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Video: Step Into a Refugee Camp

Video: Step Into a Refugee Camp | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is one of the largest Syrian camps in the world. In the fall, we visited the camp live with our audience. Here’s what we heard from the refugees and from you.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 3, 2017 8:35 AM

If you want to humanize the massive refugee crisis, and have lives and stories to connect to statistics, this 11 minute video shows what life is like in a refugee camp, and goes into the hopes, dreams, and life stories of the refugees. 

 

TagsMiddleEast, Jordan, Syria, political, refugees.

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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 4, 2016 9:51 PM

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 9:47 AM
Since this video was made we have already had a Presidential election and policy made to deal with some of these key issues. Within the past year US policy (some continuation from the Obama Era) under President Trump has been to destroy ISIS and for the most part it has be done. ISIS has been displaced from the region, however that does not mean that the fighting in Syria has stopped. There are still many issues in the area and one that will not simply be rectified within a few years, this is a battle that we will see repeat over and over again. Much like Afghanistan, this area is one with much upheaval and when one power goes away another one rises and new problems can arise. It is an area in which, like the video states a major conundrum. How can we support one place and not make a country like Turkey angry (the Kurd's example  from the video)? So one could say well just stay out of the whole area, while that can make sense it is to important as a world leader (especially America) to not be involved in both a key geographical area for Russia and human rights area.  While there is no doubt there has been improvements in the last year, it is the same story in the Middle East, what is the end game? How do we get to the finish line and does anyone have the right answers. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 4, 1:15 AM
The video was published before the last presidential election, but some of the information in it is still accurate regarding the crisis  in Syria. For example this video talks about how Syrian refugees are fleeing from ISIS to other nations in order to escape them. There are many refugees being displaced because of the violence ISIS is causing in the middle east. Refugees that need a place to escape to flee to neighboring countries to get away from ISIS. There is still some debate in America about whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. as well. Ultimately something needs to be done about the terror havoc ISIS is reeking in the middle east.
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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 13, 2016 2:15 PM

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

Why the Saudis Are Going Solar | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia produces much of its electricity by burning oil, a practice that most countries abandoned long ago, reasoning that they could use coal and natural gas instead and save oil for transportation, an application for which there is no mainstream alternative. Most of Saudi Arabia’s power plants are colossally inefficient, as are its air conditioners, which consumed 70 percent of the kingdom’s electricity in 2013. Although the kingdom has just 30 million people, it is the world’s sixth-largest consumer of oil.Now, Saudi rulers say, things must change. Their motivation isn’t concern about global warming; the last thing they want is an end to the fossil-fuel era. Quite the contrary: they see investing in solar energy as a way to remain a global oil power. The Saudis burn about a quarter of the oil they produce—and their domestic consumption has been rising at an alarming 7 percent a year, nearly three times the rate of population growth.

 

Tags: Saudi Arabia, energy, resources, consumption, Middle East, sustainability.


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Dustin Fowler's curator insight, July 14, 2015 12:13 PM

A great article discussing energy reform in Saudi Arabia.  Another good source of information about some of the reforms being implemented in the kingdom can be found at this link:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVgWtOeWNgg

 

Interesting to see how this change in energy consumption will effect Saudi politics and the economy. 

Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 23, 2015 11:15 AM

Good for Saudi Arabia

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 2:29 PM

The irony here is palpable- if the Saudis overtake the US in terms of solar power, I think I'd lose hope for our future. The most infamous oil-state on the planet has recognized that its costly domestic consumption of its vast oil supplies is hurting its profits, and it would rather seek an alternative energy supply to fuel its own nation so that it can sell more oil to foreign investors. The logic here is actually very sound- Saudi Arabia knows that there is money to be made by cutting down their own oil consumption, and even if the world sees how successful they are in their own adoption of solar power as their main source of electricity, most of the West won't be willing to make the same transition when there's so much Saudi oil to buy. Everyone wins- except American consumers, of course. Oh, and the planet- the burning of fossil fuels is a serious problem our generation must tackle if we are to minimize the damages created by man-made global warming. In the short-term, nothing is set in stone, as we have no idea how successful the Saudis will be in their attempt to harvest solar power on such a large scale. However, the implications of this move is huge- I can only imagine what an influx of Saudi oil on the market would do for US gas prices. 

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

Students will:

Analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Syria.Consider the role of the U.S. public, the president, and Congress in the decision of whether to use military force.Work cooperatively within groups to integrate the arguments and beliefs of the options into a persuasive, coherent presentation.Explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 4, 2013 4:49 PM

You want resources for teaching the most important geopolitical issue right now?  This set of resources from the Choices Program is just what you are looking for. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political.

Poppen Report's curator insight, September 6, 2013 11:51 PM

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1031273

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Interactives: War and Refugees

Interactives: War and Refugees | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.


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Emilie Kochert's curator insight, September 8, 2013 4:25 AM

via gduboz

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 6, 2014 12:16 PM

unit 2

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:16 PM

Unit 2: Population and Migration

 

This article features an interactive map that displays the numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. You are able to look through the years and see the varying amounts of IDPs, as well as the countries that produced the most of them and which continue to.

 

This goes along with the human geography theme of refugees and IDPs, and this is a very helpful article in providing a simple way to see an overview of where and to what extent this most occurs. 

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Syrian refugees update 2013

Syrian refugees update 2013 | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily.  Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year." 


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MAANDO_PROTOTYPE's curator insight, March 13, 2014 6:19 PM

http://syria-freedom-2014.tumblr.com/
FREEDOM GRAFFiTi WEEK Syria ... MAANDO...PROTOTYPE
#Syria #MAANDO #PROTOTYPE #SYRIAN

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 3:13 PM

Conflicts in Syria have led almost 4 million refugees to displace to Jordan. Refugee camps have been set up to aid these families the best ways possible. although conditions are still tough, they are much safer than in Syria. These photos embrace the combinations of struggle and joy. Children cry and children play. Families create homes within the tents and make due with what they have.

Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:21 PM

It’s great to know the many good things people are trying to do to protect some of their citizens. When looking at the pictures, there obviously wasn’t much of a home aspect to their living situation but it’s great to know that they seem to be happier where they are now to where they were before. The picture with the Syrian refugee little boy shaking hands with an Emirati Red Crescent is priceless. The smile on that little boys face touched me and I could feel the happiness with his smile. The facts that the citizens have a choice to leave for a better environment is great and knowing there is a happier ending for them is great. The picture with the kids playing and smiling is also great. As a student going to school to become an elementary school teacher it’s astonishing in the happiness these kids get from playing with nothing. Very different to how children are raised here in the US. But great to know how there happiness can one day be restored since leaving.

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Ten Years After the Invasion of Iraq: The Human Cost


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 15, 2013 1:03 PM

The effects of war can be staggering and far-reaching.  Often the costs are much higher than anticipated at the beginning.  Read this press release for more details on the recent findings regarding the actual costs of the Iraq War, which are estimated to have cost over 190,000 lives and $2.2 trillion. 


Tags: Iraq, conflict, K12, political, MiddleEast, war.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:25 AM

The death of 190,000 people due to war is always a tragedy.  There is a positive side to this number, however.  The Iraq war cost 190,00 lives in ten years, an average of 19,000 deaths a year. In World War II, the Russians alone lost 9,000,000 people, in a much shorter amount of time.  We are no longer losing large chunks of our population in wars, due to new technology and combat strategies. 

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Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:08 PM
These random fields of green are coming from the rocks that still have water that is trapped inside them from the last ice age. Saudi Arabia reaches these underground rivers and lakes by drilling through the desert floor, directly irrigating the fields with a circular sprinkler system. This technique is called center-pivot irrigation. Because of low rainfall, they get minimum water each year. Hydrologists estimate water will only be able to be pumped out for 50 years. With water popping up fields of green, a new agricultural economy will appear, maybe farming life and new resources that the country never had for their people, they will now have.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 3:22 PM
In this NASA article, the authors explain that Saudi Arabia has uncovered water in the Syrian Desert. In doing so, the Saudi Arabian people are able to cultivate the land and grow crops for roughly 50 years.
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 5:00 PM
This talks about the Fields of Green  Spring up in Saudi Arabia . As seen in the picture in 1987 there was no green at all, but in 1991 the fields of green start to show up, then in 2000 its a little more, and finally in 2012 there is a lot of fields of green in Saudi Arabia. 
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NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.

 

"[This] data show an alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India," said Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of the study and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine. "The rate was especially striking after the 2007 drought. Meanwhile, demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management because of different interpretations of international laws."

 

Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 10:00 PM

This is a perfect example of geospatial technologies can lead to a better understanding of how the Earth's physical systems are changing because of human geography.  Teaching geography is about showing how these systems are interconnected.   

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 9:24 AM

Water is a big issue in an arid area.  The fact that we can measure the amount of groundwater present in an area with a satellite is amazing to me.  The issue of water rights and control in this region will someday over take that of oil rights and use in my opinion.  Once people get used to free flowing water to use on demand it will cause problems politically when these sources of ground water inevitably dry up.

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Human Conflict Seen From Space

Human Conflict Seen From Space | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

I'll let Douglas Keeney's own words and this image speak for themselves: "The geography of human conflict as seen from space at night. The Strait of Hormuz as seen at night from the space station is a beautiful lesson in the geography of conflict. How much we learn by simply tracing the fingers of human populations as seen superimposed over the geography of Earth. Enjoy." 

-From Lights of Mankind: Earth at Night From Space

 

What would a picture look like from a drone's perspective?  Where are these places that are being targeted?  This Instagram account is incredibly thought-provoking and informative.


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, January 29, 2015 12:02 AM

Most likely, these lights represent urban areas which contains a higher population. As we can see in this photo, one territory stands out more not because of it's lights, but because we know that it is a higher population. Also we see urban areas that "never sleeps." What I mean by "never sleeps" is that the city functions late at night and still has people explore it 24/7.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:56 AM

The view from space is always life changing. The image underscores the conflict taking place in the region. Only from the sky, can use see the vastness of the conflict taking place. Television and film cameras can only capture so much of a war. Looking down from the sky gives us a better view of the overall devastation taking place. The Middle East is truly on fire.

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016 | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that powerfully divides the international community.  Of those living within the state of Israel, Pew Research data shows that they are often deeply divided based on religious affiliation. Not surprisingly, those divisions extend into how they view the peace process, West Bank settlements and U.S. support.  Although the conflict is portrayed as a battle between religious groups, it can be more fairly assessed as two nationalistic groups competing for land.  Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has sided with the Palestinians, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have defended Israel.   In the United Nation’s Security Council, the United States’ veto power has been use to strike down resolutions that would condemn Israeli settlement in the militarily occupied lands of the West Bank.  The 2016 UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”

 

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, and the UN has condemned them, but since the U.S. has always vetoed this, Israel has never been formally reprimanded.  Earlier this week, the U.S. abstained from the vote, and the many see the U.S. position as hypocritical, (Secretary of State John Kerry strongly defended the position).

 

Some highly partisan supporters of Israel do not see Israel’s actions as the problem, primarily because Israel’s neighbors have traditionally not recognized its right to exist, and attacked it many times.  Therefore, they see Israel’s actions as necessary for the security of Israel, and do not see Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as illegal since Palestine isn’t a state that was ever legally accepted. 

 

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


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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, January 9, 2017 2:14 AM
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016
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Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East

Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."


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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 22, 2016 9:30 AM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 28, 1:49 PM
From the western perspective, it's easier just to assume the Middle East is constantly in conflict purely out of their own fault.  However, the story is more complicated than that and much of the conflict in the area is due to involvement from the west.  These four maps show the different factors that impact the countries in the Middle East.  The first one shows that countries that were fully formed states for longer, tend to be more stable.  This makes sense because they haven't had outside influence for longer and have had more time to create stronger governments.  Looking at just this map, it seems like Iran and Egypt should be more stable than Saudi Arabia today.  However, this map doesn't tell the whole story.  The second map shows the types of colonial rule that each country was under in recent history.  Turkey was the only country in the region that was able to stay fully independent.  Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Israel are some of the countries that were under full colonization.  Not surprisingly, the struggles they had to gain their independence still effects the stability of these countries today.  This shows that the involvement from outsiders has had negative, long-term effects on the area and that the west is not free from blame of what is happening in the Middle East.  The third map differentiates between the countries that changed regimes after World War II and those that did not.  There is a correlation between which countries experienced the change and the countries that are the least stable today.  The final map shows which countries were pro-western, pro-Soviet, or shifted alignments during the Cold War.  Once again the outside influence of both the west and in this case the Soviet Union, lead to further divide in the region.  The history and shifting geography of the Middle East in just the last hundred years helps to give insight to how the region has become as conflicted in some countries, yet stable in others.
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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I read articles about the Syrian war and watched this film and I got to tell you it sure is confusing. The picture on one of the websites that really disturbed me is the father holding his lifeless  8 or 9 year old daughter in his arms. I have a 9 year old daughter and it was her birthday on that day I saw the picture. Sometimes it is better emotionally to be ignorant about what is going on in the world.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:37 PM

Syrian civil war has escalated into a proxy wars between many nations that all have different goals in mind. It all started from the Arab Spring and is still on-going because there are many sides taking place and none of them wants to back down. Mainly due to the emerge of the Islamic State that cause a shift in the war of fighting a terrorism organization to fighting the different factions within Syria. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:19 PM

An interesting and well written breakdown of the Syrian war and its local, regional and global factors that have caused the escalation to this point. It should however be pointed out that some of the information within the video is actually wrong. The United Nations did a investigation and report regarding the use of chemical weapons and found ti was the rebels not Assad who had used them. Furthermore it leaves out some reports from the initial protests in Syria that some of them were armed with weapons and fired on police (suggesting that instead of one side it was mutual escalation). Plus much of the fighting in Syria is also sectarian with Shiites backing Assad and the Sunnis backing Assad's opposition (prior global intervention). If these pieces of information were corrected in addition to talking about the Kurdish predicament a bit more along with the origins of ISIS the video would be perfect. So in a way I suppose the video kind of left out important local geographic details that influenced the regional and global ones.

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Using Humor to Break Stereotypes

"A founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, standup comic Maz Jobrani riffs on the challenges and conflicts of being Iranian-American -- 'like, part of me thinks I should have a nuclear program; the other part thinks I can't be trusted ...'"


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Sharrock's curator insight, June 22, 2015 1:13 PM

A way to explore stereotypes and being American. Teachers can explore these issues to attack immigration, ethnicity, perspective, and more. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 22, 2015 7:49 AM

At its best, humor can break down old stereotypes and foster a greater degree of cultural understanding. That is exactly what Maz Jobrani is trying to accomplish with his humor. There are obvious stereotypes about Muslims that are often far too pervasive in our culture. The most common stereotype  is the lumping of all Muslims into one monolithic group.  All Muslims are not the same. Like Christianity, not all Muslims interpret their holy book in the same exact way. The large majority of Muslims are good people who respect American ideals. Hopefully, Jobranis humor can reach some people who may not understand those facts.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 11:11 PM
Stereotypes are very common everywhere we go, but due to certain events that project Middle Easters as bad people, stereotypes have become a lot more common to them. Stereotypes, in this case, are being created because of cultural geography which is allowing people to describe a region as bad because of where they were born. Just like Maz Jobrani pointed out, he had trouble at the airport at a European country that disliked Iran, this also shows how political geography might affect how well certain countries get along and treat each other. 
 
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The 9 biggest myths about ISIS

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane.

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David Lizotte's curator insight, March 14, 2015 2:39 PM

This article does a good job helping the reader gain a more rounded perspective of ISIS, that is ISIS' rational. The writer feels it necessary for people to better understand ISIS' reasoning for its being so there are in turn no misjudgments formed about the terrorists. I knew the writer was in no way defending ISIS, rather giving an intellectual input on the matter to try and enhance everyones perspective. However, as contextual as it was, the writer truly needed to get across how crude/violent the movement truly is. Yes, understanding ISIS is important, it helps form a more precise explanation for their actions... but they are terrorists whom are exploiting the misfortune of a people (Sunni misrepresentation in a political setting) in order to form a society... which is ultimately founded on violence and acts that counter the true fundamentals and meaning of Islam. A less experienced reader could perceive this article as defending the reasoning(s)/rational of ISIS.

Personally, I find that there is rational behind every movement/terrorist factions/rebel actions, etc... There is usually a common goal, no matter how well-thought out and actions then occur in order to obtain this goal, no matter how well-thought out. Even Joseph Kony (at his height), rampaging through central Africa has a rational behind his actions-to disrupt villages/communities, gain profit in food and money, as well as abduct and dehumanize young children in order to make them fierce warriors, all these reasons ultimately support his main issue/goal, that being fighting government suppression. Horrible rational which leads to atrocities, yet no piece was written to help the world gain a better understanding of Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. Because in either case they are terrorists...

Yes, understanding the enemy and how/why it functions the way it does is important. Yes, interpreting there rational is important. But this article truly fails to get across how ruthless and disturbed ISIS actually is. The writer states ISIS is basically doing what many rebel groups do when upset with the political setting... they rebel and try to form there own territory. Well, this is true, especially the political reasoning behind ISIS' actions and its existence (something the article does do a good job explaining) but the way ISIS goes about is non-comparable. Look at the Russian-backed separatists in the Eastern Ukraine. Both oppositions engaged in war fare. They aren't playing a game of hide and seek beheading civilians, torturing reporters, etc... all for political gains... ISIS are terrorists-of course they have a rational, of course they are smart, there predecessor "al-Qaeda" were smart too. Joseph Kony can be seen as smart... he hasn't gotten caught, thats smart isn't it? 

The article explains that them being smart and having a strong rational motive makes them dangerous. No kidding they are dangerous.

The article does a good job at educating people about ISIS yet it certainly teeters on the line of defending them. It gives reasoning behind there soulless attacks, scholars know the reasoning, they do not have to be written out in a quasi defense format like I believe this article does. "The end justifies the means" is the perspective of the Islamic State... it shouldn't be so for this writer!

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 18, 2015 9:04 PM

This may be a little off topic but with a President like Obama, how could America even try to stop ISIS alone?  That man has made a fool of our country!  I don't think ISIS would self-destruct on its own; it will continue to grow and become more powerful because people are afraid.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:13 AM

Like much of the Middle East, ISIS is shrouded in myth. To many Americans, they are just a band of savage lunatics who want to chop peoples heads off. In reality they are not that insane. The violence they commit is calculated. "It  is targeted to weaken their enemies and strengthen ISIS' hold on territory, in part by terrorizing the people it wishes to rule over". They are driven by radical ideology, but they do have an ultimate goal in mind. They want to rule territory and form their own radical empire. Violence is a tool to achieve that aim.  The rest of this article describes eight other myths commonly associated with ISIS. This article does an excellent job of breaking down commonly held assumptions of ISIS.

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Complexity in Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 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, 2014 3:22 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, 2014 8:37 AM

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

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Crisis Guide: Iran

Crisis Guide: Iran | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"Iran poses steep challenges to its Middle East neighbors and the world. Explore the country's complex regime structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts debate the range of policy options."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 11, 2013 7:08 PM

Iran is in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions. One the bordered with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Iran is stratgeically positioned to have considerable control over the world’s most important waterway for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz.


Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should more about than the three main facts that that most Americans are already aware of (1-Iran has an Islamic-based government, 2-an emerging nuclear program and 3-a ton of oil).  This interactive feature is a good starting point with great videos, timelines, maps, articles that assess the current situation in Iran. 


Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 22, 2013 12:35 AM

This is an amzing resource to use and find out much about this country, both its past and present.  With this you can understand their feeling of hatred toward the US with its support of the Shah.  This is a relationship that the US needs to repair, but both sides need to work on this.  This are is so important to the US and the world given Iran's geographic location right on the Persian Gulf, whcih they can cut off and controll the oil flowing from that area, plus the oil they control, plus bordering several crucial US and NATO allies.  It only seems in everyone's best interest to sit down and talk.  Given the support Iran gives to many terrorists organization and it's longstanding position that Israel does not have the right the right to exist, this idea of sitting down and talking may be a fantasy.  However, with the new elections and the new President of Iran speaking at the UN there may be renewed hope of at least a start. 

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Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin

Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 22, 2014 6:24 PM

(Southwest Asia topic 2)

The area known as the Cradle of Humanity is becoming less hospitable. Though natural climate change can be attributed to the dryer conditions, humans have made just as much of an impact. Increased water usage leads to less reserve. Impacts stretch further, however. Less water flow below the dam can lead to changes in sedimentation patterns and disrupt wildlife habitats, potentially causing harm to wildlife.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:09 PM

Similar to the Aral Sea,  the Tigris and Euphrates river basins have become drier and drier between 2003 and 2009. It is important to see all the aspects that have caused the rive to dry out and its do to there own people in this region. About 60 percent of the loss was attributed to the pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs. Most of the problems are due to that about one-fifth of the water losses came from snowpack shrinking and soil drying up, partly in response to a 2007 drought. These could be some of the environmental issues but also there has been tremendous population increases in this region. This water is perfect drinking water for the people of South East Asia and the countries surrounding it but numbers are extremely high. 

It is important to analyze how us humans can change the geography of a certain area in such little time. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:19 PM

The middle east has lost a huge portion of its freshwater over the past decade. The two natural-color images above were acquired by the Landsat satellites and show the shrinking of the Qadisiyah Reservoir in Iraq between September 7, 2006 and September 15, 2009. The first graph shows the elevation of the water in that reservoir between January 2003 and December 2009. The second graph shows water storage from January 2003 to December 2009. Obtaining ground data information in the middle east can be difficult.The researchers calculated that about one-fifth of the water losses in their Tigris-Euphrates study region came from snowpack shrinking and soil drying up, partly in response to a 2007 drought.

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Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:08 PM
These random fields of green are coming from the rocks that still have water that is trapped inside them from the last ice age. Saudi Arabia reaches these underground rivers and lakes by drilling through the desert floor, directly irrigating the fields with a circular sprinkler system. This technique is called center-pivot irrigation. Because of low rainfall, they get minimum water each year. Hydrologists estimate water will only be able to be pumped out for 50 years. With water popping up fields of green, a new agricultural economy will appear, maybe farming life and new resources that the country never had for their people, they will now have.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 3:22 PM
In this NASA article, the authors explain that Saudi Arabia has uncovered water in the Syrian Desert. In doing so, the Saudi Arabian people are able to cultivate the land and grow crops for roughly 50 years.
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 5:00 PM
This talks about the Fields of Green  Spring up in Saudi Arabia . As seen in the picture in 1987 there was no green at all, but in 1991 the fields of green start to show up, then in 2000 its a little more, and finally in 2012 there is a lot of fields of green in Saudi Arabia. 
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Refugees from Syria

Refugees from Syria | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
The number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict and crossed the borders hasn't ceased to increase.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 24, 2013 1:12 PM

UNICEF workers have stated: "More than 600,000 have fled the conflict in Syria and registered as refugees. The number of Syrians who have left without registering is unknown but is likely to be hundreds of thousands. We do know, however, that children make up around half the number of refugees and that is certainly no way for any child to live their childhood."


Tags: Syria, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, October 30, 2013 5:16 PM

The ongoing military conflicts in Syria have caused a significant refugee problem. Refugees are evacuating Syria and entering its geographically close neighbors, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt.

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Israel - Gaza conflict

Israel - Gaza conflict | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.

 

"Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets."  This photo essay shows 34 powerful images that are emerging from this deadly conflict.  If students need some background to understand who are the major players in this conflict, this glossary should be helpful. 


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Wen Shi's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:17 AM

I was so shocked while reading this ariticle and seeing those pictures. The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is something that is deeply rooted in the history of the two nations. And the war, resulted by this conflict, has taken away many people's lives. The 2 countries's people are suffering. Many kids are just at our ages, they could not get education or anything else that we take for granted here, even had to bear the pain of losing relatives and homes. I could never imagine how sad and disastrous wars can be. :(

Hossan Epiques Novelle's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:58 AM

The two countries should take the chance to resolve the conflict amicably before the situation tips over and war is inevitable. The loss of lives resulting from the war would be pointless.

Zhiyang Liang's curator insight, July 13, 2014 12:02 PM

In my perspective, why does people will have a thought of eliminating prejudice is that prejudice can lead to unfair treatment or the violation of rights of individuals or groups of people just like the conflict between Israel and Gaza.