North Africa and Southwest Asia

Report
NORTH AFRICA, SOUTHWEST
ASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA
WHAT MAKES THIS A REGION?
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Deserts and Mountains
Population that practices
one of the three major
monotheistic religions
Possession of more than
half of the worlds known
oil reserves
A need for freshwater
resources
A history of external
cultural influences
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
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Tectonic activity responsible for shaping
landscape
4 tectonic plates converge in this region
Shifting plates have built mountains and
frequently cause earthquakes
Atlas mountains are found in North
Africa
Precipitation on northern side of
mountains makes this an agriculturally
productive region
Along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula
two mountain ranges, Hejaz and Asir,
Asir region the most agriculturally
productive region in Southwest Asia
Caucus Mountains are found between
the Caspian and Black Seas
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
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Coastal Plains are the most fertile
regions and support agriculture
Major peninsulas- Arabian, Sinai,
Anatolian
Landlocked bodies of saltwater are
found in the region
Caspian Sea- largest inland body of
water on Earth
Dead Sea on the border of Israel
and Jordan is at the mouth of the
Jordan River
Aral Sea in Central Asia
1960’s fourth largest body of water
in the world
Dried up in the 1970’s to present
because of water used for irrigation
to grow cotton, split the sea north
and south
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
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Water Systems
Region lacks abundant water resources
and rivers have always been important
and affected development
Nile River fertile land along river
home to one of the worlds earliest
civilizations
90% of population lives in Nile River
delta (3% of Egypt’s land)
Aswan High Dam on Nile provides
hydroelectric power and water for
agriculture
Tigris- Euphrates valley in
Southwest Asia was a cradle of
civilization
Today dams provide water for
agriculture and hydroelectric power for
Syria, Iraq and Turkey
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
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Oil and natural gas are the
most important natural
resources in the region
Region contains over 60% of
the know world oil reserves
Oil exports have enriched the
region
Economy can rise or sink
because of fluctuation in
world oil markets
Many countries in the region
are trying to diversify their
economies away from reliance
on oil exports
CLIMATE
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Water scarcity affects the regions
climate
Deserts cover more than 50% of
the region
Sahara Desert largest desert in
the world, covers North Africa
Weather patterns in deserts are
extreme, cold nights and long hot
summers
Rub al-Khali in Saudi Arabia
largest area of sand in the world
Some nomadic herding and small
scale farming is possible in oasis
regions
Villages develop around oases
CLIMATE
Steppe is the second largest
climate region
 Supports livestock grazing
 Mediterranean climates
are found in coastal areas
 Countries rely on
Mediterranean climates to
export citrus fruits, olives to
Europe and North America
 These regions also benefit
from tourism
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CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
NORTH AFRICA
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Indigenous cultures of North Africa
have mixed with Arab and European
cultures
Spanish, French, Roman, Jewish and
Muslim cultures have influenced the
region
European influence mainly in coastal
North Arica (Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia)
Primary cultural mixture is Arab and
indigenous cultures
Arab invaders mixed with native
Berber people
Berbers exist today as farmers and
pastoral nomads
Arabs migrated to the region around
600
NORTH AFRICA
Availability of water has influenced settlement
 Most people settled along seacoasts and river
deltas
 Cairo, Egypt is one of the most densely populated
cities on the planet
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NORTH AFRICA
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Location near Europe and Southwest Asia has made the
region vulnerable to invasion over the centuries
Regions farmers were among the first in the world to
domesticate plants and animals
One of the world first great civilizations developed in the Nile
River Valley
In the 600’s Arab invasions and heavily influenced cultures of
the region
The Arabs brought their language, architecture and Islam
European colonial influence in the 1800’s helped develop the
regions geometric boundaries
NORTH AFRICA
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Egypt gained independence in 1922 from Great
Britain
Typically pro- Western in their views, country
has a large military
Their control of the Suez canal has made it a
key regional power
Egypt is also a center of Arab nationalism
Algeria gained independence from France in
1962
They have developed their natural resources
(oil) and raised their standard of living
Libya gained independence from Italy in 1951
Since 1969 they have been ruled by a military
dictator Muammar Kaddafi
Morocco and Tunisia gained independence
from France in 1956
NORTH AFRICA
 Most
people in North Africa
practice Islam
 Most share the Arabic
language
 Literacy rates range widely
from 52% in Morocco to 82% in
Libya
 Health care is government run
in most countries, with urban
areas receiving better health
care than rural areas
EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
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Region is inhabited by Jews and Arabs
Most Jews live in Israel
Trace heritage to region that is today Israel
and Lebanon
Invasions led to exile and persecution, forced
many Jews to relocate to different countries
1948 Israel founded as an independent Jewish
state
Arabs in region did not want Jewish state that
had been their homeland for centuries,
brought a series of six wars to the region sine
1948
Palestinians are the Arab people that live
where Israel is today
Many have been displaced from their homes
and have been forced to become refugees
EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Countries in the region include: Israel, Jordan,
Syria, Lebanon
 Dry desert climate of the region causes majority
of population to live along coasts and Euphrates
River Valley
 Parts of region have highest population densities
in the region
 Eastern Mediterranean is 75% urban
 People from over 100 countries have settled in
Israel, makes an ethnically diverse country
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EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Three major religions began in
region
 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
 All three share similar beliefs,
especially monotheism
 Judaism is the oldest of the
monotheistic faiths
 Christianity was founded in the
land of Israel in AD 30
 Islamic tradition began on
nearby Arabian peninsula and
spread to the region by AD 700
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EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
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Jews in the late 1800’s called Zionists ,
called for a return to Palestine and the
foundation of a Jewish state
After WWII the UN divided Palestine into
a Jewish state and an Arab state
1948 Jews proclaim the independent state
of Israel
Series of wars occurred over the next 50
years and caused many Palestinians to
become refugees
Many Palestinians today live in Israeli
controlled settlements in Israel
Palestinians want an independent state
of their own
Israel agreed to give the Palestinians
some self rule in the 1990’s, but have
since changed their position
The militant Palestinians group Hamas
has supported attacks on Israeli territory
EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Most people in are Muslim
 Large groups of Christians live in Syria and
Lebanon
 Hebrew is spoken in Israel, while other countries
speak Arabic
 Literacy rates vary from 76% in Syria to 96% in
Israel
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IRAN, IRAQ AND TURKEY
Ethnic Populations
 Turks- migrated from Central Asia
 Eventually became known as the Ottomans and ruled
the region for 600 years
 Most Turks practice Sunni Islam
 Iranians- migrated from Central Asia
 Speak Farsi
 90% practice Shia branch of Islam
 Arabs- majority of people in Iraq
 Most are Shia Muslims
 Arabic is the most commonly spoken language
 Kurds- live in mountainous border area of Turkey and
Iraq
 Most are Sunni Muslims
 Speak Kurdish and have different customs than Arabs
of the region
 Have no country of their own
 Efforts at self rule have been repeatedly crushed by
Turkish and Arab rulers
IRAN, IRAQ AND TURKEY
Most populous countries are
Iran and Turkey
 Most live in cities
 Istanbul and Tehran dominate
social and cultural life in their
countries
 Cities have had problems
because of many villagers
looking for opportunity
 Government of Iran has
relocated people to the
countryside to relieve
overcrowding
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IRAN, IRAQ AND TURKEY
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Mesopotamia was one of the world’s first cultural
hearths, part of the fertile crescent
Persian and Ottoman Empires were once regional
powers
Late 1800’s British controlled Iraq until 1922
Country of Turkey established after the fall of the
Ottoman Empire
Iran’s secular government was overthrown in 1979
and is run by mullahs (religious leaders) that
influence politics in the country today
IRAN, IRAQ AND TURKEY
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Discovery of oil in the early 1900’s changed region drastically
1950’s Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela
formed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) to regulate oil production and set oil prices
OPEC has gained power as the demand for oil has increased
1973 imposed a ban on the sale of oil when they became angry
over Arab-Israeli conflicts
Demand for oil has made the region important internationally
ARABIAN PENINSULA
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Harsh desert climate means most people
live along the coast
Lives shaped by traditional Islamic culture
and modernization driven by the oil
industry
Most in region are Arabs
Economic prosperity has brought a labor
shortage to many countries (need
somebody to do work they don’t want to)
Many foreign workers from South Asia
immigrated to the region for economic
opportunity
Most of the population lives in urban
areas
Discovery of oil led to modernization,
increased wealth and immigration
Majority of population in UAE, Kuwait and
Qatar are immigrants
ARABIAN PENINSULA
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British controlled most of the area during the 1800’s,
except for Oman which has always remained
independent
Unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in
1932
Still ruled today by Saud family
Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar gained independence in mid1900’s
UAE became a country in 1971, country today is an
association of sheikdoms ruled by an Islamic
religious leader
Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain are monarchies
Saudi Arabia is ruled by shari’ah law based on the
Quran
Kuwait, Qatar are constitutional emirates ruled by
princes
ARABIAN PENINSULA
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Standards of living vary widely across the region
Oil rich countries have used money to improve
infrastructure and promote education
Qatar's oil and gas reserves have given it on of the
worlds highest per capita incomes
Sunni and Shia are the dominant sects of Islam found
in the region
Other sects of Islam are Ibadhism practiced in Oman
Wahhabi is a very conservative sect of the Sunni
branch that believes in the literal translation of the
Quran, found in Saudi Arabia
CENTRAL ASIA
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Region has numerous ethnic
groups, reflects centuries of
migration and invasion by
outside groups
Population has been shaped
by conflict
Crossroads of many cultures,
early history influenced by
the Silk Road
Afghanistan predominant
ethnic group is Pashtun
More than 50 nationalities
live in the Caucus Mountains
(Armenia, Georgia,
Azerbaijan)
Turkic peoples live in the
republics of Central Asia
(Uzbeks, Kazakhs)
CENTRAL ASIA
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Population densities are uneven across the
region because of the climate and terrain
Afghanistan is the most populous country
Crossroads of many cultures, early history
influenced by the Silk Road
Region has been controlled by Alexander
the Great, Mongols, Ottomans
Armenia and Georgia are ethnically and
culturally different than other countries in
the region because they practice
Christianity
Soviet Union unified parts of Central Asia
in the 1900’s
Many countries were objects of Soviet
cultural, political and economic influence
Caused an rise in the standard of living
and literacy
CENTRAL ASIA
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Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet
Union in 1979
Mujahedeen freedom fighters defeated
the Soviets and set in motion their
decline
After the Soviets left the Taliban, they
imposed a strict form of Islamic rule on
the country
When Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 the
Central Asian republics declared their
independence
Countries are have moved toward
political and economic stability with
various degrees of success
Poverty and unemployment are
widespread
Healthcare is lacking, years of turmoil
have left the region with few resources to
spend on social programs
THE REGION TODAY
THE ECONOMY
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Oil and water two key economic
resources
Countries with oil need water,
countries with water generally
don’t have oil
Only a small portion of the land
is available for farming, yet a
large percentage is involved in
farming
Agriculture plays a smaller role
in oil rich countries where they
import most of their food
Uzbekistan is one of the world’s
largest cotton producers
THE ECONOMY
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Petroleum and oil products have transformed the region
Villages in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other
Persian Gulf countries have becoming modern cities
Iran and Saudi Arabia have developed oil refining and
shipping industries
Petrochemical industries provide jobs and improve the
standard of living for many
Service industries (banking, real estate, retail sales,
insurance industries, tourism)
THE ECONOMY
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Extensive road systems are
found in oil rich countries to
connect oil fields and seaports
Other countries are hampered
by geography and finances
Water transportation is vital
to the region
The Strait of Hormuz and the
Suez Canal have strategic and
economic importance to ship
oil across the world
An elaborate system of
pipelines connects oilfields to
ports on the Mediterranean,
Black and Red Seas
THE ECONOMY
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TV and radio is expanding, much of it
government controlled
Satellite technology is helping
sparsely populated areas improve
communication services
Economic interdependence is growing
across the region
Transportation and communication
has increased interaction
Industrialized countries need oil from
the region and the region depends on
industrial products from other
countries
OPEC has a major economic influence
in many countries around the world
There is a wide disparity between the
oil rich and oil poor countries
PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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Water resources key issue in region
Few major rivers, few countries have
enough freshwater for irrigation
Oil rich countries can afford
desalination plants to meet their need
for freshwater
Very expensive and takes large
amounts of energy to run them
Libya’s Great Man Made River tries
to meet freshwater needs
Taps large aquifers under the Sahara
desert and carries water to urban
areas
Could create problems by depleting
aquifers faster than they can be
recharged and by taking water from
other countries
PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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Aswan High Dam in Egypt
Controls Nile’s floods, provides water for irrigation, supplies electricity
Negative impact is that it prevents Nile floods that bring fertile alluvial soil to
lower Nile, and washes away salt
 Dam traps soil so farmers have to use expensive fertilizers
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War has had a negative impact Persian Gulf War, war in
Afghanistan, turmoil in Israel
Central Asia inherited Soviet area environmental problems
Soviets tested nuclear, chemical, biological weapons there
Soviet heavy industry was based in these countries and left many
areas with polluted water

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