NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST ASIA.ppt

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					NORTH AFRICA AND
 SOUTHWEST ASIA

     Geography 200
Dr. Stavros Constantinou
             NORTH AFRICA AND
              SOUTHWEST ASIA
• This region is often referred to as the Middle East, a term that
  is an inaccurate reflection of colonial chauvinism and a
  reflection of the eurocentric view of the world. The “Middle
  East” is about halfway along the route to the "Far East" from
  Britain or France. Applying the same logic, to the inhabitant of
  Pakistan, this region would have been described as "Midwest."
• The geographically correct term Southwest Asia, will be used
  here despite the fact that it creates problems because we
  often tend to include China, India, and Japan.
• Also, there is a problem regarding the incorporation of Saudi
  Arabia or Israel. Egypt is clearly more related to Syria or Iraq
  than those nations are to Korea or Vietnam. Geographically
  Egypt belongs to Africa. The nations north of the Sahara
  Desert share many similarities with the "Middle East" but
  relatively few with their neighbors in Sub-Saharan Africa.
             NORTH AFRICA AND
              SOUTHWEST ASIA
• From the political geographer's point of view, this region
  constitutes a shatter belt, that is, a fragmented region, coveted
  by outside powers, where the dangers of confrontation are great,
  the stakes are high, and the dangers of escalating conflict all too
  real. Conflict has been more or less endemic to this region
  throughout recorded history. Several flash points continue to
  persist down to the present time.
• Despite its diversity, this region constitutes a unit because of:
   – a. the dominance of dry climates and
   – b. the Islamic (Moslem or Muslim) religion. Islam is the
     principal religion in all countries except:
       • Israel, where Judaism prevails;
       • Lebanon, where ancient forms of Christianity are of major
         importance.
 NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST ASIA:
         MAJOR FEATURES

• Dry climates and the Muslim faith dominate in this region.
• More than sixty percent of the world's oil reserves are
  found here.
• The Fertile Crescent was one the major domestication
  hearths extending from the Levant to the Persian Gulf. Crops
  originating here include figs, grapes, dates, and olives.
• Home to three of the world's major religions: Judaism,
  Christianity, and Islam.
• Water is the most important resource in the area and
  population is concentrated where water is found. Water is not
  only the basis for life, but for the social organization of the
  village.
• The Middle East is one of the world's shatterbelts and a
  focal point of conflict.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: LOCATION AND SIZE

• The realm of North Africa and Southwest Asia forms
  an elongated region stretching for 9,660 km. (6,000
  mi.) across northern Africa and southwestern Asia,
  from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of India,
  China and Central Asia.
• This realm covers an area of 16,886,155 square
  kilometers (6,519,752 square miles) or 11.3% of the
  total land area of the planet.
• The Tropic of Cancer crosses the central section of
  this region. Turkey is the only country of this region
  that reaches along the 42nd parallel.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: LOCATION AND SIZE

• Twelve countries in this region have populations of
  10,000,000 people or more.
  – Iran, Turkey, and Egypt have more than 60,000,000;
  – Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia
    and Algeria have populations that range between
    24,000,000 and 32,000,000.
  – These countries have populations that range between 10
    and 20 million: Syria, Yemen, Kazakhstan, and Saudi
    Arabia.
• Western Sahara, Qatar and Bahrain are the
  smallest countries in population with 300,000,
  600,000 and 700,000 people, respectively.
  NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: LOCATION AND SIZE

• The importance of countries, however,
  is not necessarily a function of size. For
  example, the small state of Israel has
  carved out a niche for itself despite the
  opposition of larger neighbors.
• The rich petroleum deposits of Kuwait
  and other minor territories of the
  Persian Gulf have magnified the
  importance of these small political units.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
         ASIA: LANDFORMS

• The margins of North Africa and Southwest
  Asia are mainly occupied by oceans, seas,
  high mountains, and deserts:
   – to the west, the Atlantic Ocean;
   – to the south, the Sahara Desert, the
     highlands of East Africa, and the Indian
     Ocean;
   – to the north, the Mediterranean, Black, and
     Caspian Seas together with mountains and
     deserts in Central Asia.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
           ASIA: LANDFORMS

• Alpine System:
• A chain of mountains extends across Southwest Asia
  from the Toros (Taurus) ranges of Turkey to Zagros,
  Elburz, and Hindu Kush.
• The Atlas Mountains of North Africa, the
  physiographic base of the settled Maghreb (Algeria,
  Morocco and Tunisia), are also a part of the Alpine
  System. The Atlas Mountains receive an average
  rainfall of 750 mm (30 inches), something unusual for
  this region. The role of altitude is clear. Even 240 km
  (150 miles) into the interior, the slopes of the Atlas
  receive more than 250 mm (10 inches) of rainfall.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
            ASIA: LANDFORMS

• In Iran, qanat (kanat) furnishes the water supply for
  a large share of the country's irrigated acreage.
  Qanat is an underground channel which carries
  irrigation water from the mountains, where rainfall is
  relatively plentiful, to the drier areas below. A qanat’s
  course may be clearly recognized from the air, for at
  intervals it has circular openings resembling
  miniature craters. It corresponds to the foggara of
  North Africa. The length of a qanat ranges from a
  few hundred meters to tens of kilometers.
• Another important physiographic feature of this
  region is the elevated plain (plateau) of interior Iran,
  and the Anatolian Plateau of interior Turkey.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
           ASIA: LANDFORMS

• Sedimentary Covers:
• This is a broad area extending from the Atlantic
  Ocean to the Delta of the Nile.
• It also occupies major sections of the Arabian
  Peninsula, Syria, and Iraq.
• Specifically, it includes the Sahara, Libyan, An
  Nafud, and Rub al Khali.
• The Sahara forms the world's largest desert
  (9,065,000 sq. km. or 3,500,000 sq. mi.). It
  continues to move southward into Africa at a rate of
  about 8 km (5 mi.) per year. Such a spread of
  desert landscapes constitutes what is often referred
  to as desertification.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST ASIA: LANDFORMS


• Rifted Shield Areas.
• This is an elongated area that extends from the foothills
  of the Toros (Taurus) Mountains in Turkey, to the Jordan
  River Valley, and the Red Sea.
• The best-known example of a rift valley is the one that
  extends from Syria, Israel, Jordan, and East Africa for
  more than 4,800 km (3,000 mi.) in length.
• This rift valley includes the Sea of Galilee, the valley of
  the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, the
  Red Sea, and runs through Lake Rudolph and several
  smaller lakes to Lake Malawi with a branch through
  Lakes Tanganyika, Edward, and Albert.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
              ASIA: CLIMATE

• Because of the Arabian peninsula's location between 15
  degrees and 30 degrees N lat., it is dominated by the
  subtropical high (STH) pressure throughout much of the year
  resulting in conditions of heat and especially drought.
• Summer temperatures in this region often exceed 48º Celsius
  (120º Fahrenheit), while high humidity along the coasts adds
  to human discomfort.
• Desert lands in this region typically have a high daily range of
  temperature.
• Precipitation averages only between 5 and 10 cm (2-4 in.)
  except on the mountains (orographic effect) notably the arid
  regions of the southwest where as much as 76 cm (30 in.) of
  rain may fall.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
             ASIA: CLIMATE

Climatic types:
1.   Tropical and subtropical desert (BWh).
2.   Tropical and subtropical steppe (BSh).
3.   Middle latitude steppe (BSk).
4.   Dry summer subtropical or Mediterranean
     (Csa).
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
         ASIA: VEGETATION

• Sparse desert vegetation predominates
  throughout this region.
• Needleleaf evergreen trees are found in the Atlas
  Mountains of northwestern Africa.
• Broadleaf evergreen trees are found in the Nile
  Valley.
• Mixed: broadleaf deciduous and needleleaf
  evergreen trees are found in Northern coastal
  and eastern Turkey, and northern and western
  Iran.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
           ASIA: SOILS

The soils of this region are very poor.
• The predominant soil group is the aridisols.
• Patches of entisols are also found in the dry
  desert areas.
• Inceptisols predominate in the river valleys
  and in northwestern Africa.
• A small area of mollisols is found in the
  interior of the Anatolian Plateau in Turkey.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
            ASIA: RESOURCES

• Water has been the key to life in this arid environment, since
  the beginning of time.
• For example, the ancient Greek scholar Herodotus described
  Egypt as “the gift of the Nile,” an evaluation that rings true
  today as it did in ancient times.
• The Nile is an example of an exotic river because it receives
  its water as runoff in humid regions or from highland zones
  and then flows across large expanses of desert before
  reaching the Mediterranean Sea.
• Along 2% of the Egyptian territory (Nile Valley and Delta) live
  more than 95% of the Egyptian population (72,100,000 in
  2003).
• Other examples of exotic river systems are the Tigris-
  Euphrates system and the Jordan River.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
            ASIA: RESOURCES

• The nomads of this region move from oasis to oasis in search
  of water and pastures for survival.
• Oases are natural concentrations of fresh water that do not
  depend on immediate local precipitation, and they have
  proved critical for an important component of desert life.
• In Iran, the qanat has been an integral part of life for a long
  time. The qanat is a subterranean channel built to carry
  irrigation water from mountains to the lands below.
• In recent years, technology has been employed by many of
  the countries in this realm to solve the scarcity of water and
  supply drinking water for their people. For example, through
  the use of desalination Kuwait has a capacity of producing
  more than 600,000,000 liters of drinking water every day.
  Several cities along the Gulf depend on these practices for
  their survival.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
          ASIA: RESOOURCES -- OIL
• Oil is certainly the most important resource of North Africa and
  southwest Asia. Deposits are concentrated around the Persian
  Gulf. It is the most economically important export of the realm.
• During the period 1994-1996, on average, these countries together
  produced 28.0 percent of the world total output.
• Saudi Arabia ranked as the world’s leading producer with 13.1
  percent followed by: Iran with 5.8 percent; the United Arab
  Emirates with 3.6 percent; Kuwait with 3.3 percent; and Libya with
  2.2 percent (Table 6.2).
• Additional detailed statistics on the world’s leading oil countries are
  shown in Table 6.3.
• In 1997, the world estimates in petroleum reserves were
  1,160,069,500,000,000 barrels.
• These countries collectively account for 56.3 percent of the world's
  total reserves. Saudi Arabia has 22.6 percent, Iraq 9.7 percent,
  Kuwait 8.2 percent, Iran 7.8 percent, U.A.E. 5.5 percent, and Libya
  2.5 percent.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
            ASIA: RESOURCES

• In 1960, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi
  Arabia founded OPEC (Organization of Petroleum
  Exporting Countries) in an effort to dictate oil
  prices.
• Later additions included Algeria, Ecuador, Nigeria,
  Gabon, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar,
  and Libya.
• This 13-member cartel was designed to control
  world pricing and production of a single
  commodity, oil.
• Currently, OPEC has 11 members after the
  withdrawal of Ecuador and Gabon.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
          ASIA: RESOURCES

• This region has important natural gas
  deposits.
• Collectively, these countries control 35.0% of
  the world's reserves in natural gas.
• Of the world output, Iran ranks first with
  15.0%, Qatar ranks third with 5.1%, U.A.E.
  has 4.1%, Saudi Arabia has 3.8%, Iraq has
  2.4%, Algeria 2.6%, Uzbekistan 2.1%, and
  Turkmenistan has 2.0%.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
            ASIA: RESOURCES

• Chief among the mineral resources of the region are
  chromite and phosphate of lime.
• Kazakhstan produces 16.8% of the world’s chromite and
  ranks second (after South Africa which produces 37.7
  percent). Turkey ranks third producing 12.8% of the world’s
  chrome.
• Phosphate rock is used in the manufacture of fertilizer.
  Morocco and Tunisia are among the world's leading
  producers of phosphate rock, 15.5 percent and 5.1 percent,
  respectively. Morocco ranks third and Tunisia fourth in the
  production of phosphate rock, after the United States (33.2
  percent) and China (16.4 percent). Morocco is the world's
  leading exporter of this commodity.
• Kazakhstan has 17.6 percent of the world’s uranium
  reserves and ranks second after Australia.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
           ASIA: POPULATION
• The twenty-seven countries that are included in the North
  Africa and Southwest Asia realm have a total population of
  488,800,000, or 7.7% of the world total population.
• The largest countries in terms of population are Turkey,
  Iran, and Egypt. These three countries together account for
  about half this total.
• Population growth rates are, for the most part, higher than
  the world average. A number of countries in this region face
  a serious demographic problem if appropriate policies are
  not implemented to curb a population explosion.
• Examples:
   – Egypt where the rate of natural increase of the population
     stands at 2.1 percent.
   – The rate of natural increase in the Palestinian Authority
     region stands at 3.6%, which is well above the world rate.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
           ASIA: POPULATION

• For the most part, the people of this region live along river
  valleys (Nile Valley and the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates)
  and in the better irrigated lands.
• The greatest density of population is found in a narrow strip of
  well-watered land along the Nile.
   – Egypt's population (about 95 percent) is highly concentrated
      in a narrow strip along the Nile and its delta.
   – Except for a few major cities, the majority of the population
      resides in small rural villages.
   – Egypt has one of the world’s highest physiologic
      population densities, or number of persons per square unit
      of cultivated land.
   – While the overall arithmetic population density of the
      country is 72 persons per sq. km (186 persons per sq. mi),
      the physiologic density is 1,839 persons/sq. km (4,764
      persons per sq. mi).
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POPULATION

• An ecological trilogy characterizes most of
  the societies of the Middle East. Society is
  divided into three mutually dependent types
  of communities--the city, the village, and the
  tribe--each operating in a different setting,
  each contributing to the support of the other
  two sectors and thereby to the maintenance
  of total society.
  – (English, P. 1967. "Urbanites, Peasants and
    Nomads: The Middle Eastern Ecological Trilogy."
    Journal of Geography 66: 54-59).
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: URBAN GEOGRAPHY

• While urbanization has been going on for a long period of
  time in this region, currently there are sixteen cities that
  have populations greater than one million inhabitants.
• Istanbul, Tehran, and Cairo are the three largest cities of
  this region, with populations in excess of 6,000,000
  inhabitants.
• Because of the accelerated movement of people to the
  major urban centers of this region, a large number of
  people are forced to live in shantytowns that have sprung
  up in many of North Africa's and Southwest Asia’s cities.
• For example, the poverty in Cairo's shantytowns is well
  publicized and in the major cities of the Maghreb the name
  bidonvilles is used to describe the poverty-stricken
  shantytowns that surround its cities.
  NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: URBAN GEOGRAPHY

• Among the most important urban
  centers of this region is the city of
  Jerusalem (320,000), which is a holy
  place for three of the world’s major
  religions: Christianity, Judaism, and
  Islam.
• Because all three religions have aspired
  to control Jerusalem, it is the focus of
  considerable problems in the Arab-
  Israeli conflict.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: URBAN GEOGRAPHY

• In Saudi Arabia, the government is
  developing new industrial towns at Jubail
  on the Gulf Coast and at Yanbu on the Red
  Sea.
• Jubail is about halfway toward a planned
  population of approximately 300,000.
• The city has major industrial zones, an
  airport, and highway linkages.
• When completed, the city of Jubail will have
  the area of Greater London or Atlanta.
       Principal Cities of North Africa and Southwest Asia

        Tehran                                                                       6,758,845
       Istanbul                                                                    6,620,241
         Cairo                                                                 6,068,695
     Baghdad                                         3,841,268
   Casablanca                                 3,022,000
    Alexandria                               2,926,859
        Ankara                            2,559,471
     Tashkent                         2,113,300
           Izmir                   1,757,414
Aleppo (Halab)                    1,591,400
    Damascus                     1,549,932
        Algiers                  1,507,241
          Kabul                 1,424,400
        Jiddah                1,300,000
        Riyadh                1,250,000
        Almaty               1,156,200
                   0   1,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000 4,000,000 5,000,000 6,000,000 7,000,000 8,000,000
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Religious complexity:
• This region is the birthplace of the three
  great modern monotheistic religions of
  the world: Judaism, Christianity, and
  Islam. Monotheistic religions profess
  belief in only one God.
• Jerusalem is the most sacred city to
  Jews and Christians; it falls behind only
  Mecca (Makkah) and Medina in
  sacredness for Muslims.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Judaism
• The Jewish faith was given a spatial expression in
  1948 with the formation of the state of Israel.
• Diversity and disagreement exist in Israel.
   – European Jews, “Ashkenazim,” are not the same
     people as Middle Eastern “Sephardic” Jews.
   – Reformed and Orthodox versions of the Jewish
     faith are often in bitter doctrinal opposition.
   – Jewish fundamentalism is becoming increasingly
     visible.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Islam is the religion founded by the prophet Mohammed.
• Muslims are adherents of the Islamic faith. There are
  about 1.1 billion Muslims in the world. Indonesia has the
  world’s largest Muslim population.
• The term Islam means submission to the will of God
  (Allah).
• The term shari’a refers to the form of government and
  laws required by adherence to the Koran, the Islamic holy
  book.
• This major world religion originated in 610 A.D., when
  Mohammed began to receive visions from Allah's
  messenger, Gabriel, while meditating in a cave near
  Mecca.
• The messages of Gabriel continued for twenty-two years
  and were recorded in the Koran. I
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Islam:
• In A.D. 622 Mohammed fled Mecca (idolatry
  and ritual were a profitable religious business
  in Mecca at the time) for Yathrib (later
  Medina--City of the Prophet).
• This flight, or hegira, marks the beginning of
  the Moslem era.
• Ten years later Mohammed ventured back to
  Mecca, where the idols were destroyed at the
  religious center of Kaaba, and the Islamic
  state began a phase of expansion diffusion.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
     ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• There are five pillars in the Islamic faith:
1. Confession of faith by the acceptance of but
   one god, Allah, and his prophet Mohammed.
2. Dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nightfall
   prayers.
3. An almsgiving, or zaket, given to the needy.
4. Daytime fasting during the ninth lunar month,
   or Ramadan.
5. One pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca in a lifetime.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Following the death of Mohammed, his followers
  split into two major groups, based on whether
  succession to the prophet should follow elected
  lines or blood lines.
  – Muslims who believe in elected succession are called
    Sunni.
  – The Sunni are Orthodox Muslims who recognize the first
    four elected caliphs (successors of Muhammad as
    temporal and spiritual head of Islam) as the rightful
    successors to Muhammad.
  – Succession to Mohammed should be elective among
    senior leaders qualified to rule.
  – Sunni are the most numerous among the world's
    Muslims, accounting for about 85 percent of all Muslims.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Those who in bloodline succession are called Shi’ite and they are
  smaller in number than the Sunni.
• According to the Shi’ites, the Prophet's succession should be
  hereditary.
• They are a branch of Muslims that do not accept the election of caliphs,
  but recognize the "blood lines" of inheritance through Ali, one of
  Muhammad's nephews who had married the prophet's only surviving
  daughter.
• The Shi’ites form the largest minority group of the Islamic world
  including Iraq and Pakistan.
• They make up 90 percent of Iran’s Muslim population today. Only
  about 10 percent of the population of Iran is Sunni.
• During the height of the holiest ceremony in the Shiah Muslim calendar,
  the streets are thronged with believers beating themselves with chains
  in mourning for Hussein, grandson of the Prophet, who was killed at
  Karbala in 680 A.D.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

• Among the smaller minorities of Muslims one can note the
  Ismailis and the Druses.
• The head of the Ismailis, the Agha Khan, traces his
  ancestry back to the Prophet himself and his followers are
  located in northern Pakistan.
• The Druses form a sect which includes elements of
  Christianity, Judaism and Islam and they are found chiefly
  in Lebanon and Syria.
• In Oman, the Ibadhi sect of Islam is the most important.
• Islam spread throughout the North Africa / Southwest Asia
  region and became the dominant religion of the realm.
• Arabs of North Africa and Southwest Asia account for only
  about one-fifth of the total Islamic population of the world.
        NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
         ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
• Islam spread across central Asia, India, Malaysia and Indonesia; In
  China it spread as far as the city of Xian.
• The Muslims of India constitute the world’s largest religious minority
  at about 120,000,000 people.
• The spread of Islam occurred by a process of expansion diffusion –
  or the diffusion of an idea through a fixed population.
• The expansion of Islam spread north into Spain, which was controlled
  by the Moors (an Arab- Berber alliance). Moorish influence is evident
  in Spanish architecture, including such landmarks as the palace of
  Alcazar and the Giralda in Seville, and also in the cities of Granada
  and Cordoba.
• Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the world’s largest Islamic
  countries.
• Egypt, Turkey and Iran are the largest Islamic countries in North
  Africa / Southwest Asia.
• The concepts of Islam are closely related to Judaic and Christian
  beliefs and traditions. In fact, Muslims honor the Jewish prophets and
  Jesus as holy men.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
Languages -- the linguistic picture in this region is
  very complex:
• Semitic Family:
   – Arabic is the most widely used language in the North
     Africa and Southwest Asia realm.
   – Hebrew is spoken in Israel.
   – Amharic is spoken in the plateau country of Ethiopia.
• Altaic Family:
   – Turkic, a member of the of languages is spoken in
     Turkey.
   – Tajik
• Indo-European Family:
   – Iranian (Farsi), is spoken in Iran.
• Hamitic Family:
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• Agriculture:
• Farming practices in this region are strongly correlated
  to the presence of water, the most important resource in
  this dry area.
• The most productive areas are found along the
  allogenic (exotic) rivers of the Nile in Egypt and Tigris
  and Euphrates in Iraq.
• Still smaller pockets of agricultural production are the
  areas adjacent to well-watered mountains and the
  coastal plains of countries like Turkey, which is self
  sufficient in foodstuffs.
• The various oases are of smaller significance in the
  overall production of food.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• The improvements in agriculture are many in this region,
  undertaken in an effort to increase the amount of land
  under irrigation and raise larger amounts of food.
• In ancient Egypt, basin irrigation was practiced.
• According to this system, fields along the low bands of
  the Nile were partitioned off by earth ridges into a large
  number of artificial basins.
• The mud-rich river waters would pour into these basins
  during flood time, and then the exits would be closed, so
  that the water would stand still, depositing its fertile load
  of alluvium.
• Then, after six to eight weeks, the exit sluices were
  opened and the water drained away, leaving the
  rejuvenated soil ready for sowing.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• The most technologically advanced farming
  techniques are found in Israel where the
  employment of fertigation has indeed made
  the desert bloom.
• Historically, agriculture in Israel is carried out
  in collectivized settlements called kibbutzim
  (singular, kibbutz). Many of the kibbutzim lie
  in frontier areas and perform defensive as
  well as agricultural and industrial functions.
  Far more numerous, however, are the small
  holder’s cooperatives called moshavim
  (singular moshav).
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• In recent years, the construction of dams made possible
  the perennial irrigation of Egypt's farmlands.
• The greatest of all Nile dam projects, the Aswan High
  Dam, was begun in 1958 and completed in 1971 at the
  First Cataract.
• The dam wall is 110 meters (364 feet) high and creates
  Lake Nasser, one of the largest artificial lakes in the
  world.
• The reservoir inundates 480 sq km (300 sq mi) of the
  Nile valley, not only in Upper Egypt, but also in the
  Sudan.
• The cooperation of the Sudanese was required for
  construction of the dam, since 50,000 people had to be
  relocated.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
     ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• Prior to the building of Aswan, waters could
  irrigate 2.53 million hectares (6.25 million acres)
  of farmland.
• To this area, the Aswan High Dam has added
  another 550,000 hectares 1 ha = 2.471 acres).
• In addition, 400,000 hectares of farmland under
  basin irrigation could be converted to perennial
  irrigation resulting in increased crop yields.
• Finally, the Aswan High Dam supplies Egypt with
  about 50% percent of its energy requirements in
  the form of hydroelectricity.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• In Upper and Middle Egypt the strip of green is
  five to 25 kilometers (three to 5 miles) wide.
• Below Cairo, the Nile's delta is 160 kilometers
  (180 miles) long, and 250 kilometers (155 miles)
  wide (Alexandria to Port Said).
• The waters of the delta are diverted through two
  controlled channels, the Rosetta in the west and
  the Damietta in the east.
• Each distributary, as these channels are
  called, defines the delta of the Nile, and nearly
  half of Egypt's population inhabits the delta
  region
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
• The main agricultural crops that are produced in this
  region are:
• Cotton from Egypt and Syria.
   – Cotton and cotton products form the major exports of
      Egypt.
• Fruits and vegetables (which are important in all
  countries that have Mediterranean climate)
• Cereals (especially barley) are raised in most of the less
  productive soils throughout the region.
• In Egypt rice, millet, sugar cane and lentils are among
  the crops that thrive under perennial irrigation.
• Tunisia has long been the world's leading exporter of
  olive oil.
• Morocco exports citrus fruit and vegetables.
  NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
   ASIA: ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

• Turkey's principal crops include:
  tobacco, hazelnuts (filberts) grown
  primarily in the Black Sea section, and
  grapes for sultana raisins and figs
  raised in the central Aegean section
  around the port of Izmir (Smyrna) with
  1,757,414 inhabitants.
        NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
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• Industry:
• The industrial sector of these countries is mostly involved in
    the processing of food and light industries.
•   Turkey is a major exporter of textiles.
•   Pockets of heavy industry depend on the availability of local
    materials and are found in Egypt, Turkey and Israel.
•   A steel plant at Hulwan, near Cairo, uses the iron ore
    deposits found at about 50 km (30 miles) west of Aswan,
    manganese from the Eastern Desert and local limestone.
•   Israel produces an array of industrial goods with significant
    output in military hardware.
•   Israel is the world's leading producer in industrial diamonds.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
     ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Notwithstanding other conflicts in this region, the
  conflict between Israel and the surrounding Arab
  countries dominates the political geography of
  this area.
• Israel was officially proclaimed on May 14, 1948;
  it borders on Lebanon and Syria to the north,
  Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest and
  the Mediterranean Sea to the west.
• Following its creation Israel was involved in a
  war with the Arab populations living in Palestine,
  all of whom rejected Israel's right to exist. A large
  number of Palestinian Arabs became refugees.
  NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
   ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• The most important recent wars between Israel
  and the Arab countries are the following:
  – The failed Anglo-French intervention in the Suez
    Canal in collusion with Israel in 1956.
  – The Six-Day War in June 1967, when Israel
    emerged victorious and acquired major pieces of
    territory from Egypt (Gaza Strip and Sinai), Jordan
    (West Bank), and Syria (Golan Heights). Most of
    these areas are still disputed and have high
    population densities.
  – The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 during which
    the Egyptians were able to cross the Suez Canal.
     • Following peace negotiations at Camp David between Israel
       and Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to the
       Egyptians.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
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• In July 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
  walked out of Palestinian / Israeli peace talks being
  mediated by U.S. President Clinton at Camp
  David Maryland.
• In September 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
  Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,
  site of the al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine
  of Islam.
• This touched off a new intifada (uprising) among
  the Palestinians.
• By May 2004 over 1900 Palestinians and 750
  Israelis had been killed in the renewed conflict.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Other important recent wars in this region are the following:
   – The ten-year war between Iraq and Iran following the
     rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran.
   – The 1991 Gulf War.
       • Historically, present-day Iraq and Kuwait were under
         Ottoman control.
       • After World War I, Britain and France succeeded the
         Ottoman Turks and dominated the area.
       • During colonial times, Kuwait was administered from
         Basra, a southern Iraqi city. When Britain withdrew
         from the area in 1961, they defined the boundaries
         that separated Kuwait from Iraq and very nearly
         landlocked Iraq leaving it with only 19 kilometers
         (11.81 miles) of Gulf coastline.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
     ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• By contrast Kuwait has 250 kilometers (155.38 miles) of coastline.
• The ascendancy to power in Baghdad of the extremist Baath Party in
  1968, major oil discoveries in Kuwait, the Arab Israeli conflict and the
  regional power struggle between Iran and Iraq further compounded
  Iraqi claims on the mini-sheikdom at the mouth of the Gulf.
• For all of these reasons, Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and
  annexed it as its 19th province.
• The United States organized and led a United Nations coalition of
  military forces that launched Desert Shield and later Desert Storm on
  January 16, 1991.
• After a 45-day aerial bombardment of Iraq, the allied forces invaded
  Iraq and liberated Kuwait.
• As a result of this war, Iraq was faced with a rebellion in the north of the
  country by the Kurds and another one in the south by the Shi’ites who
  were misled by the allies into believing that they would receive support
  to oust Saddam Hussein and possibly set up their own independent
  states.
• Iraq still faces a formidable task of reconstruction and an international
  embargo.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States,
  the U.S. government declared war on terrorism and the nations
  who supported or gave sanctuary to terrorists.
• The first target of this war was Muslim fundamentalist, Taliban–
  ruled Afghanistan, home base of al Qaeda and home to Usama
  bin Laden, architect of the 9/11 assault.
• Early in 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush declared Iraq part
  of an “axis of evil,” or rogue nations who were suspected of
  cooperating with terrorists and had the ability to supply terrorists
  with weapons of mass destruction.
• Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, defied the U.N. resolutions for
  disarmament and weapons inspections it was forced to accept
  under the terms of surrender in 1991.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• The Hussein government was also accused of
  massive human rights abuses, including the
  systematic torture, rape, and mass killings of
  Iraqi citizens.
• March 20, 2003 U.S. and British forces led a
  coalition of troops in invading Iraq and deposing
  the Hussein government.
• Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay (his
  presumptive successors) were killed July 22,
  2003. Hussein himself was captured by U.S.
  troops December 14, 2003 and awaits trial.
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• Geometric boundaries are found in
  many of the countries of this region and
  reflect the involvement of European
  colonial powers in this realm.
• For example, geometric boundaries
  separate Egypt's 1,000,000 square
  kilometers (387,000 square miles) from
  Libya to the west and the Sudan to the
  south.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
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• Forward capital cities are established by nation-
  states in order to redirect national foci.
• For example, Turkey transferred the capital
  functions of the country from the nation's largest
  city, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), to Ankara
  on the Anatolian Plateau to underscore the Asiatic
  character of the country following the defeat of the
  Greek armies at the beginning of the 20th century
  in Asia Minor.
• Istanbul, the headquarters of the Byzantine
  Empire, is strategically located at the southern
  entrance of the Bosporus.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• Strategic waterways or Choke Points of the region:
• Three water passages that connect the Mediterranean with the
  Black Sea:
   – Dardanelles Straits (Hellespont, Canakkale Bogazi):
     connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean Sea
   – Sea of Marmara: An open body of water between the
     Bosporus and the Dardanelles.
   – The Straits of Bosporus (Istanbul Bogazi) that connect the
     Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara
• Among other important strategic waterways in this region are:
   – The Suez Canal that was constructed in 1869 to connect
     the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea
   – The Straits of Hormuz that control the movement from the
     Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.
   – The Straits of Bab el Mandeb, connecting the Red Sea with
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• The Kurdish Minority:
• The Kurds, thought to number about 25,000,000, form the
  world's largest minority without a country to call their own.
• Kurdistan ("Land of the Kurds") includes sections of the
  Taurus Mountains of Eastern Anatolia in Turkey, northern
  Iraq, and the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. Another
  pocket of Kurds is located in the Khorasan region of
  northeastern Iran.
• Kurdish Populations:
• Turkey has the largest Kurdish population, perhaps as many
  as 12,000,000 to 14,000,000.
• Iran about 8,000,000
• Iraq about 4,000,000
• Smaller numbers in Lebanon, Armenia, Syria, and Azerbaijan.
• Diyarbakir, Turkey is the dominant Kurdish city.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• The traditional Kurdish way of life was nomadic, revolving
  around herding goats and sheep in the mountains of
  Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
• Kurdish nationalism is a recent phenomenon.
• The Treaty of Sevres drawn up in 1920 provided for an
  autonomous Kurdistan but was never ratified.
• The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) that replaced the Treaty
  of Sevres made no mention Kurdistan or the Kurds.
• In the face of rising Turkish nationalism under Kemal
  Atatürk, the Kurds were designated as "Mountain Turks"
  and were not allowed to speak their language or wear
  their distinctive national costume.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Official government policy encouraged the
  emigration of Kurds to urban areas, thus
  diluting the concentration of Kurds in the
  eastern provinces of the country.
• The Kurds of Iraq are now de facto
  concentrated in the northern part of the
  country (north of the 36th parallel) under the
  protection of allied forces, following the
  aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
• Iranian Kurds were also subjected to strong
  assimilationist pressure from the Shi’ite
  Muslim majority.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• The Palestinian Question has dominated
  the conflict between Israel and the
  surrounding Arab countries since the
  formation of the state of Israel in 1948, in
  what had been the British Mandate of
  Palestine.
• As a result of this political development,
  hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who
  called Palestine home became refugees in
  the neighboring Arab countries.
• Some of those became assimilated in the
  receiving societies, but many continue to live
  in refugee camps.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• The numerical strength of the Palestinian population
  is estimated at 9,300,000.
   – 1, 240,000 live in Israel proper
   – 2,300,000 in the Israeli occupied West Bank
   – 1,300,000 in the Gaza Strip
   – 2,700,000 in Jordan
   – 403,000 in Lebanon
   – 423,000 in Syria
   – 296,000 in Saudi Arabia
   – 250,000 in Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, and Libya.
   – 388,000 in other Arab countries.
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
      ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY



• In 1987, the Palestinians of the occupied
  territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
  launched an uprising (intifada) against the
  Israeli occupying forces.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• In 1993, direct negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians
  yielded results.
   – On September 12, 1993, Israel and the Palestinians signed a
      peace agreement, in Washington D.C.
   – According to these agreements, Israel and the Palestinian
      Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized each other’s right to
      exist.
   – In addition, the Israelis gave the Palestinians a limited autonomy
      in the Gaza Strip and the area surrounding the town of Jericho in
      the West Bank.
   – After long and arduous negotiations, these agreements were
      implemented in May, 1994, with the transfer of power from Israeli
      to Palestinian control.
   – The Gaza Strip covers an area of 363 square kilometers (140
      square miles) and has a population of 1,205,000 inhabitants.
      The arithmetic density is very high (3,320 persons per square
      kilometer or 8,607 persons per square mile).
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• Turkestan is an old name describing the vast region in
  western and central Asia east of the Caspian Sea:
• It includes:
   – Territory in the south-central part of Xinjiang province in China,
   – a strip of northern Afghanistan,
   – and the area comprising the former Soviet republics of
         • Kazakhstan
         • Uzbekistan
         • Turkmenistan
         • Tajikistan
         • Kyrgyzstan
         • Afghanistan
   – The latter six cover an area of 4,646,490 square kilometers
       (1,794,012 square miles) and have a total population of
       86,500,000 in 2003.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• Kazakhstan:
• The largest country in area in Turkestan is divided into two distinct
  regions: the Russified north and the Islamic south.
• It is a land of desert and steppe and scattered water-depended
  populations, especially in the east where the former capital city of
  Almaty (formerly Alma Ata) is located.
• The new capital city is Astana (formerly Aqmola) in the northern
  part of the country in the Russian Transition Zone.
• The country has vast oil reserves in the Tengiz Basin near the
  northeastern corner of the Caspian Sea.
• The country has more than 100 ethnic groups.
   – The Kazakhs account for 40 percent of the country’s total
       population.
   – Russians form 38 percent of the total and are concentrated
       mostly in the north.
   – 22 percent of the population is represented by other minority
       groups.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Uzbekistan.
• It occupies the heart of Turkestan and three-
  fourths of its inhabitants are Uzbeks.
• They ruled Asia from their khanates in Khiva
  and Bukhoro (Bukhara) until they became a
  part of the Soviet Union in 1924.
• The capital of the country, Toshkent
  (Tashkent), is located in the eastern section
  of the country, in the Farghona valley.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
     ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Turkmenistan.
• The desert country of Turkmenistan extends from
  the shores of the Caspian Sea to the borders of
  Afghanistan.
• It has 1,100 kilometer long (700 miles) boundary
  with Iran.
• During the 1950s the Soviets launched the
  Garagum (Kara Kum) Canal. 1,100 km. (700 mi.)
  long, by 1993 it brought 3,000,000 acres under
  cultivation.
• Many Turkmen still herd sheep and Astrakhan furs
  form a major export item.
       NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
        ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• Tajikistan:
• A mountainous country that occupies the eastern section of
  Turkestan.
• The Pamirs dominate the eastern part of the country from where the
  Amu Darya originates.
• The Tajiks are people of Persian origin and speak an Indo-
  European language.
   – They constitute about 62 percent of the population.
   – A significant number of Tajiks inhabit Afghanistan and a smaller
     number is found in western China.
   – Most Tajiks are Sunni Muslims and not Shi’ite like the Iranians
• About 24 percent of the population is made up of Uzbeks, largely
  concentrated in the west and northwest.
• Dushanbe, the capital of the country, is located in the west.
• Some areas are claimed by both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
    ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY

• Kyrgyzstan:
• This country is dominated by the Tian Shan mountain
  ranges.
• The Kyrgyz constitute about 50% of the population
   – Russians make up more than 20% of the
      population.
   – Uzbeks are about 13% of the population.
• Most Kyrgyz are Sunni Muslims.
• Pastoralism is the predominant economic activity.
• The Kyrgyz raise sheep, cattle, and yaks for meat
  and milk.
• Irrigated valleys yield wheat, fruits, and vegetables.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
• Afghanistan played the role of a buffer state between
  Russia and Britain.
• It has a compact shape with the exception of the narrow (15
  to 65 km wide) Vakhan Corridor.
• Because of this narrow proruption, Afghanistan borders on
  China to the east and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan in
  the north. To the west it borders on Iran, and to the
  southeast, Pakistan.
• Afghanistan is a landlocked and mountainous country with
  significant relative location.
• This territory played a strategic role in empire building of the
  past by virtue of important routes and passes leading across
  it from the steppes and oases of Central Asia and the
  plateaus of Iran to the plains of northern India that have been
  a goal of Asian conquerors for thousands of years.
    NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST ASIA: POLITICAL
                   GEOGRAPHY

• Afghanistan has 29,000,000 people, plus 4,000,000 refugees
  living outside the country.
• Main ethnic groups: Pushtuns (Pathans) 52.4%; Tajiks
  20.4%; Hazara 8.8%; Uzbeks 8.8%; Chamar Aimak 2.8%;
  Turkmen 1.9%; other 4.9%.
• Major cities: Kabol (Kabul) 2,607,000; Kandahar 225,500;
  Herat 177,300; Mazar-e-Sharif 130,600; Jalalabad 55,000.
• Mujahideen: Strugglers who fought Soviets after their
  invasion in 1979.
• Taliban: Students of religion from religious schools in
  Pakistan. This movement started in 1994 and by 1996 they
  captured Kabol (Kabul) and in 1998 Mazar-e-Sharif, an
  Uzbek and Tajik stronghold. Their rule ended with the
  American campaign following the 9/11/2001 attacks.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
          ASIA: LIST OF TERMS
• Shatterbelt: A fragmented region, coveted by outside
  powers, where the dangers of confrontation are great,
  the stakes are high, and the dangers of escalating
  conflict all too real.
• Fertile Crescent: A domestication hearth extending
  from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the
  mouth of the Gulf. The core of this region is present day
  Iraq.
• Desert pavement: A rocky desert (reg in Algeria and
  serir in Libya).
• Exotic river: Stream that originates in humid
  environment and flows through a dry area.
• Distributary: Part of the channel of a river in the lower
  course that literally distributes the river's water to the sea
     NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
         ASIA: LIST OF TERMS

• Oasis: An area in the desert where water is
  available.
• Wadi: The course of an ephemeral stream in the
  desert.
• Graben: Another name for a rift valley.
• Monotheistic religion: A belief in only one god.
• Universalizing religion: A religion that tries to
  increase its number of followers through
  proselytizing.
• Ethnic religion: A religion that is found only
  among the members of a particular group of
  people.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: LIST OF TERMS

• Hegira: The flight of Mohammed from Mecca
  to Medina.
• Hajj: The pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca.
• Sunni: The largest sect of Islam that
  believes in the elected successors to the
  Prophet.
• Shiite: A branch of Islam, confined primarily
  in Iran, that believes in the blood succession
  to the Prophet.
      NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
          ASIA: LIST OF TERMS

• Geometric boundaries: A type of boundaries that
  follow straight lines, usually parallels or meridians.
• Physiologic density: The number of people per
  unit of arable (cultivable) land.
• Basin irrigation: A method of irrigation in Egypt
  involving the trapping and later release of
  floodwaters.
• Maghreb: An Arabic term that is used to describe
  the countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
• Sahel: A zone of recurrent drought south of the
  Sahara Desert.
   NORTH AFRICA AND SOUTHWEST
       ASIA: LIST OF TERMS

• Qanat: An underground water tunnel leading from
  the mountains to adjacent dry lands.
• Sudd: A marshy zone in the southern Sudan where
  the waters of the Nile stagnate and a large mass of
  vegetation floats around
• Tell: The lower slopes and coastal plains in
  northwestern Africa between the Atlas Mountains and
  the sea.
• Bidonvilles: A French term that is used to describe
  the Maghreb's shanty towns.
• Kibbutz: A cooperative farm unit in Israel whose
  goal is also to provide military security to its
  residents.

				
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