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South West Asia and North Africa: An Introduction

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South West Asia and North Africa: An Introduction. Algeria. Oasis, Sinai Peninsula. Bedouin People, Lebanon. Qatar. Nile River at Aswan, Egypt photo: Mark Chickering. Medinet Habu Temple, Egypt Photo: Mark Chickering. Rub al Khali Desert, Yemen. Yemen. Photos by Amira Bakr.

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Presentation Transcript
slide6
MedinetHabu Temple, Egypt

Photo: Mark Chickering

slide9
Photos by Amira Bakr

White Desert, Sahara, Egypt

slide16
Physiographic Regions
  • There are diverse features interspersed across the Middle East and North Africa:
  • Mountain Ranges
  • Coastal Lowlands
  • Highland Plateaus
  • Floodplains
  • Deserts
  • Two Crucial River Systems:
  • Tigris-Euphrates in Fertile Crescent
  • Nile (White Nile/Blue Nile) in North Africa
slide19
Climate
  • Variable
  • Orographic Rainfall
  • Largely Arid- consider it’s location around 20-30N
slide21
Rich Cultural Heritage

Turkey

Photo: HadiArslan, Trek Earth

Domestication of plants and animals led to:

Agricultural Mini-Systems

Development of villages

Extended family systems, reorganization of land, resources

Specialization in non-agriculture crafts

Trade Networks

slide24
Recent Empires in the Middle East
  • Ottoman
  • European Mandates and Colonies, 1914- post World War II
slide26
Family
  • Importance of kinship and tribe
  • Family as physical space and functional group
  • Gendered architecture
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Gender Roles and Gender Spaces
    • public vs private male vs female role of chador or veil

Women at a mosque, Saudi Arabia

Photo: Sherine Abdel Rassoul, Trek Earth

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Contemporary Issues
  • Most contemporary problems stem from two things:
  • 1. Boundaries and borders created by colonial powers
  • Examples: Israel and Palestine
  • Iraq
  • Sudan – Darfur and South Sudan
  • 2. Strategic importance of region to political and economic interests of core countries
          • Israel and Palestine
          • Iraq, Iran
slide30
Case Study: Yemen and the Rise of Al-Qaeda

North Yemen- independent of Ottoman Empire in 1918

South Yemen- independent of British in 1967

North and South join in 1990 after 2 decades of fighting

Socioeconomic protests in 2008 and in 2011, fueled by ‘Arab Spring’

Elections in Feb 2012, Pres. Salih transferred power to his VP, Hadi

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Yemen – Economic Information:
  • Low income country
  • Reliant on dwindling oil supplies
  • IMF grant to support economic and political reform
  • GDP – growth rate -2.5 (211 country in world) (2011)
  • GDP per cap PPP - $2500 (181 in world)
  • Unemployment: 35%
  • Poverty rate: 45.2%
  • Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      • lowest 10%: 2.9%
      • highest 10%: 30.8% (2005)

Frontline Video: Al-Qaeda in Yemen

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/al-qaeda-in-yemen/

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