202 Chap 7 SW Asia

202 Chap 7 SW Asia - Southwest Asia & North Africa...

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“People of the Book.” Origin of Islam, c. 622 AD Sunni/Shi’a split at death of Prophet Mohammed Islamism has origins in Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism Islam powerfully expansive religion. Spread through much of Eurasia and North Africa by 1300s Centrality of Islam to circuits of trade in old world crucial to spread European expansions ended advantage of centrality Oil deposits restored region to importance after WWI
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Most complex history of any region on planet Origin point for grain agriculture, animal domestication, civilization, urban life, writing Origin region of 3 of world’s 5 great religions (Judaism/Christianity/Islam--other 2 Hinduism & Buddhism). Christianity & Islam the two MOST aggressive proselytizing religions Common cultural history as part of Mediterranean world/ Roman Empire until rise of Islam, when split N/S Crossroads of the world thru 1492 AD. Thereafter rise of Europe, development of Atlantic, then global economy World’s greatest reserves oil, excellent reserves natural gas
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Population suffers from Physical Geography, Fig. 7.1 Eastern end of region unstable tectonically. Turkey, Iran, Iraq suffer deadly earthquakes Climate dry, water substantially more valuable than oil throughout region
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Agriculture tracks climate, irrigation water Figs. 7.11, 16 Mediterranean climate good for wine, olives, livestock--sheep & goats etc—Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Israel Other main farming regions are irrigated areas along Nile, Tigris- Euphrates
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Fig. 7.15: Population reflects Physical Geography Large desert areas of North Africa, Sudan, Saudi peninsula almost uninhabited Population concentrated in relatively well-watered areas Southwestern Med. (the Mahgreb where rain falls up slopes of Atlas Mts.) and Eastern end of Med. (Israel) Med. climate along Black & Caspian Sea coasts Exotic River valleys (Tigris- Euphrates & Nile)
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Table 7.1 3rd edn.: Demographic Indicators
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Table 7.1 4th edn.: Demographic Indicators
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Demographic Indicators Second highest TFRs of any region (after Sub-Saharan Africa--but no AIDS). Four states above 6 in 3rd edn., now only one. Only 3 states below 3 in 3rd edn., none below 2, now 12 below 3 and 2 at 2. Israel (2.8) on high side for a westernized state. Note, however, that Gaza & the West Bank were 5.7 and have come down to 4.6! Iraq was 5 and is now 4.9. Saudi Arabia was 4.8 and is now 4.1. Most intriguing is that Iran was 2.5 and is now 2. High TFRs & concentration of wealth in kleptocratic elites is keeps per capita wealth of otherwise rich oil states down, current high price of oil raises it A further consequence of high TFRs could be attitude to life--high death rates (such as from suicide bombings) much more acceptable if TFR very high
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Domestication hearths of plants and animals
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Consequences of plant and animal domestication c. 10,000 BP
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202 Chap 7 SW Asia - Southwest Asia & North Africa...

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