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Cultural Characteristics of the Middle East. Background. Arab peoples make up almost the entire populations of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and other states of Southwest Asia. Arab culture has a long history and rich traditions. Many other cultures also live in the region. . Background.

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background
Background
  • Arab peoples make up almost the entire populations of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and other states of Southwest Asia.
  • Arab culture has a long history and rich traditions.
  • Many other cultures also live in the region.
background1
Background
  • Christianity and Judaism are major religions practiced in Southwest Asia.
  • Most people there are Muslims.
  • This means that they practice the religion of Islam.
  • Ninety percent of people in the region are Muslims.
slide4
Arab
  • Arabs comprise most of the population of Southwest Asia.
  • However, many Arabs also live in Northern Africa, Canada, Europe, and the United States.
  • Most Arabs practice Islam and speak Arabic.
  • Small numbers of Arabs practice other religions.
slide5
Arab
  • Islam consists mostly of two different groups.
  • The majority of Muslims practice Sunni Islam.
  • Most others practice Shi’a Islam.
  • Sunnis and Shi’a disagree about who is in charge of the Muslim world.
jewish
Jewish
  • Israel is home for much of the Jewish population in the Southwest Asia.
  • Many of the people who live in Israel today were born there.
  • However, the ancestors of these people moved to Israel from many other countries, often from other Southwest Asian countries.
  • Much of this migration happened during the 20th century, after the formation of Israel in the late 1940s.
jewish1
Jewish
  • Jewish people differ in their religious beliefs, though most practice some form of Judaism.
  • For example, some Jews believe that Jewish people who convert to another religion should not be considered Jewish any more.
  • The Law of Return in Israel says that a Jew from any other country can automatically have citizenship in Israel.
  • Sometimes Jews who no longer practice Judaism have been denied the Law of Return.
berber
Berber
  • Another minority group in the region are the Berbers.
  • Most Berbers live in North Africa and were the first group to settle that region.
  • They still live a traditional way of life today.
  • Berbers have their own languages.
berber1
Berber
  • Many Berber tribes live in the mountains and deserts.
  • Most Berbers living in mountainous areas are farmers.
  • Berbers who live in the desert tend to live near an oasis.
  • Berbers that do not farm are nomadic.
berber2
Berber
  • The majority of Berber tribes are Muslim.
  • Some Berbers practice other religions, too.
  • Traditional Berber cuisine has stayed the same for hundreds of years.
bedouin
Bedouin
  • The Bedouin are another ethnic group.
  • They speak Arabic.
  • Many Bedouin used to be nomadic.
  • Their most important animal is the camel.
  • Now, the Bedouin live mostly in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.
bedouin1
Bedouin
  • Most Bedouin now live in cities and are not nomadic.
  • Bedouin tribes are ruled by tribal leaders called sheikhs. Most Bedouins practice Islam.
  • The Bedouin are well known for their dress and music, which is mostly sung.
  • Music is used to perform traditional Bedouin ceremonies.
kurdish
Kurdish
  • Southwest Asia is also home to the Kurdish people.
  • The Kurds live in several countries throughout the region.
  • These include Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Almost one-fifth of the population of Turkey is Kurdish.
  • Kurdish religion used to be made up of a mixture of several different religions.
kurdish1
Kurdish
  • Most Kurds today are Muslims.
  • Kurdish Muslims are usually less strict about certain Islamic practices.
  • There are fewer laws for how Kurdish women should dress than there are for Iranian and Arab women.
  • Kurds share many aspects of their culture with Iranians.
turkish
Turkish
  • The Turks are an ethnic group based on language—Turkish.
  • They live mostly in Turkey and Iran.
  • Most of the people who live in Turkey are of Turkish descent.
  • Most Turks practice some form of Islam.
  • Like Kurds, Turkish people are rarely strict about some Islamic practices.
turkish1
Turkish
  • However, Kurds and Turks in Turkey often fight over issues not related to religion.
  • For example, education is a controversial issue between these two groups.
  • The Turkish people are well known for their architecture.
  • Mosques in Turkey are a good example of Turkish architecture.
persian
Persian
  • The Persians are an ethnic group that lived in Iran before the arrival of Islam in the 7th century.
  • Persians make up about half of Iran’s current population.
  • They have their own language called Persian or Farsi.
  • Most Persians in Iran today practice Shi’a Islam, but some are Sunni and other religions.
persian1
Persian
  • Persian women have faced many challenges as a result of strict cultural and religious practices.
  • Through struggle, Persian women have increased their personal freedoms over the past forty years.
  • Persian art and architecture is also well known.
  • Many people consider Persian rugs to be among the finest in the world.
literacy and development
Literacy and Development
  • Education is free in many countries in the Southwest Asia.
  • Many students are required to attend school through high school.
  • Fighting often keeps students from showing up at school.
  • Many students also live so far from the schools that getting to school is difficult.
  • The literacy rates for people over fifteen years of age are: 77% in Syria; 79% in Iran; 95% in Israel; and 79% in Saudi Arabia.
literacy and development1
Literacy and Development
  • The literacy rates in Israel are higher than in other Southwest Asian countries.
  • In all of these countries, more men tend to be able to read and write than women.
  • This is especially true in Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Overall in some countries women’s education is not valued as much as men’s education.
literacy and development2
Literacy and Development
  • Women receive a different education than men in some areas.
  • Literacy has a large impact on a country’s development.
  • For example, an increase in the literacy rate often leads to an increase in individual rights.
  • Literacy rates also have an impact on a country’s economy.
summary
Summary
  • Describe the different ethnic groups that make up the Middle East.
  • How does literacy and education affect the Middle East?