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The “Middle East” (North Africa & Southwest Asia).

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Presentation on theme: "The “Middle East” (North Africa & Southwest Asia)."— Presentation transcript:

1 The “Middle East” (North Africa & Southwest Asia)

2 Introduction To The Region ► what are our preconceived notions? ► dominance of Islamic culture  but there are non-Muslim and non-Arabic groups  the term Muslim speaks of believers in Islam  the term Arab refers to the largest ethnic group ► deserts, irrigation, and the role of water ► geopolitics and the curse/blessing of oil ► peace process in the Middle East ► Middle Eastern history in 90 seconds Middle Eastern history in 90 seconds Middle Eastern history in 90 seconds


4 Physical Patterns ► Climate  One of the driest regions in world ► Water as the most precious source ► Desert clothing and scorching temperatures  On margins of deserts and in mountain ranges enough rain for limited agriculture, herding

5 Climate Zones Figure 6.4

6 Physical Patterns ► Landforms and Vegetation  Some mountains induce orographic effect ► Atlas Mountains: skiing industry ► Mountains of southwest Arabia ► Anatolian highlands of Turkey  Major deserts: ► Sahara, Rub’al Khali  Three major rivers: ► Nile, Tigris, Euphrates  What are wadis? Wadi in Algeria

7 Population Patterns Immense expanse of deserts in the region leads to dense Population clusters near coasts, rivers, and in moist uplands

8 Oasis in the United Arab Emirates Landscape in Iran Landscape in Oman Palestinian children Snapshots from the region and its peoples

9 Atlas Mountains in Algeria Taurus Mountains in Turkey Oman Mountains near Muscat Elburz Mountains in Iran Mountainous Regions of the Middle East

10 Cappadocia (Turkey) eroded chimney rocks Alluvial fan at the foot of a mountain range Sand dunes in Saudi Arabia Nile Delta and the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba Other important Features

11 SandstormSandstorm over the Persian Gulf Amasra (Turkey) on the Black Sea Satellite image of the Black Sea Water Bodies of Importance Satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea

12 Traditional Landscapes and Peoples

13 Modern Urban Landscapes from Riyadh to Dubai

14 Contrasts on the Arabian Peninsula

15 Weddings in Three Religions Israeli bride and groom in Gaza Muslim bride and groom in Tehran Arab Christian bride and groom in Jerusalem

16 The Spread of Islam, 630-1700 AD Figure 6.9

17 1) shahadah (Profession of Belief) 2) salah (5 daily prayers Mecca) 3) zakah (religious tax) 4) sawm (holy month of Ramadan) 5) hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) Five Pillars of the Islam

18 1.)Pilgrims perform cleansing rituals at designated stations outside Mecca. Men and women exchange their street clothes for hajj garments (Ihram / sacred state) – stripping themselves of social distinctions and embracing their dedication to God. 2.)Among other rites, pilgrims circle the “Kaabah”, a shrine at the center of the Grand Mosque – built, it is said, by Abraham and his son - seven times counterclockwise in a procession called the “Tawaf”. It symbolizes placing God's House at the center of their lives. 3.)On the first official day of the hajj, pilgrims take a three-mile journey into Mina, where they spend the night in a massive tent city. 4.)In the morning, pilgrims continue east to the Plain of Arafat, where Muslims believe Adam and Eve were reunited after leaving Eden. A daylong group vigil, in which pilgrims stand in the presence of God, marks the zenith of the hajj. 5.)At sundown, the hajj loops back toward Mecca, halting at a patch of hills called the “Muzdalifah”, where pilgrims stop for the night, participate in a nightlong vigil, and collect stones for the next day. 6.)At dawn, pilgrims cast pebbles at the “Jamraat”, three stone pillars that symbolize temptation - places where Satan tried to tempt Abraham from the path of God. They first throw seven stones at the largest pillar, and then stone the other two over the course of two or three days. 7.)Back in Mecca, pilgrims can perform the seven turns around the “Kaabah” one last time before heading home. The end of the hajj is celebrated with a three-day feast.

19 The Shii of the Middle East (The Majority of Muslims in the world consider themselves Sunni)

20 Diversity of Languages  Arabic: official language in all countries in the region except Turkey, Iran, and Israel ► Turkey: Turkish ► Iran: Farsi ► Israel: Hebrew  Non-Arabic minorities retain own languages  Arabic dialects homogenizing under media pressure ► French and English major second languages

21 Major Languages in the Region Figure 6.26

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