Middle East - Notes

Middle East - Notes - Middle East (Northwest...

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Unformatted text preview: Middle East (Northwest Africa/Southwest Asia) – (345) o Middle East = Crossroads/intersection of Europe/Asia/Africa, part of all three (3) o One of humankind’s primary source areas o Mesopotamian Plains Between Tigris/Euphrates Rivers (Present day Iraq) o @ Beginning of 21 st century, realm home to some of world’s most bitter/dangerous conflicts---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Defining the Realm- Centrality : NASWA (North Africa/Southwest Asia = Middle East) @ core of inhabited world, close to heart of Land Hemisphere o More neighbors than any other realm- Sprawling & varied geography. Sometimes characterized in four stressed features [1)), 2)), 3)), 4)) ]- 1)) A “Dry World”? o Nearly all of population (600 million) live near surface water Nile Valley and Delta Along NW Africa’s hilly Mediterranean coast (the Tell ) E/NW shores of Mediterranean Sea Basin of Tigris/Euphrates Rivers Uplands of W Iran and E Turkestan Far flung oases throughout realm Water = premium (Israelis = more water usage per person than Palestine) • Nomadic peoples look for oases form farmland in vast drylands Now a dwindling minority • 10% of world population use ancient/modern tech to overcome nature o Dams, canals, wells via rivers, snowy mountaintops, aquifers (natural underground reservoirs) o Desalinization plants paid for by oil money making life in dry world possible in ways unimagined decades ago- 2)) The “Middle East”? (346) o “Middle East” from perspective of “Western” Worlds “Near East” = Turkey area “Middle East” = Egypt, Arabia, Iraq “Far East” = China, Japan o “Middle East” should be applied to only one region of vast realm, not entire realm Centrality allows nickname “Middle East” to survive If NASWA = core of inhabited world, and region indicated by title “Middle East” is core area of NASWA, entire NASWA area would be called “Middle East”- 3)) An “Arab World”? (346) o NASWA also referred to as “Arab World” Implies uniformity that does not actually exist Arab: Applied loosely to people of this area who speak Arabic and related languages, but ethnologists normally restrict it to certain occupants of the Arabian Peninsula-The Arab “source” • Although Arabic prevalent in area from Mauritania (W) across N Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Syria and Iraq, language is not spoken in other parts of realm o E.g.: Major language of Turkey = Turkish (Ural-Altaic roots rather than Arabic’s Semitic or Hamitic roots) o E.g.: Major language of Iran = Iranian (belongs to Indo-European linguistic family)- 4)) An “Islamic World”? (346) o (Most significant) Realm referred to Islamic World due to birthplace of prophet Muhammad...
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2010 for the course GEO 143 taught by Professor Harshbarger during the Summer '09 term at Parkland.

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Middle East - Notes - Middle East (Northwest...

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