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Middle East

Middle East

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Middle East

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  1. Middle East Past, Present, Future

  2. Middle East • Also Called: • Southwest Asia - “Crossroads of the World”: because people often pass through the Middle East to travel between Europe, Asia, and Africa • “Cradle of Civilization”

  3. Bodies of Water • Persian Gulf • Tigris River • Euphrates River • Dead Sea • Mediterranean Sea • Red Sea

  4. Middle East • Middle East is a region that includes countries in southwestern Asia and their influence extends into northern Africa. • 350 million people live in this part of the world

  5. Climates & Rivers • Water is scarce everywhere in the Middle East • It is one of the driest regions in the world • Deserts cover more than half of the region • A desert covers most of Saudi Arabia, and in the northeastern part of the Middle East • There are oasis in the middle of some deserts, and many people live near the oases and raise sheep, goats, and crops • The capital of Saudi Arabia was built on a large oasis

  6. Climates & Rivers • There are 2 main climates • Desert • Mediterranean: short, rainy winters and long, dry summer

  7. Climates & Rivers • People live near rivers • Nile in Egypt; Tigris and Euphrates in Middle East • The soil is fertile • People can farm by irrigating the water to their fields

  8. Religion & People • Three of the worlds most important religions began in the Middle East • All 3 teach monotheism (belief in 1 God) • Judaism, the religion of the Jews, is the oldest of the 3 religions and began in Israel thousands of years ago • Christianity, the Christian religion, developed from Judaism

  9. Religion & People • Islam began in Saudi Arabia in the year 622 • It was started by an Arab leader named Muhammad • He taught that there is one God. • Muslims believe that Muhammad was God’s messenger • Muhammad’s teachings are in the Koran, a holy book to Muslims • Abraham is the Father of all 3 religions of this region

  10. Religion & People • 5 Pillars of Islam • 1. Daily profession of faith • 2. Prayer 5 times a day • Dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, after full darkness • 3. Almsgiving • Includes charity work and knowing all things belong to Allah • 4. Fast during Ramadan (Holy Month) • From light till sundown (no eating or drinking) • 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca • About 2 million people go each year from everywhere; the closing of it is marked by a festival and exchange of gifts

  11. Further Comparisons • Islam • Also called: Muslims • Believe in: Allah (Prophet Muhammad) • Holy City: Mecca • Bible: Koran • Church: Mosque (Friday is Holy Day)

  12. Further Comparisons • Judaism • Also called: Jews • Believe in: Yahweh (Prophet: Moses) • Holy City: Jerusalem • Bible: Torah • Church: Synagogue (Saturday is the Holy Day)

  13. Further Comparisons • Christianity • Also called: Christians • Believe in: God (Jesus) • Holy City: Jerusalem • Bible: Bible • Church: Church (Sunday is the Holy Day)

  14. Religion & People • Most people in the Middle East are Arabs, who speak Arabic • Some countries have a small Christianity population • In Israel most people are Jews and speak Hebrew

  15. Resources/Earning a Living • Oil is the most important natural resource • There is more oil in this region than in any other in the world • Many developed nations buy their oil from the Middle East

  16. Resources/Earning a Living • There are few other resources in this region • Some countries have natural gas, iron ore, or phosphates • More than half of the people earn a living by farming, but most of the land is too dry for farming.

  17. Resources/Earning a Living • Most nations are developing countries • Some use oil money to develop new industries • The standard of living is much lower than in the U.S. • Most people are poor • Most countries do not grow enough food to feed their people • Wars have been a problem for thousands of years and today this region still does not have real peace

  18. Arabs/Muslims/Islam • 1.3 billion Muslims in the World • Today 90% of the people in the Middle East are Muslims • 6-8 million Muslims in the US (about the same # of Jews in the US) • Most American Muslims are African America or South Asian

  19. Arabs/Muslims/Islam • Arabs are people whose native language is Arabic • Arabs can trace their ancestry back to the tribes of Arabia-the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula and the Syrian Desert. • Only 1 in 7 Muslims is an Arab Arabic Terms: Hijab-women’s head scarf Ghutra-Arab men’s headdress Thobe-men’s loose-fitting neck to ankle robe

  20. Understanding the Middle East Section 2

  21. Problems There are 5 problems that must be solved to better the peoples lives: • Overpopulation • Poverty • Lack of water • Growth of Islamic Fundamentalism • Wars

  22. Overpopulation • Too many people living in the region • Most cities are overcrowded • Most of the land cannot be farmed • Cairo, Egypt has become so crowded that many poor people now live in a large cemetery

  23. Poverty • Some countries earn billions of dollars from exporting oil, but most people are poor • The region needs more factories and industries

  24. Lack of Water • Some countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have built desalination plants to solve this problem (change salt water to fresh water; very expensive) • Other countries build dams to save river water in reservoirs

  25. Growth of Islamic Fundamentalism • One goal of this movement is to win control of governments in the region • The new governments would be based on strict Islamic law • 1979: Islamic fundamentalist led a revolution in Iran; the shah (king) was forced to leave; it became an Islamic republic; now everyone in Iran obeys strict religious laws

  26. Wars • Iran and Iraq fought from 1980-1989; fighting has ended but still no peace treaty • 1990: Iraq invaded Kuwait under Saddam Hussein, because he wanted their oil fields; UN and US had to go to Kuwait to fight Iraq (Persian Gulf War); Iraq lost • Israelis and Palestinians have been at war since 1948

  27. Hope for the Future • Most children in the Middle East have better lives than their grandparents • There are more schools, more jobs, better health care • Oil money has been used to build roads, hospitals, housing

  28. Saudi Arabia

  29. Overview • Has more oil deposits than any other nation in the world • The oil money it makes has allowed it to become a modern, developed country

  30. Landforms, Climate, Cities • The Arabian Peninsula covers most of Saudi Arabia • Deserts cover most of Saudi Arabia • Has a very hot desert climate • Has no lakes or rivers

  31. Landforms, Climate, Cities • Has the Empty Quarter desert in the south, with sand dunes over 1,000 ft • The southwest has fertile soil; is the only region that gets enough rain for farming • Most people live in cities • There are 2 cities that are holy to Muslims: Mecca (Muhammad was born there), and Medina (Islam was born there)

  32. History, People, and Government • Arabs have lived in Saudi Arabia for thousands of years • Many of the people were nomads; moving from one oasis to another • They travel on camels, live in tents, and raise sheep and goats • Many still live in the desert today, some modern ones travel by car instead of camel

  33. History, People, and Government • Mohammad was born in Mecca in 570. • He began Islam • During his life, people living in the Arabian Peninsula became Muslims • Since that time Saudi Arabia has been a Muslim country

  34. History, People, and Government • More than 1 billion people in the world today are Muslims • 19 million people live in Saudi Arabia today • They are called Saudis • Arabic is the official language • 25% of the people are workers from other countries

  35. History, People, and Government • King Abdullah has been ruler of Saudi Arabia since 2005 (King Fahd before him) • He is a member of the Saudi royal family • This family has been important for hundreds of years • Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy (king has full power to make all laws; is also the religious leader)

  36. Religion and Women • All citizens of Saudi Arabia must be Muslims • They cannot practice any other religion • All laws are based on Islamic law • There are special police officers who make sure people obey the laws • Islam allows Saudi men to have 4 wives • No one can eat pork or drink alcohol • There are no movie theatres, plays, or concerts in the country

  37. Religion and Women • There are strict Islamic laws for women • Girls must study at separate schools • Women cannot drive cars, or ride bikes • When they leave the house it must be with a male family member • Women cannot work outside of their homes at jobs with men, only with women • They must be modest and wear clothes that cover their arms and legs; they must cover their hair and faces; so they wear a long black robe called an aba when they leave home, which covers their head, face, and body

  38. Economy and Standard of Living • Oil and natural gas were discovered in the 1930’s • 1/4th of all the oil in the world is found in Saudi Arabia • Since the 1940’s Saudi Arabia has earned billions of dollars from exporting oil • It is one of the richest countries in the world, but it is still a developing country

  39. Economy and Standard of Living • 1/4th of the people work at agriculture • The government has built desalination plants to take salt out of ocean water, which is used to grow food in the desert; but they still have to import more than half of their food • The Saudi’s are working to raise the country’s standard of living • Small villages now have electricity • Cities have many modern apartment houses • Free health care for everyone • Free public schools • Still more than 1/3rd of the people cannot read or write

  40. Appropriate Behavior When Visiting an Arab Home • Bring a Gift • Don’t admire their possessions or they are obliged to give you their things. • There will be too much food – Don’t Comment. • Only Eat with right hand – Left is personal • Never talk business before other matters.

  41. Appropriate Behavior When Visiting an Arab Home • Always accept coffee – They use butter, milk, salt, or sugar • Do NOT show bottom of feet while sitting • Do not back away from a person while they are talking. • They WILL ask you to stay longer, thank them and leave on time.