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Southwest Asia

Southwest Asia

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Southwest Asia

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Southwest Asia History and Government

  2. Map of Southwest Asia

  3. The Region’s Countries • Kuwait • Saudi Arabia • Afghanistan • Qatar • Oman • United Arab Emirates • Yemen • Turkey • Syria • Cyprus • Iraq • Iran • Lebanon • Israel • Jordan

  4. Quick History . . . • Ancient History • 8000 BC – Fertile Crescent, establishment of agriculture and civilization • 3000 BC – Sumerians, development of writing, complex societies, etc… • 2000 BC – Judaism is founded in the region • Christianity would follow 2000 years later • 600s – followers of Muhammad swept over the Arabian Peninsula • The conquered would adopt the Islamic faith and Arabic language. • Other religions would be allowed to practice their faith. • 900s – Arabs began to lose their control of the region; the Turks (Seljuks) conquered the lands • The conquerors actually adopted the traditions of the people living in the region. • 1300s – the last great empire takes control - the Ottoman Turks • There were freedoms for all different peoples living in the region.

  5. Quick History . . . (cont.) • 1700s – rivalries built up with tensions between different ethnic and religious groups • The Ottomans could not maintain their power, and many of these groups wanted to establish their own homelands • January 3, 1916 – Sykes-Picot Agreement • Limited the independent Arab state to the area that is now Saudi Arabia and Yemen • Syria became French-controlled; Iraq was now British-controlled, and Palestine was jointly ruled • 1917 – end of World War I • The fall of the Ottoman Empire

  6. Quick History . . . (cont.) • Mid-1940s – the issue of Palestine and Israel • Many Jewish people were escaping the reaches of Hitler; tensions rose between the British, Palestinians and Jews. • 1947 – Great Britain withdrew from the disputed area and handed the issue over to the United Nations • Led to the creation of two states (one Arab and one Jewish) • 1980s – Iraq/Iran War • The two countries fought a war over control of oil fields. • 1991 – Persian Gulf War • Iraq invaded Kuwait . . . led to other countries intervening. • The US and 32 other countries found to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait and keep the oil fields open • 2003 – Operation Enduring Freedom & Operation Iraqi Freedom

  7. The Region’s Governments • Theocracy • The government is run by religious leaders; there is no separation between church and state • The government claims to be guided by God, or divinely blessed • Republic • Simply Defined – a government without a king or queen; people elect representatives to make decisions • Traditional Monarchy • Major feature – the ruler inherits power • So, when the ruler dies, power automatically passes to one of the monarch’s children or close relatives. • Constitutional Monarchy • The power of the monarch is shared with a constitutional body • A modern adaptation of monarchy

  8. Important Individuals • Abdul al-Aziz Ibn Saud • Responsible for the consolidation of land in the Arabian Peninsula under the name of the Saud family • By 1920s – almost all of the Arabian Peninsula was under his control • 1932 – the whole area became known as Saudi Arabia • His descendants still rule Saudi Arabia today • Saddam Hussein • Iraqi president, then dictator; ruled from 1979 until 2003 • He was in office during the Iraq/Iran War, Persian Gulf War, and the UN sanctions on Iraq. • He was deposed from office and put on trial for crimes committed early in his political term; found guilty, and sentenced to death

  9. Important Groups • The Bedouins • Nomadic desert dwellers that traveled along the Arabian Peninsula; very family oriented • Known for their superior fighting - - - conquered many lands across the Arabian Peninsula during the 7th century • They spread the Islamic faith by placing Muslim leaders in control of the newly acquired lands. • Sunni & Shi’ite Muslims • The two major branches of the Islamic faith • 83% of Muslims are Sunni; most Iranians are Shi’ite. • These two ethnic groups have severe tensions that split them apart despite the religious ties.

  10. Important Groups • The PLO • The Palestinian Liberation Organization; created in the 1960s • The group was formed to regain the land for Palestinian Arabs - - - they have used both military and political means to take possession of land. • The Taliban • A fundamentalist Muslim political group that imposed strict rules on the people’s behaviors (primarily in Afghanistan)

  11. 20th Century Issues • The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict • Prior to the late 19th century, Palestine was under Arab control, but then Britain intervened in political matters. • 19th century – the Zionist Movement began • The movement supported the creation and support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. • Post-WWI – Britain takes over the region; continues to allow Jewish immigration into the region • 1939 – the increase of tensions between Jews and Muslims was too high, and the British halted Jewish immigration to Palestine • Many Jews were attempting to relocate to the area from Europe (escaping persecution and Hitler’s Nazis)

  12. 20th Century Issues • The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict . . . (cont.) • Post-WWII – many Jews were relocating to the area; Britain handed over the issue to the United Nations • 1947 – the UN decision - - - divide Palestine into two states (one for Arabs and one for Jews) • May 14, 1948 – the Jewish states, Israel, was established • The surrounding Arab nations invaded the newly formed nation; the Jews fought back

  13. 20th Century Issues • The Kurds • The world’s largest stateless minority (est. 25 million) • Kurdistan – region where the Kurds are located • The region lies within the countries of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Armenia . . . Causes land disputes • The Kurds have dealt with centuries of oppression. • Recently: • 1988 – Iraqi troops killed thousands of Kurds (& destroyed villages) • Early 1990s – Iraq crushed another Kurdish uprising • One million Kurdish refugees fled (to Turkey, Iran, and northern Iraq)