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7th Grade Social Studies Jeff Davis Middle School Bellringer Question What is an oasis? Why would an oasis be important to people who live in the desert? Arabian Peninsula Physical Geography Iran, Iraq, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula are part of a region known as the Middle East. This region lies at the intersection of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Most of this region is dry and rugged. It has one of the largest deserts in the world and has huge area covered with bare rock with very valuable oil resources. Physical Features Major physical features of the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and Iran are desert plains in the east and mountains. Plateaus and mountains cover most of Iran. The land climbs sharply in the west to the Zagos Mountains with the Elbruz and the Kopet-Dag in the north. The region has a dry climate and little vegetation. Most of the world is dependent on oil, a resource that is exported from this region. Physical Features The Elburz Mountains in Iran are the highest land in the region. Elburz Mountains Physical Features Iran’s Great Salt Desert, Dasht-e-Kavir is about 500 miles long and 200 miles wide (that’s almost the size of Colorado). Its name comes from the fact that more water evaporates there than is replaced by rain, leaving salt deposits on the land. Landforms of the Arabian Peninsula Rivers The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow across a low, flat plain in Iraq and join together before they reach the Persian Gulf. They are known as exotic rivers, or rivers that begin in humid regions and then flow through dry areas. The rivers create a narrow, fertile area, which in ancient times was called Mesopotamia or land between rivers. Landforms Plains Cover the east Desert plains are covered with sand in the south and volcanic rock in the north. Landforms Plateaus and Mountains Near the Red Sea the landscape becomes plateaus and mountains. Highest point on the peninsula is in the mountains of Yemen. Plateaus and mountains cover most of Iran—the Zagros Mountains in the west, and the Elburz Mountains and the Kopet-Dag to the north. Main Idea 2: The region has a dry climate and little vegetation . Climate Mostly desert climate Summer afternoon temperatures climb to over 100°F. Winter nighttime temperatures dip to below freezing. The Rub’ al-Khali, the world’s largest sand desert, covers much of southern Saudi Arabia. Sand dunes can rise to 800 feet high and stretch 200 miles. Higher areas generally have semiarid steppe climates. Rub' al Khali or Empty Quarter The terrain is covered with sand dunes with heights up to 250 metres (820 ft), interspersed with gravel and gypsum plains. The sand is a reddish- orange color due to the Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali. presence of feldspar. Vegetation Trees are common in mountain regions and in scattered desert oases. An oasis is a wet, fertile area in a desert that forms where underground water bubbles to the surface. Shrubs and grasses that grow on the region’s dry plains have roots that either grow deep or spread out far to capture as much water as possible. Some places in the region are too dry or too salty to support any vegetation. Water- Important Resource Water is one of the region’s two most valuable resources, but is very scarce Some springs provide water. Water can come from wells dug into dry streambeds called wadis. Modern wells can reach groundwater, but it is often fossil water. Fossil water is water that is not being replaced by rainfall. Oil Oil is plentiful. Most of the oil fields are near the shores of the Persian Gulf. Oil cannot be replaced once it is taken from Earth. Oil exports bring great wealth to the countries that have oil fields. Most countries of the region are not rich in other resources. Iran is an exception with its mineral deposits. Oil No matter how plentiful oil might be in the Persian Gulf area, we must remember that once taken out of the Earth, it can’t be replaced. Too much drilling for oil now can cause problems in the future because these countries are not rich in other resources. Summary How do you think resources in the region influence where people live? What might happen to the oil-rich countries if there oil was used up or if the people found a new energy source to replace the oil? Bellringer Where are most of the region’s oil field located? What are three ways people in this region can get water? Which country in this region might have the easiest time developing a new economy if oil sources get low? Bellringer Answers 1. Shores of the Persian Gulf 2. Springs, wadis and wells that pump fossil water 3. possible answer– Iran, because of its many mineral deposits, which are a valuable resource. The Arabian Peninsula If you lived there, You are a financial advisor to the ruler of Oman. Your country has been making quite a bit of money from oil exports. However, you worry that your economy is too dependent on oil. You think Oman’s leaders should consider expanding the economy. Oman is a small country, but it has beautiful beaches, historic palaces, mosques, and colorful markets. How would you suggest expanding the economy? Make Foldable Make a foldable for each country of the Arabian Peninsula. Countries: Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Bahrain; Oatar; United Arab Emirates; Oman; & Yemen Divide each country’s page into : People(ethnic groups) & Customs; Government & Economy; Religion Background Oman and all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula have valuable oil resources. In addition to oil, these countries share two basic characteristics : Islamic religion and a monarchy as a form of government. The largest country , and now, with the most influence in the region is Saudi Arabia. Map Zone- Saudi Arabia’s Oil Field Go to the One stop planner for the map of Saudi Arabia’s Oil Field. Saudi Arabia Islamic culture and an economy greatly based on oil influence life in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is by far the largest country of the Arabian Peninsula. Nearly all Saudis are Arabs and speak Arabic. Their culture is strongly influenced by Islam, a religion founded in Saudi Arabia by Muhammad. This religion is based on submitting to God and on messages Muslims believe God gave to Muhammad. Most of these messages are written in the Qur`an, or the holy book of Islam. Saudi Arabia & Islam Nearly all Saudis follow one of two branches of Islam. • Shia Muslims- believe that true interpretation of Islamic teaching can only come from certain religious and poilitcal leaders. • Sunni Muslims- that believe in the ability of the majority of the community to interpret Islamic teachings. This makes up about 85% of the Muslims. Saudi Women- are limited in their activities. They are rarely seen in public without their husbands and must wear a black cloak and veil if out in public. They are not permitted to drive cars , but can own and run business. Kurds The Kurds are people of Indo-European origin who live mainly in the mountains and uplands where Turkey, Iraq, and Iran meet, in an area known as "Kurdistan" for hundreds of years. ( see map) They have their own language, related to Persian but divided into two main dialect areas. No firm statistics exist for the Kurdish population but a cautious estimate, based on their believed population proportion in each state in 1987 is currently. Although the kurdish people are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, they embrace Jews, Christians, Yazidis and other sects. Saudi Arabia & Islam A long robe worn by Muslim men. The top is usually tailored like a shirt, but it is ankle-length and loose. The thobe is usually white but may be found in other colors especially in winter. The term may also be used to describe any type of loose dress worn by men or women. Saudi Arabia & Government Monarchy Saud family rulers since 1932 Most government officials are relatives of the king. The king may ask members of his family or religious scholars for advice. No elected legislature Local officials elected Only men allowed to vote Saudi Arabia & the Economy Economy based on oil (world’s leading exporter of oil) Influential member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC OPEC is an international organization whose members work to influence the price of oil on world markets by controlling the supply. The country has a sizable middle class and the country provides free health care and education to its citizens. It must import most of its food because of the need for fresh water. The country also uses desalination plants to remove salt from seawater, but this is a costly and expensive procedure. Another challenge for Saudi Arabia is the high unemployment. There is a high population growth rate and Saudi Arabia & the Economy Another challenge for Saudi Arabia is the high unemployment. There is a high population growth rate and jobs can’t keep up. Almost 40% of Saudi Arabia’s population is younger than 15 years old. Another reason for the unemployment is that the young Sadis choose to study religion instead of going to technical school Other Arabian Peninsula Countries Kuwait Oil was discovered here in the 1930. Very rich. Its economy is based on the oil. Islamic Religion Government is dominated by a royal family, but did elect a legislature in 1992. Only men of a certain family were allowed to vote. (About 15% of the population) Women have recently been given suffrage. Was invaded by Iraq in 1990 to try to control the oil, starting the Persian Gulf War. The United States and others defeated Iraq but much destruction was done to the oil fields in Kuwait. Other Arabian Peninsula Countries The United Arab Emirates- Consist of 7 tiny, modern kingdoms. Their economy relies on the profits of oil and natural gas. Because of its small size, it depends on lots of foreign workers. It has more foreign workers that it has true citizens. Oman and Yemen- Oman covers the SE part of the peninsula and has an economy also based on oil, but lacks the great wealth of places like Kuwait. The government is attempting to develop new industries. Yemen- is located in the SW part of the peninsula. It has an elected government, but has suffered from corruption. Oil was not discovered here until the 1980’s. Oil and coffee generate much of its economy, but it is the poorest of all the countries. Summary Ticket Out the Door. ( Copy questions and save answers until tomorrow.) True or False 1. A country cannot have both a monarchy and elected officials. 2. The Arabian Peninsula is made up of seven kingdoms.
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