Southwest Asia Chapters 21-23
Landforms and Resources • Not just sand dunes • Ranges from green coastal plains to snow peaked mountains • Serves as a land bridge connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe • Arabian Peninsula • Separated by the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf • Anatolia Peninsula • Begins the Asian continent
Landforms • Arabian Peninsula • Mostly covered by dry, sandy, and windy conditions • Low hills, ridges and wadis- dry river beds until the rainy season • People mostly live nomadic lifestyle due to harsh climate conditions • Mountains • Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan • Zagros Mountains in Iran
Bodies of Water • Dead Sea • 9 times saltier than the oceans • Cannot sink and nothing lives there • Tigris and Euphrates rivers • Supported several ancient river valley civilizations • Called the Fertile Crescent • Agriculture is still good here
Resources • Oil • 1/2 of the world’s oil reserves are found in Southwest Asia • Most valuable resource is water • Some countries have an abundance (Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Lebanon) • Some countries have to guard and ration their water • Other minerals are present but not in large quantities
Climate • SW Asia is very arid • Most areas receive less than 18 inches of precipitation a year • Rivers do not flow year round • Deserts • Rub-al-Kali- known as the empty quarter • About the size of Texas • Salt deserts • High mountains block rain and dry winds evaporate rain • Chemicals stay in the soil as water leaves • Two of these exist in Iran
Climate • Well-Watered Coast Lands • Along the Mediterranean coast • Hot summers and rainy winters • Like Southern California • Semiarid Lands • These surround the deserts • Can produce wheat and cotton • Found mainly in Turkey
Human-Environment Interaction • Water • Most important resource • Includes dams and irrigation systems • If you dam one part of the river, will less come down to other countries? • Types of Irrigation: • Drip: places water just at the root zone, reduces evaporation • Qanat: Underground brick-lined tunnels and collect runoff
Oil • Oil and natural gas deposits were formed millions of years ago • Microscopic plants and animals lived and then died in waters, they mingled with sand and mud • Over time, heat and pressure transformed them into hydrocarbons • Oil is trapped in rocks and you cannot tell if you have a rock filled with oil without breaking it open
Oil • Petroleum not processed is called crude oil • Must be sent to a refinery either by shipment or by pipeline • Always a risk for oil spills caused by accidents • Exxon Valdez in 1989 in Alaska • Worst was in 1991 during Persian Gulf War • Underwater pipelines can crack • Ships can run aground in the narrow straight of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf
The Arabian Peninsula • Area includes: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen • Many opportunities for trade • The crossroads of 3 continents • Islam • Monotheistic • Based on the teachings of Muhammad • Sunni and Shia are the two main groups
Islam • Five Pillars of Islam • Faith: All believers must testify to the following statement: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” • Prayer: Five times a day, Muslims face toward the holy city of Mecca to pray. They can do it at a mosque or wherever they may be. • Charity: Muslims believe they have a responsibility to support the less fortunate • Fasting: During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset • Pilgrimage: All Muslims are expected to make a hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca once during their lifetime.
Islam • Theocratic governments • Religious control of the government • Use religious laws • Consult religious leaders about the issues • Spread Islam through conquering territory from the sixth century • Law of the land is known as Shari’ah
Eastern Mediterranean • Holy place • 3 religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam • City of Jerusalem is holy place for all three • Jerusalem for Jews: • The Capital of Israel • Temple Mount • Western Wall • Jerusalem for Christians • Mount of Olives (Jesus’ crucifixion) • Jerusalem for Islam • Dome of the Rock
A History of Unrest • Ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1520-1922 • Unable to grant freedom to countries and solve issues • Colonized after WWI by France and Britain • France= Lebanon and Syria • Britain= Israel and Jordan • Zionism- the movement of Jewish people back to the Holy Land • At the end of WWII, Holocaust survivors started to immigrate to Israel. • Was formally created in 1947
A History of Unrest • Many Palestinians were forced out or moved due to the Jewish population rising. • Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) • Formed in 1964 to make Palestine a country • Has political and military agenda • PLO and Hezbollah attack Jews of Israel and Israel retaliates. • Many refugees result from these wars, beginning in 1948
Eastern Mediterranean • Many ethnicities in this regions • Lebanon hosts Christians and Shi’ite Muslims. • Also include Orthodox and Druze faith. • Druze= section of Shia Islam but includes Judaism and Gnosticism.
The Northeast • Blend of many cultures • Turkish, Farsi, and Arabic languages • Sunni (4/5) and Shi’ite Muslims • Early civilizations known as Mesopotamia • Fights for land increased after WWI • The Kurds have been a stateless nation since WWI. • Iraq and Iran have prevented the Kurds from becoming a nation-state
The Northeast • Taliban- • Islamic fundamentalist political group in control of Afghanistan • Working toward modernization • Turkey is developing its water supply and hydroelectric power • Iran trying to get rid of harsh government • Modernization slow because of wars and oil disputes
Southwest Asia Issues • Population Relocation • Life in 1900 was not much different than life in 1100 • Guest Workers- immigrants doing jobs that the local population finds unacceptable • Stateless Nations • Kurds • Refugees • Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip) • How can governments work together to create peace in the region? • Is this issue able to be resolved only through diplomacy?
Southwest Asia Issues • Oil Wealth and Fuels Change • Strategic commodity- a resource so important that nations will go to war over it • 64% of oil reserves and 34% of natural gas deposits found here • Drive to modernize their infrastructures • Where does agriculture fit into the equation? • What could a new role for women do for the economy? • Can countries share wealth and resources?