Southwest Asia and North Africa
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Southwest Asia and North Africa. Introduction. Rich cultural legacy Agricultural revolution Urban civilization Petroleum industry 68% of world’s oil reserves OPEC Political issues Islamic fundamentalism. Aleppo, Syria. Environmental Geography. Levant. Maghreb.

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Southwest Asia and North Africa

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Southwest Asia and North Africa


Introduction

  • Rich cultural legacy

    • Agricultural revolution

    • Urban civilization

  • Petroleum industry

    • 68% of world’s oil reserves

    • OPEC

  • Political issues

    • Islamic fundamentalism

Aleppo, Syria


Environmental Geography


Levant

Maghreb

Mostly composed of deserts and uplands

  • Deserts: Sahara, Libyan, Nubian

  • Uplands:Arabian Peninsula, Anatolian Plateau, Iranian Plateau

  • Lowlands: Tigris-Euphrates River, Nile River


Salinization

  • How?

    Extensive irrigation + arid climates

    • Salt accumulation in topsoil

    • Lower crop yields, and land abandonment

  • Where?

    Iraq, central Iran, Egypt, and irrigated Maghreb


Water management

  • Qanat system

    • Tapping into groundwater through tunnel

    • Iran  Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa


Fish catches between 1962 and 1992

Water management

  • Aswan High Dam (1970)

    • Benefits

      • Year-round cropping

      • Hydroelectricity

    • Detriments:

      • Salinization

      • Schistosomiasis

      • Damages fishing industry near the Nile Delta


Hydropolitics

  • What?

    Interplay of water resource issues and politics

  • Where?

    Nile River

    • Sudan  Egypt

      Tigris-Euphrates River

    • Turkey  Iraq, Syria

      Jordan River

    • Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria


Population and Settlement


  • More than 400 million

  • Highest physiological densities

  • Tie between water and life

  • Population cluster

    • North Africa

      • The Nile Valley, and Maghreb region

    • Southwest Asia

      • Highlands, and better-watered shores of the Mediterranean


Rural settlement patterns

  • What is the most important indicator of rural settlement?

water


Rural settlement patterns

  • Home to early form of agriculture

  • 1. Domestication

    • 10,000 years ago

    • Wheat, barley, cattle, sheep, goats

  • 2. Fertile Crescent

    • Early agricultural activity (5,000 years ago)

    • Lebanon, Syria, northern Iraq, and eastern Turkey


Rural settlement patterns

  • Reflects interrelationship between water and life

  • 1. Pastoral nomadism

    • In the drier portions of the region, inadequate moisture make permanent settlement impossible

    • Seasonal movement of livestock from place to place

  • 2. Oasis settlement

    • Tightly clustered permanent settlement


Rural settlement patterns

  • 3. Irrigated agriculture along exotic rivers

    • Exotic rivers

      • Transport water from distant, more humid lands into drier regions

      • eg. Nile, Tigris, Euphrates

    • Irrigated collective farming

      • eg. Kibbutzes

  • 4. Dryland agriculture

    • Depends on seasonal moisture to support farming

    • Practiced on the Mediterranean climate regions


Urban settlement patterns

  • What shaped the urban landscapes?

  • Political system

Religion

Trades

Globalization

Colonialism


Cities as centers of political authority

  • 3500 BC Mesopotamia

  • 3000 BC Egypt

  • Temples, palaces, tombs, and public buildings


Cities as trading centers

  • 2000 BC the shores of the eastern Mediterranean

    • Beirut (Lebanon), Damascus (Syria)

  • Port facilities, warehouse districts, and commercial thoroughfares


Cities as religious centers

  • Islam (622)

  • 8th century Baghdad, Cairo

  • Walled urban core (medina), bazaar


colonialism

  • Added another layer of urban landscape features

  • Late 19th century North Africa

    • Algiers (French), Cairo (British)


globalization

  • Since 1950 added to traditional urban centers

    • High-rise apartment houses, and sprawling squatter settlements

Cairo, Egypt


globalization

  • Since 1970 oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf

    • Modern Western urban design, futuristic architecture, and new transportation infrastructure

Abu Dhabi, UAE


Coexistence of old and new

Fes, Morocco


Migration patterns

  • Rural-to-urban shift

    • Saudi Arabian: 18% (1950)  83% (2000)

  • Migration within the region

    • To oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE

  • Migration between the region

    • Job

      • Turkish  Germany

      • Algerian, Moroccan  France

  • Political forces

    • Lebanese, Iranian  western Europe, North America

    • Jewish  Israel


Cultural Coherence and Diversity


Religion

  • Which religion has originated in Southwest Asia?

Judaism (4000 years ago)

Christianity (2000 years ago)

Islam (622)


BC 2000

AD 70

1948

Mesopotamia to Canaan

Jewish Diaspora

Jew’s return to Israel

Geographies of religion

  • Judaism

  • Christianity

    • Outgrowth of Judaism

    • Emerged 2000 years ago near Israel


Geographies of religion

  • Islam

    • Originated in Makkah (or Mecca) in AD 622

    • Follows Quran (or Koran)

    • Divided into Shiites and Sunnis

    • Diffused to Persia (656), North Africa & Iberian Peninsula (750), Central/South Asia, and Southeast Asia


Diffusion of Islam


Modern religions


Geographies of language

  • Afro-Asiatic

    • Semitic language

      • Arabic

      • Hebrew

    • Berber language

  • Indo-European

    • Indo-Iranian language

      • Persian

      • Kurdish

  • Altaic

    • Turkish language


Geopolitical Framework


Colonial legacy

  • When?

    • Late arrival because of Turkish Ottoman Empire

    • Began after WWI (1918)

    • Ended by the 1950s


Colonial power - France

  • Maghreb

    • Algeria (1830s)

    • Tunisia (1881)

    • Morocco (1912)

  • After WWI

    • Syria (1918)

    • Lebanon (1918)


Colonial power - Great Britain

  • British Protectorate before 1900

    • Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Aden

  • Suez Canal (1869)

    • Egypt (1882), Sudan (1896)

  • After WWI

    • Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq


  • So which countries have NOT been occupied by European powers?

Turkey

Saudi Arabia


Decolonization and independence

  • North Africa

    • Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco (1950s)

    • Algeria (1962)

  • Southwest Asia

    • Iraq (1932), Lebanon (1946), Syria (1946), etc…

      while containing the cultural seeds of its later trouble


Arab-Israeli conflict


Arab-Israeli conflict

  • “Intifada” (1987)

    • Demonstration, led by Palestinian, against the rule of Israel in Gaza Strip and the West Bank

  • Agreements between the PLO and Israel (1990s)

    • Potential control of the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank


Islamic fundamentalism

  • Khomeni took power in Iran (1979)

  • “Rule the country by the Islamic law”

  • Sudan (1989)

  • Algeria (1992~)

  • Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia…


Conflicts within states

  • Lebanon (1975-95)

    • Discord among Christian and Muslim communities

    • Spillover of Arab-Israeli conflict

  • Iraq

    • South: Shiites

    • North: Kurds

  • Cyprus

    • Northern third: Islamic Turkish

    • South: Greek Orthodox


Conflicts between states

  • Western Sahara  Morocco (late 1970s)

  • Libya  Israel, Western Europe, U.S…. (1969~)

  • Sudan  Egypt (1995)

  • Iran-Iraq war (1980-88)

  • Persian Gulf war (1990-91)


Geopolitical issues

  • What is the destablizing force after WWII?

Creation of Israel

Rise of Islamic fundamentalism

Cold war (eg. Libya)

Ethnic differences (eg. Kurds)

Political/religious divide (eg. Sudan, Labanon)


Relations with the U.S.

  • Strong allies

    Israel, and Turkey

  • Strongly opposed

    Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya

  • Ambiguous relations

    Saudi Arabia


Economic and Social Development


The geography of fossil fuels


The geography of fossil fuels


The geography of fossil fuels


Regional economic patterns

  • Higher-income oil exporters

    • Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and UAE

  • Lowe-income oil exporters

    • Algeria, Libya, Iraq, and Iran

  • Prospering without oil

    • Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, and Cyprus


Regional patterns of poverty

  • Sudan

    • Civil war

  • Morocco

    • Berber communities

    • Brain drain

  • Egypt

    • Population growth

  • Yemen

    • Civil unrest


The role of women

  • Is major social issues

    • Lowest female labor participation rates

    • Large gap between male and female literacy

  • But is changing

    • Iran

    • Libya

    • Israel


Connections with global economy

  • Oil economy

    • Influences oil price

    • Outflow of capital

  • Economic integration

    • E.U., AFTA, Union of the Arab Maghreb

    • Role of Saudi Arabia

  • Tourism

    • Ancient historical sites; significant religious localities


The geography of tourism


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