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North Africa, Southwest Asia and Central Asia

North Africa, Southwest Asia and Central Asia. What makes this A Region?. Deserts and Mountains Population that practices one of the three major monotheistic religions Possession of more than half of the worlds known oil reserves A need for freshwater resources

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North Africa, Southwest Asia and Central Asia

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  1. North Africa, Southwest Asia and Central Asia

  2. What makes this A Region? • Deserts and Mountains • Population that practices one of the three major monotheistic religions • Possession of more than half of the worlds known oil reserves • A need for freshwater resources • A history of external cultural influences

  3. Physical Geography • Tectonic activity responsible for shaping landscape • 4 tectonic plates converge in this region • Shifting plates have built mountains and frequently cause earthquakes • Atlas mountains are found in North Africa • Precipitation on northern side of mountains makes this an agriculturally productive region • Along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula two mountain ranges, Hejaz and Asir, • Asir region the most agriculturally productive region in Southwest Asia • Caucus Mountains are found between the Caspian and Black Seas

  4. Physical Geography • Coastal Plains are the most fertile regions and support agriculture • Major peninsulas- Arabian, Sinai, Anatolian • Landlocked bodies of saltwater are found in the region • Caspian Sea- largest inland body of water on Earth • Dead Sea on the border of Israel and Jordan is at the mouth of the Jordan River • Aral Sea in Central Asia • 1960’s fourth largest body of water in the world • Dried up in the 1970’s to present because of water used for irrigation to grow cotton, split the sea north and south

  5. Physical Geography • Water Systems • Region lacks abundant water resources and rivers have always been important and affected development • Nile River fertile land along river home to one of the worlds earliest civilizations • 90% of population lives in Nile River delta (3% of Egypt’s land) • Aswan High Dam on Nile provides hydroelectric power and water for agriculture • Tigris- Euphrates valley in Southwest Asia was a cradle of civilization • Today dams provide water for agriculture and hydroelectric power for Syria, Iraq and Turkey

  6. Physical Geography • Oil and natural gas are the most important natural resources in the region • Region contains over 60% of the know world oil reserves • Oil exports have enriched the region • Economy can rise or sink because of fluctuation in world oil markets • Many countries in the region are trying to diversify their economies away from reliance on oil exports

  7. Climate • Water scarcity affects the regions climate • Deserts cover more than 50% of the region • Sahara Desert largest desert in the world, covers North Africa • Weather patterns in deserts are extreme, cold nights and long hot summers • Rub al-Khali in Saudi Arabia largest area of sand in the world • Some nomadic herding and small scale farming is possible in oasis regions • Villages develop around oases

  8. Climate • Steppe is the second largest climate region • Supports livestock grazing • Mediterranean climates are found in coastal areas • Countries rely on Mediterranean climates to export citrus fruits, olives to Europe and North America • These regions also benefit from tourism

  9. Cultural Geography

  10. North Africa • Indigenous cultures of North Africa have mixed with Arab and European cultures • Spanish, French, Roman, Jewish and Muslim cultures have influenced the region • European influence mainly in coastal North Arica (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) • Primary cultural mixture is Arab and indigenous cultures • Arab invaders mixed with native Berber people • Berbers exist today as farmers and pastoral nomads • Arabs migrated to the region around 600

  11. North Africa • Availability of water has influenced settlement • Most people settled along seacoasts and river deltas • Cairo, Egypt is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet

  12. North Africa • Location near Europe and Southwest Asia has made the region vulnerable to invasion over the centuries • Regions farmers were among the first in the world to domesticate plants and animals • One of the world first great civilizations developed in the Nile River Valley • In the 600’s Arab invasions and heavily influenced cultures of the region • The Arabs brought their language, architecture and Islam • European colonial influence in the 1800’s helped develop the regions geometric boundaries

  13. North Africa • Egypt gained independence in 1922 from Great Britain • Typically pro- Western in their views, country has a large military • Their control of the Suez canal has made it a key regional power • Egypt is also a center of Arab nationalism • Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 • They have developed their natural resources (oil) and raised their standard of living • Libya gained independence from Italy in 1951 • Since 1969 they have been ruled by a military dictator Muammar Kaddafi • Morocco and Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956

  14. North Africa • Most people in North Africa practice Islam • Most share the Arabic language • Literacy rates range widely from 52% in Morocco to 82% in Libya • Health care is government run in most countries, with urban areas receiving better health care than rural areas

  15. Eastern Mediterranean • Region is inhabited by Jews and Arabs • Most Jews live in Israel • Trace heritage to region that is today Israel and Lebanon • Invasions led to exile and persecution, forced many Jews to relocate to different countries • 1948 Israel founded as an independent Jewish state • Arabs in region did not want Jewish state that had been their homeland for centuries, brought a series of six wars to the region sine 1948 • Palestinians are the Arab people that live where Israel is today • Many have been displaced from their homes and have been forced to become refugees

  16. Eastern Mediterranean • Countries in the region include: Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon • Dry desert climate of the region causes majority of population to live along coasts and Euphrates River Valley • Parts of region have highest population densities in the region • Eastern Mediterranean is 75% urban • People from over 100 countries have settled in Israel, makes an ethnically diverse country

  17. Eastern Mediterranean • Three major religions began in region • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam • All three share similar beliefs, especially monotheism • Judaism is the oldest of the monotheistic faiths • Christianity was founded in the land of Israel in AD 30 • Islamic tradition began on nearby Arabian peninsula and spread to the region by AD 700

  18. Eastern Mediterranean • Jews in the late 1800’s called Zionists , called for a return to Palestine and the foundation of a Jewish state • After WWII the UN divided Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state • 1948 Jews proclaim the independent state of Israel • Series of wars occurred over the next 50 years and caused many Palestinians to become refugees • Many Palestinians today live in Israeli controlled settlements in Israel • Palestinians want an independent state of their own • Israel agreed to give the Palestinians some self rule in the 1990’s, but have since changed their position • The militant Palestinians group Hamas has supported attacks on Israeli territory

  19. Eastern Mediterranean • Most people in are Muslim • Large groups of Christians live in Syria and Lebanon • Hebrew is spoken in Israel, while other countries speak Arabic • Literacy rates vary from 76% in Syria to 96% in Israel

  20. Iran, Iraq and Turkey Ethnic Populations • Turks- migrated from Central Asia • Eventually became known as the Ottomans and ruled the region for 600 years • Most Turks practice Sunni Islam • Iranians- migrated from Central Asia • Speak Farsi • 90% practice Shia branch of Islam • Arabs- majority of people in Iraq • Most are Shia Muslims • Arabic is the most commonly spoken language • Kurds- live in mountainous border area of Turkey and Iraq • Most are Sunni Muslims • Speak Kurdish and have different customs than Arabs of the region • Have no country of their own • Efforts at self rule have been repeatedly crushed by Turkish and Arab rulers

  21. Iran, Iraq and Turkey • Most populous countries are Iran and Turkey • Most live in cities • Istanbul and Tehran dominate social and cultural life in their countries • Cities have had problems because of many villagers looking for opportunity • Government of Iran has relocated people to the countryside to relieve overcrowding

  22. Iran, Iraq and Turkey • Mesopotamia was one of the world’s first cultural hearths, part of the fertile crescent • Persian and Ottoman Empires were once regional powers • Late 1800’s British controlled Iraq until 1922 • Country of Turkey established after the fall of the Ottoman Empire • Iran’s secular government was overthrown in 1979 and is run by mullahs (religious leaders) that influence politics in the country today

  23. Iran, Iraq and Turkey • Discovery of oil in the early 1900’s changed region drastically • 1950’s Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to regulate oil production and set oil prices • OPEC has gained power as the demand for oil has increased • 1973 imposed a ban on the sale of oil when they became angry over Arab-Israeli conflicts • Demand for oil has made the region important internationally

  24. Arabian Peninsula • Harsh desert climate means most people live along the coast • Lives shaped by traditional Islamic culture and modernization driven by the oil industry • Most in region are Arabs • Economic prosperity has brought a labor shortage to many countries (need somebody to do work they don’t want to) • Many foreign workers from South Asia immigrated to the region for economic opportunity • Most of the population lives in urban areas • Discovery of oil led to modernization, increased wealth and immigration • Majority of population in UAE, Kuwait and Qatar are immigrants

  25. Arabian Peninsula • British controlled most of the area during the 1800’s, except for Oman which has always remained independent • Unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in 1932 • Still ruled today by Saud family • Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar gained independence in mid-1900’s • UAE became a country in 1971, country today is an association of sheikdoms ruled by an Islamic religious leader • Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain are monarchies • Saudi Arabia is ruled by shari’ah law based on the Quran • Kuwait, Qatar are constitutional emirates ruled by princes

  26. Arabian Peninsula • Standards of living vary widely across the region • Oil rich countries have used money to improve infrastructure and promote education • Qatar's oil and gas reserves have given it on of the worlds highest per capita incomes • Sunni and Shia are the dominant sects of Islam found in the region • Other sects of Islam are Ibadhism practiced in Oman • Wahhabi is a very conservative sect of the Sunni branch that believes in the literal translation of the Quran, found in Saudi Arabia

  27. Central Asia • Region has numerous ethnic groups, reflects centuries of migration and invasion by outside groups • Population has been shaped by conflict • Crossroads of many cultures, early history influenced by the Silk Road • Afghanistan predominant ethnic group is Pashtun • More than 50 nationalities live in the Caucus Mountains (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) • Turkic peoples live in the republics of Central Asia (Uzbeks, Kazakhs)

  28. Central Asia • Population densities are uneven across the region because of the climate and terrain • Afghanistan is the most populous country • Crossroads of many cultures, early history influenced by the Silk Road • Region has been controlled by Alexander the Great, Mongols, Ottomans • Armenia and Georgia are ethnically and culturally different than other countries in the region because they practice Christianity • Soviet Union unified parts of Central Asia in the 1900’s • Many countries were objects of Soviet cultural, political and economic influence • Caused an rise in the standard of living and literacy

  29. Central Asia • Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1979 • Mujahedeen freedom fighters defeated the Soviets and set in motion their decline • After the Soviets left the Taliban, they imposed a strict form of Islamic rule on the country • When Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 the Central Asian republics declared their independence • Countries are have moved toward political and economic stability with various degrees of success • Poverty and unemployment are widespread • Healthcare is lacking, years of turmoil have left the region with few resources to spend on social programs

  30. The Region Today

  31. The Economy • Oil and water two key economic resources • Countries with oil need water, countries with water generally don’t have oil • Only a small portion of the land is available for farming, yet a large percentage is involved in farming • Agriculture plays a smaller role in oil rich countries where they import most of their food • Uzbekistan is one of the world’s largest cotton producers

  32. The Economy • Petroleum and oil products have transformed the region • Villages in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other Persian Gulf countries have becoming modern cities • Iran and Saudi Arabia have developed oil refining and shipping industries • Petrochemical industries provide jobs and improve the standard of living for many • Service industries (banking, real estate, retail sales, insurance industries, tourism)

  33. The Economy • Extensive road systems are found in oil rich countries to connect oil fields and seaports • Other countries are hampered by geography and finances • Water transportation is vital to the region • The Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal have strategic and economic importance to ship oil across the world • An elaborate system of pipelines connects oilfields to ports on the Mediterranean, Black and Red Seas

  34. The Economy • TV and radio is expanding, much of it government controlled • Satellite technology is helping sparsely populated areas improve communication services • Economic interdependence is growing across the region • Transportation and communication has increased interaction • Industrialized countries need oil from the region and the region depends on industrial products from other countries • OPEC has a major economic influence in many countries around the world • There is a wide disparity between the oil rich and oil poor countries

  35. People and the Environment • Water resources key issue in region • Few major rivers, few countries have enough freshwater for irrigation • Oil rich countries can afford desalination plants to meet their need for freshwater • Very expensive and takes large amounts of energy to run them • Libya’s Great Man Made River tries to meet freshwater needs • Taps large aquifers under the Sahara desert and carries water to urban areas • Could create problems by depleting aquifers faster than they can be recharged and by taking water from other countries

  36. People and the Environment • Aswan High Dam in Egypt • Controls Nile’s floods, provides water for irrigation, supplies electricity • Negative impact is that it prevents Nile floods that bring fertile alluvial soil to lower Nile, and washes away salt • Dam traps soil so farmers have to use expensive fertilizers • War has had a negative impact Persian Gulf War, war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Israel • Central Asia inherited Soviet area environmental problems • Soviets tested nuclear, chemical, biological weapons there • Soviet heavy industry was based in these countries and left many areas with polluted water

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