is flawed.
Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Religious architecture of Islam

Religious architecture of Islam | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Read Religious architecture of Islam for travel tips, advice, news and articles from all around the world by Lonely Planet...


This is an excellent article that can be used in a thematic class for analyzing religion, the human landscape, the urban environment and cultural iconography.  For a regional geography class, this show great images from Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine.  

Via Seth Dixon
andrew desrochers's curator insight, October 28, 2014 2:47 PM

These architectural designs in Israel show religious meanings, what other factors inspire architectural creativity? Who uses these different styles of creativity?

Lily and Cami's curator insight, November 5, 2014 5:18 PM

Israel Religion: I scooped this because the picture really stood out to me because the golden dome stands over the rock on Temple Mount. you also can see great images of Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria, and Israel/Palestine. Not only are these sacred buildings but they are also big religious and tourist attractions.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:20 PM

Although all part of the same religion these buildings are influenced heavily by their location. I think this is important to note because it challenges our assumptions on Islam. When I think of a mosque a certain image pops into my head, these images shows how the same religion can still have local influences.