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People of the Middle East. Background The Middle East is home to a broad diversity of people Even throughout its history it has been home to many peoples.

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Presentation on theme: "People of the Middle East. Background The Middle East is home to a broad diversity of people Even throughout its history it has been home to many peoples."— Presentation transcript:

1 People of the Middle East

2 Background The Middle East is home to a broad diversity of people Even throughout its history it has been home to many peoples The Arabs make up the majority in several countries

3 Different ethnic people in the Middle East according to language

4 Arabs More the half of the people are Arabs Speak Arabic language Religion they practice is Islam (90%); Christianity (10%) Trace their roots to the Arabian Peninsula but today live in all countries of the Middle East Three things that govern their attitude and actions –Belief in Islam –The Arabic language –The Arabic Culture

5 The Saudis Saudi Arabia is regarded with deep respect within the Muslim world –Birth place of Muhammad –Site of Mecca and Medina Creation of a man whose name the country bears –King Ibn Saud ( ) Saudi royal family still rules the kingdom Oil was discovered in 1936 and BOMB – area became important to the world

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7 The Egyptians The World is fascinated with Egypt due to its history –The mummies, pyramids, sphinxes In the past was considered to be an ally of the United States in the Middle East Viewed Egypt as a way to make moderate changes in the Middle East First nation to recognize and make peace with Israel One of the most stable nations in the Middle East

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9 Iranians Not Arab – Persian Most are Muslim (90% are Shia, 10% Sunni) Language – Persian, or Farsi, an Indo-European language that is distantly related to English Location – was Persia; now IranIran Iran means “land of the Aryans” Persian Empire was established in 500 BC –One of the greatest empires of its time 600 AD Arabs invaded the region and established Islam 1979 new gov took over and set up an Islamic republic Took Americans hostage (50 for over a yr) War with Iraq in 1980 Relationship with the United States is strained

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11 Lebanese Descendants from the great sea traders the Phoenician One of the most westernized of the Middle Eastern countries Capital, Beirut, is the Paris of the Middle East Made up of Christian, Druze, Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims –Spelled doom Its neighbors also cause problems for Lebanon –Syria and Israel Civil Wars took places between Still dominated by Syria today Israel still upset at Lebanon for harboring Hizballah militiamen in their fight against Israel

12 Syrians Really hate the west Sometimes called the “Paymaster” to worldwide terrorist groups –Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihadist US believes that the Syrian government is backing the Sunni insurgency in Iraq The Assad ruling dynasty tries to rule with an iron fist –But at times its own home grown terrorist organization have cause problems for the government The current government might not have a very tight grip on its own people

13 Turks Language – Turkish, comes from the Central Asian roots Religion – Islam Location – was Asia minor; now TurkeyTurkey 56 million Turks First people to live in Asia minor = Greeks and Hittites Great city of Constantinople fell to Islam in 1453 –Changed name to Istanbul –Greatly changed Turkey’s future Greatly “westernized” after WWI Once thought to be an ally of the United States –US offered Turkey $6 billion to use military bases to attach Iraq Parliament said no Problems in Turkey today –Upsurge of Islamic terrorism –The Kurds

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15 Armenians Language – Armenian Religion – Christianity Location – was Turkey; now Turkey, former Soviet Union (Republic of Armenia)Republic of Armenia Were Christians living in a Muslim country, wanted own land –Massacred by Turks during WWI – about 1 million

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17 The Iraqis Home of ancient Mesopotamia “the cradle of civilization” –Gave us agriculture and writing Made up of Shi’ite (60%) Sunnis (32%) and Kurds –Each regard itself to be a separate nation and wanting its own homeland After independence overthrew and executed the king and his family Proclaimed a republic Border disputes with Kuwait and Iran Oil made the country wealth and powerful Baath Party gained power in 1968 –Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 Ever sense the country has been in turmoil

18 Kurds Language – Kurdish Religion – Islam Location – was and is border separating Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and former Soviet Union –Call area Kurdistan –Do not have self rule –Largest ethnic group in world without a homeland Have been slaughtered by the Iranians, the Turks and the Iraqis The P.K.K (Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan) are a militant group of Turkish Kurds fighting for a homeland A Kurdish saying –“Kurds have no friends”

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20 Palestinians Language – Arabic Religion – Islam Location – was Palestine the areas surrounded by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and LebanonPalestine In 1948, Palestine was formed into the Jewish state of Israel Many Palestinian lost their homes, farms and businesses Many became refugees (4.5 / 7.5 million Palestinians) –Some live in Israel (1 million) –Some live in West Bank and Gaza areas –Some live in surrounding countries (Jordan and Lebanon) –Many live in refugee camps Many want a fully independent Palestinian state Conflict between Palestinians and Israeli continues today

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22 Israelis Language – Hebrew and Arabic are official Religion – Jewish (82%) rest are Muslim and Christians Location – IsraelIsrael –Israel today = 4.1 million Jews;.9 million Arabs –Jews have move to various parts of the world Abraham led his people to Canaan Roman Empire conquered the region called it Palestine –Forced Jews to move = diaspora Arabs conquered Palestine in the mid-1600s Come under control of Ottoman Empire End of WWI come under British control Movement known as Zionism began In 1948, Israel was created by the United Nations as a homeland for the Jews

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24 Women in the Middle East Prior to Islam women were slightly less valuable than livestock Islam improved the lives of women greatly –Outlawed infanticide –Education of girls a duty –Woman had the right to own and inherit property –But they are not equal Lives are governed by the Shari’a No single picture of women living under Islamic law Veil tradition/required by law in many Arab countries –Represents freedom for many and pride in Islam


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