Chapter 23Arabian Peninsula Sections 4 and 5
Oil Changes a Region • Before the discovery of oil, the countries of the Arabian Peninsula fished and traded using dhows or Arab sailing ships. • The population lived in small towns and villages in the oases of the desert. • People grew wheat, vegetables, and dates. They also herded camels, goats, and sheep. • There are still groups of people that roam the deserts of the Arabian peninsula who are known as Bedouin.
Oil for Modernization • With the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the traditional way of life in the region changed. • Enormous wealth allowed for modernization as hospitals, schools, roads, airports, and other services were provided for free or were heavily subsidized. • The country also used this vast amount of wealth to create water. • Industrial plants were built to remove salt from saltwater. The expensive but necessary process is called desalination.
OPEC • In 1960, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia joined with Venezuala to form the “Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.” • The organization controls how much oil to produce and at what price, effectively creating a monopoly on oil. • The goal was to decrease Western oil companies hold on the market and to increase profits. • In the 1970s and 80s, high demand caused oil prices to soar. *
Planning for the Future • OPEC cannot support their countries with oil forever. • According to the book, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti oil will last another fifty to sixty years, while Qatar and Bahraini oil will last only twenty to thirty more years. • In order to counter this possibility, the countries have developed other industries. • Banking, steel, and petrochemical industries. • This development has required foreign workers to move into the area.
Saudi Arabia • Two giant centers of commercial industry. • Yanbu on the east coast, and Jubail on the east coast. • Billions of dollars were put into irrigation and desalination to increase agricultural production. • By 1980, Saudi farmers were supplying a majority of the country’s food.
Islam and Modernization • The process of modernizing the country was done carefully as to not upset Islamic traditions. • There are few public places of entertainment. Much of the time people visit families or relatives. This is because family is very important in Saudi society. • Women have an honored position in this society. But this is a very limited role. Custom prohibits women from associating with men outside families. • This only allows women to take up jobs where men are not present. An example would be teaching in an all-girls school.
Islam (continued) • Saudi Arabia also has a the role of guardian of Islam’s most sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. • Muhammad was born in Mecca around 570 A.D. Medina is the city where Muhammad sought refuge after his hegira or departure from Mecca in the year 622 A.D. • Approximately 2 million Muslims from all over the world visit Mecca as part of the hajj or pilgrimage. • They visit the Kaaba and circle it seven times, reciting prayers. • The most trouble derives between the beliefs that many Saudi’s enjoy the wealth of it’s economy and the trappings of Western society, while other’s believe Saudi Arabia should go back to it’s Islamic roots.
Oman and Yemen • Both countries have changed little since ancient times. Oman has begun to use its fledgling oil revenues to improve life, but not on the same scale as Saudi Arabia. • Yemen is the poorest nation on the peninsula. • Land in these two countries is very arid. People make their living by farming and herding. • They depend on an ancient system of underground and surface canals called the falaj system.
Turkey • After World War 1, Mustafa Kemal and his revolutionaries overthrew the Sultan and established the Republic of Turkey. • Kemal set about modernizing Turkey. His first change was to separate Islam from the government. He also changed the law system to reflect European legal systems. • He outlawed the fez and ridiculed the custom of women wearing veils in public. • Women were given the right to vote and hold office. • Everyone was encouraged to attend school. • His contributions to Turkey were so great that the Turkish people gave him the surname Ataturk meaning “father of the Turks.”
Turkey Today • Large international debt and inflation have troubled the country since the 1960s. • The government has been in struggles to keep Islam out of the political scene. • The Kurdish struggle for independence has been a thorn in Turkey’s side. • 20 percent of the people in Turkey are Kurds. • Turkey continues its trend toward becoming close to Europe. • European Union desires for Turkey to admit to the Armenian massacre during World War 1 before Turkey becomes a member.
Islam Changes Iran • Persians are the dominant population in Iran. Even though many have converted to Islam, they still speak Farsi and hold connections to their Persian heritage. • In 1921, Reza Khan seized power in Iran. In 1925, he declared himself Iran’s shah or ruler. • Like in Turkey, the shah opened schools, built roads and railroads, encouraged industry, and gave women more rights.
Modernization (Continued) • In World War 2, the Shah’s son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi took over. • Pahlavi used oil profits were channeled into industrial and agricultural development • Teachers and medical workers traveled to villages to improve literacy and health care. • Though many Iranians benefited from the shah’s reforms, many still lived in poverty. • The ayatollahs thought Iran should be governed in strict obedience to Islamic law.
An Islamic Revolution • In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini and a revolution set up a new government and declared Iran an Islamic republic. • Western influences were purged, and Westerners were forced to leave. • Alcohol was outlawed, and women were forced to don their long black cloaks called chadors. • The Ayatollah encouraged Shiite Muslims in every country to establish Islamic republics. • This was another factor in the start of the 1980 Iraq/Iran war.
Iran Today • Iran’s radical positioning has isolated it from much of the world. • Protests have caused the government to outlaw social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. • President Ahmadinejad is an Islamic conservative leader. He holds a yearly conference of Holocaust disbelievers. • Currently, the U.S. and the international community are indicting Iran that they are producing nuclear weapons. • The worry is that Iran could develop nuclear weapons and proliferate them or use them to gain dominance in the region.
Cyprus • An island country in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. • Greek colonists came to the island as early as 1200 B.C. • Religions include Greek Orthodox and Islam. • Civil war that began in 1960 has caused a rift in the population. Turkish troops have control of the northern third of the country while Cypriots control the rest. • Their desire is to unite with Greece.