Presentation on theme: "Middle East Why is it called the Middle East? Middle East The term does not have just one meaning! Europeans invented the term to describe the region."— Presentation transcript:
Middle East The term does not have just one meaning! Europeans invented the term to describe the region that lies between Europe and distant parts of Asia, what was once called “the Far East”. Known as the “crossroads of the world” because it crosses three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe). The “Middle East” is only “Middle” in relation to Europe.
Middle East often includes North Africa which has strong ties to Middle East. Religion of Islam and the use of the Arabic language make North Africa part of the cultural region known as the Muslim world.
Middle East Regions Northern Tier Fertile Crescent Arabian Peninsula Nile Valley Maghreb
Nile Valle y Maghreb Northern Tier Arabian Peninsula Fertile Crescent
Turkey to Iran Mountains and plateaus Diverse: Anatolian Plateau in Turkey: fertile soil, large population Iranian Plateau: dry, small population Northern Tier
Fertile Crescent Arc-shaped region that stretches from eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf Rich soil and abundant water, especially in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley made it a major population center. Center of Early civilization, region called the “cradle of civilization.” Has few natural barriers from invaders.
Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf Rich soil, abundant water Major population center Hotspot for early civilizations Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Fertile Crescent
–Large plateau –Largest country: Saudi Arabia –Small population: –Lack of water –Oasis: fertile desert area that has enough water to support life –Large amounts of oil –Birthplace of Islam Arabian Peninsula
Important historical connections between the people of Egypt and the people of the Fertile Crescent Judaism Nile Valley
–North Africa: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco –Arab armies carried Islam to North Africa in the 600s AD –Sahara Desert, Atlas Mountains –Most people live along the coast, where there is more rain The Maghreb
The Maghreb: Arab term meaning “western isle”, or “place where the sun sets” lies along the Med. & Atlantic Ocean. Modern definition of the Maghreb includes nations of: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Geographic Features Lack of Rainfall and scarcity of water have shaped the cultures of the Middle East Lack of Rainfall and scarcity of water have shaped the cultures of the Middle East (most region is desert such as Maghreb or mountainous such as Northern Tier) People cluster in well-watered areas along coasts, river valleys (Nile Valley, Fertile Crescent) Less than 10% of land receives enough water to make farming possible Arabian Peninsula: Small population due to lack of water, birthplace of Islam, holy city of Mecca. BIG IDEA
Natural Resources Black Gold = Oil White Gold = Water Desalination: Desalination: to remove the salt from something Constant water shortage plague the nations of the Arabian Peninsula and most of Middle East Desalination plants-pull water from Red Sea and Persian Gulf then convert it! Discovery of Oil changed the region forever
Oil-most valuable resource in region. Led to formation of OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries formed in Bagdad in 1960 – founding members = Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, & Venezuela, 12 countries in all today.
OPEC arguably the most powerful membership in the world Formed in 1960, countries determined to control their own destinies by controlling the price of oil. Members wanted to end power of western oil companies over oil prices. OPEC members determine how much oil to produce, what price to sell it. World Demand for oil = OPEC power
Top Oil Producing Countries Thousand Barrels per day (2011) 1. Saudi Arabia12.0 2. Russia 11.0 3. United States8.9 4. Iran 4.8 5. China 4.5 6. Canada 3.45 7. Iraq 3.75 8. UAE 3.3 9. Mexico 3.26 10. Kuwait2.9 Red = OPEC
Oil one reason for dislike of U.S. Other reasons… U.S. intervention into Middle East affairs seen as a reason for not liking the U.S. U.S. support of Israel Western culture undermines Islamic values
Oil What is the Core U.S. Interest in the Middle East? Oil!! How do you get a reliable supply of oil at a predicable price? Two ways: You tube clip You tube clip Need Reliable Allies! (Countries that have oil and are friendly) Political Stability in Countries and the Region that Oil comes from