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Interdisciplinary Lenses. Geographic Inquiry. The Need for the Full Picture. When we examine issues in isolation, we risk not getting the “full picture ”

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interdisciplinary lenses

Interdisciplinary Lenses

Geographic Inquiry

the need for the full picture
The Need for the Full Picture
  • When we examine issues in isolation, we risk not getting the “full picture”
  • We must analyze issues from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to fully comprehend the issue, which is necessary for developing sustainable solutions
  • Geography’s Interdisciplinary Lenses * Social * Political * Economic * Environmental * Cultural
crisis in syria

Crisis in Syria

Quick overview behind the turmoil in Syria

  • Syria is located in the Middle East
  • Diverse physical geography (plains, highlands, deserts)
  • Culturally diverse population of 20.8 million
  • Sunni Muslim majority (74%), Shia Muslim minority
  • Been under authoritarian rule of the Assad regime since 1970 – Baa’th Party
  • Bashir al-Assad is a member of the minority Alawite Shia sect
  • Political dissent is met with imprisonment, torture, disappearances etc.
  • Government corruption is rampant, horrendous human rights record, economic and political policies favour the elite minority
  • Allies include Russia and Iran
current conflict
Current Conflict

WHAT? Civil conflict between al-Assad supporters (Syrian Armed Forces) and the Free Syrian Army, rebel factions

WHEN? March2011, extension of the Arab Spring

WHERE? Started in Deraa, now entire country embroiled


  • Years of repressive rule, social and economic hardship
  • Desire for democracy, pro-democracy movement in the region
  • Controversy over how the country should be governed
  • Factions within the anti-Assad fighters
conflict map
Conflict Map
  • Mapping the conflict is extremely challenging!
group challenge
Group Challenge
  • Access the Google doc that was shared with you entitled “Interdisciplinary Lenses. ”
  • Use the lens you have been assigned to identify the causes and implications of the Syrian crisis