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Chapter 7 – North Africa / The Middle East

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1 Chapter 7 – North Africa / The Middle East
A – Naming the Realm B – The Oil Curse C – Regions of the Realm

2 Overview Physical geography Cultural geography Population geography
Aridity; a prevalent character. Oil; the world’s most valuable resource. Cultural geography Culture Hearths (cradle of civilization; Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia). World Religions. Religious conflicts. Population geography Discontinuous clusters around infrequent water sources. Fast growth rate (young population).

3 Overview Political geography Resource wars
Fragmented due to colonial experience. Oil and Non-oil states (“haves” versus “have-nots”). Resource wars Conflicts over water: Regional / national issue. Conflicts over oil: Global issue.

4 A Naming the Realm Popular Labels Dry world Dry World. Arab World.
Islamic World. Middle East. Dry world Dry/arid climate prevails throughout the realm. Along the northern “dry band”. 10 to 30 degrees north. Much of the land is unsuitable for cultivation: Pastoralism, particularly nomadic pastoralism. Exceptions: Peripheral regions of Turkey. Northwestern section of Iran. Oases. Several great river valleys.

5 North Africa / Middle East, Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)

6 Population distribution
Naming the Realm Water Critical for life, food production, and industrial processes. Increasing stress on water resources: Water diversion (Nile, Jordan, Tigris / Euphrates). Aquifers (several fossil aquifers). Population distribution Around water resources: The Nile. Mediterranean Sea. Euphrates and Tigris Basin (Hydraulic Civilization). Lower mountain slopes of Iran, south of the Caspian Sea.

7 Grain Production in Saudi Arabia, in M tons
Source: Worldwatch Institute.

8 North Africa / Middle East, Population Density

9 Naming the Realm Arab Realm
Relates to language as a cultural feature of this realm. Arabic is the dominant language in 16 States of the realm. In Non-Arab States, indigenous languages dominate: Turkey – Turkish. Iran – Farsi. Israel – Hebrew. Niger – French.

10 Turks Azerbijianis Persians Kurds Arabs

11 Naming the Realm Islamic Realm Monotheistic religion:
Meaning “submission to God”. Emerged in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century (Mecca). A Muslim is a “believer”. Word of Allah contained in the Koran (recitation). Five Pillars of Islam: One God (Allah) and Mohammad as His prophet. Prayer five times a day. A month of daytime fasting (Ramadan). Giving of alms. One pilgrimage to Mecca (The Hajj).

12 Naming the Realm Division of the faith Diffusion of Islam
Two branches, Orthodox Sunnis (85%) and Shiites (15%). Sunni: Orthodox branch of Islam. Succession from Muhammad did not depend on hereditary decent from his son-in-law Ali. Shiite: Muhammad’s genuine successors descended from his son-in-law Ali. Diffusion of Islam Diffusion theory; expansion & relocation. Conquest. Voluntary conversion. Migration. Proselytization.


14 The Oil Curse The “Resource Curse” Modernization Migration
Prone to authoritarian rule, slow growth, corruption and conflict. Resources used to finance armies, corruption and patronage. Oil is a good example. Modernization High incomes. Industrialization. Regional and national disparities (oil wealth distribution). Migration Brought populations from outside the realm. Foreign incursions

15 OPEC Countries Iraq Iran Libya Algeria Saudi Arabia Venezuela Nigeria
Indonesia Kuwait Qatar United Arab Emirates

16 Major Crude Oil Reserves, 2003
Source: US Energy Information Agency, International Energy Annual Report.

17 Global Oil Reserves, 2003



20 Shipping Lanes and Strategic Passages in the Middle East
Oil transited (millions of barrels per day) 1.0 Black Sea 3.0 figures Bosporus Turkey Mediterranean Iran Iraq 3.8 Suez Hormuz PG 15.5 Egypt Saudi Arabia Red Sea Oman Sudan Yemen 3.3 Indian Ocean Bab el-Mandab PG: Persian Gulf

21 Oil Exports for the Persian Gulf by Outlet, 2002

22 World Annual Oil Production (1900-2004) and Estimated Resources (1900-2100)
Source: Worldwatch Institute.

23 Net Oil Imports from the Persian Gulf Region as % of Total Net Oil Imports, 1982-2002
Source: US Energy Information Agency, International Energy Annual Report.

24 Regions of the Realm

25 Regions of the Realm Egypt Continuous civilization > 5,000 years.
95% of Egypt's 74.1 million people live within 12 miles (20 kms) of the Nile. Basin irrigation. Aswan high dam (1968): Increased agricultural land by 50%. Provides 40% of electricity.

26 Regions of the Realm The Maghreb Dominated by the Atlas mountains.
Morocco - last of the north African kingdoms. Algeria - a secular republic with religious-political problems. Tunisia - smallest and most westernized of the Maghreb. Libya - oil rich desert state with a coastal orientation. Atlas Mountains: Fertile Coastline. Rain Shadow Effect. French Colonialism. Oil-Rich Libya.

27 African Transition Zone
Regions of the Realm African Transition Zone Sahel - Arabic word for border or margin. A zone where people are ethnically African but culturally Arab. Desertification - principal environmental problem. Cultural and political instability. North versus south - Muslim versus non-Muslim patterns. Cultural Conflict; Muslim – Christian. Nomadism.

28 “Middle” of the Islamic realm
Regions of the Realm “Middle” of the Islamic realm Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon. Center of conflict between Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Sunni - Shiite conflict (within Iraq and throughout the region). A future Kurdistan? The Gulf Wars (1990 & 2003) First Gulf War ( ): Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (1990). Kuwait not respecting OPEC quotas. Reclaim it as a former Iraqi province (oil reserves). Plan to invade neighboring countries (Saudi Arabia) to control Persian Gulf oil production? American intervention to push Iraq out of Kuwait. Economic sanctions ( ).

29 Regions of the Realm Second Gulf War (2003): Third Gulf War?
In 2000, Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in Euros. Challenged the dollar supremacy (petrodollars). United States invaded in 2003. Rationale of “war against terrorism” and “weapons of mass destruction” turned out to be false (made up?). United States strategically located in the middle of the world’s largest oil reserves. Third Gulf War? In 2006, Iran will sell its oil in Euros.

30 Balfour declaration (1917)
Israel Zionism Political movement. Founded by Theodor Herzl (1897). Objective: secure a homeland for the Jewish people. Balfour declaration (1917) By Great Britain, the occupant of Palestine. Supports the concept of a Jewish homeland. Jewish immigration to Palestine 1922 – British mandate to govern Palestine. Rising conflict between Arabs and Jews.

31 UN partition plan for Palestine
Israel UN partition plan for Palestine Division into Jewish and Arab areas. British evacuate Palestine in 1948. Proclamation of Israel as a state (14 may 1948). 1948: Arab invasion (war of independence) Egyptian, Iraqi, Jordanian, & Syrian forces. Israel seizes more land than prescribed under UN mandate. Armistice (1949) 900,000 Palestinian refugees.

32 Arab – Israeli conflicts
1956: Suez war. 1967: Six-Day War – Israel gained control of: Gaza strip. Sinai peninsula; bordering the Suez Canal (closure of the canal until 1975). West bank of the river Jordan East sector of Jerusalem Golan heights in Syria 1973: Yom Kippur war: Surprise attack by Egypt and Syria (backed by other Muslim countries). Small territorial gains by Egypt; the full control of the Suez Canal.

33 Israel Issues The Golan Heights- return to Syria?
The security zone- return to Lebanon? Jerusalem- holy city for who? The West Bank- Palestinian homeland? The Palestinians- refugee problem. Arab/Islamic disruption- impact of extremist groups. Water security (Jordan).


35 Jerusalem Israel Holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims Judaism: Islam:
Capital of Jewish kingdom 3000 years BC. Faith took form in the first temple; destroyed by Babylonians in 586 BC. Rebuilt as second temple; destroyed by Romans in 70 AD. Islam: Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven 7th century AD. Christianity: Based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; crucifixion & ascent.


37 Conflict over Jerusalem
Israel Conflict over Jerusalem united nations did not include Jerusalem as part of Israel. 1947- Palestine partition resolution designated Jerusalem as an “open city”. war and transfer of Israeli government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. war and aftermath changed boundaries again. 1980- Jerusalem reaffirmed as the capital of Israel.

38 Regions of the Realm Arabian Peninsula
Oil-rich countries of the Gulf area: 5 small: Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. 1 larger: Saudi Arabia; 25.4 million people with the world’s greatest oil reserves. Capital-rich but labor-poor (rent economies). Before recent oil booms (1970): Underdeveloped both economically and from a human resource perspective (education) and lacked infrastructure. After 1970: Oil revenues. Begun to invest heavily in their own development. Creation of several jobs in government, services and industry. High profile jobs occupied by nationals (qualified or not). Lack a skilled labor force.

39 Population and labor issues in the Gulf States
Regions of the Realm Population and labor issues in the Gulf States A significant share of the labor is foreign: Small populations. Low labor force participation of women. Heavy reliance upon foreign labor. Solution to labor shortages: Importing labor from other countries, including Egypt, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Iran, and Lebanon. From USA, European states, and Japan. Many stateless Palestinians also have found jobs there. Foreigners outnumber nationals, in some cases by as much as 4 to 1.

40 Regions of the Realm The national population:
Little incentive for nationals to get qualifications. Supported by oil revenues from the state and have little need to work. Diminishes incentive to upgrade skill levels which might necessitate prolonging the dependence on foreign labor. Political instability is a potential threat. Many disenfranchised persons with no rights in the host country. The fall of oil prices in the 1990s: Created unemployment problems among the nationals. Triggered Islamic nationalistic movements.

41 Share of Foreign Population and Workers in Persian Gulf States, 2002
Source: The Economist, Time Travelers: A Survey of the Gulf, March 23rd 2002.

42 Regions of the Realm The Empire States Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan.
Imperial heritage. Arab ethnicity gives way but Islamic culture continues. High mountains and plateaus vs. rocky and sandy desert.

43 Turkish ottoman empire
Turkey Turkish ottoman empire Nomadic peoples from the steppes and forests of Siberia. 6th century- established an empire stretching from Mongolia to the black sea. Spread the Turkic language far and wide. Decline in the early 20th century. Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) Father of modern turkey. Moved capital from Constantinople to Ankara. Westernized turkey and broke free from the Arab world.


45 Turkey Westernization Kurdish population Islam lost official status.
Roman alphabet replaced Arabic. Islamic law replaced by western code. Monogamy became law. Women gained rights. Turkey separated from Arab world. Hope of joining the European Union. Kurdish population 14 million- 1/5 of turkey’s 70 million. Southeast turkey (Iraq) - 3,000 BC; recently-Istanbul. Islamic fundamentalism.

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