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  • 1. World Regional Geography Chapter 6: A Geographic Profile of the Middle East & North Africa


  • Middle East and North Africa
    • Middle East is Eurocentric
    • 21 Countries, Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the disputed Western Sahara
    • Area of 5.9 million square miles
    • Population of 500 million people (2007)
      • Turkey, Iran & Egypt each have more than 70 million people
      • People locate where water is abundant in this arid region
      • Region on the whole is 56% urban
      • High rate of population growth across region
      • Many oil-rich countries of the Gulf region have more foreigners than citizens living in them

6.1Area & Population 3. Middle East and North Africa 4. 5. Comparison in Area & Latitude Middle East & North Africa vs. Conterminous U.S. 6. Population Distribution 7. Population Cartogram 8.

  • Margins of region are oceans, seas, high mountains, and deserts
    • Atlantic Ocean to the west
    • Sahara to the south
    • Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas to the north
    • Hindu Kush and Baluchistan Desert to the east
  • Land composed of arid plains and plateaus
    • Large areas of rugged mountains
    • Isolated seas of sand

6.2 Physical Geography & Human Adaptations 9. Physical Geography 10.

  • Climate
    • Aridity
      • 75 percent of region receives < 10 of annual precipitation
      • Higher precipitation around Mediterranean or up at elevation
      • Strategies of drought avoidance and drought endurance
    • Temperature
      • Large daily and seasonal ranges
      • Very hot days and surprisingly cool nights
    • Summer relocation of government in Saudi Arabia
  • Tectonic Processes
    • Collision zones have resulted in mountain building
    • Frequent earthquakes for places like Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

6.2.1Region of Stark Geographic Contrasts 11. Climate Types 12. Biome Types 13. Great Sand Sea in Egypt 14. Land Use 15. The Treasury 16. Pontic Mountains in Turkey 17. The West Bank and The Dead Sea 18. Taurus Mountains of Turkey 19. Solar Boat of King Cheops 20.

  • Middle Eastern Ecological Trilogy
    • Villagers
      • Subsistence farmers of rural areas where dry farming or irrigation is possible
    • Pastoral Nomads
      • Desert peoples who migrate through arid lands with livestock, following rainfall and vegetation patterns
    • Urbanites
      • Inhabitants of large towns and cities, generally located near bountiful water sources

6.2.2Villager, Pastoral Nomad, Urbanite 21. The Ecological Trilogy 22.

  • Historically, agricultural villagers represented the majority populations in the region
    • Villages located near reliable water sources with cultivable lands nearby
    • Production and consumption focus on a staple grain
    • Reliance on nomads for pastoral produce
  • Effects of exposure to outside influence
    • Introduction of cash crops
    • Improved and expanded irrigation
    • Modern technology
    • Rural-to-Urban Migration

6.2.3The Village Way of Life 23.

  • Pastoral Nomadism
    • Emerged as offshoot of village way of life
    • Vertical Migration in mountainous areas
    • Horizontal Migration in flatter expanses
    • Sedentarization is a recent trend
    • Nomads in region number estimated 5 to 13 million
      • Identified by their tribe, not be their nationality

6.2.4The Pastoral Nomadic Way of Life 24.

  • The city was the final component to emerge in the ecological trilogy
    • Mesopotamia, 4000 B.C.E.
    • Egypt, 3000 B.C.E.
  • Medina (classic Islamic city)
    • High defensive wall
    • Congregational mosque
    • Administrative and educational complex
    • Bazaar or Suq (Commercial Zone)
    • Residential areas based on ethnicity, not income
  • Rural-to-Urban Migration
  • New modern urban development in oil-rich countries

6.2.5The Urban Way of Life 25. Model of the Medina 26. Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt 27. Indoor Ski Resort in Dubai, UAE 28.

  • Egypt and Mesopotamia are among the worlds great culture hearths
  • Language Families
    • Afro-Asiatic Family
      • Examples:Semitic (Arabic & Hebrew), Berber, and Bedawi
    • Altaic Family(Turkic)
    • Caucasian Family
    • Indo-European Family(Farsi and Kurdish)
    • Nilo-Saharan Family
  • Religious Hearth
    • Monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity & Islam

6.3Cultural & Historical Geographies 29. Languages of the Middle East & North Africa 30. Religions of the Middle East & North Africa 31.

  • Judaism
    • First significant monotheistic faith
    • Practiced today by 14 million worldwide
    • Torah is the Jewish holy scripture
    • Unlike Christianity, Jesus not seen as a savior
    • Ethnic, not proselytizing religion
    • Western Wall in Jerusalem
      • The most sacred site in the world accessible to Jews

6.3.1The Promised Land of the Jews 32. Holy Places in Jerusalem 33.

  • Christianity
    • Offshoot of Judaism that emerged in Palestine
    • Jesus Christ
      • Born in Bethlehem around 4 B.C.E.
      • His teachings denied validity of many Jewish doctrines and protesters called for his death
      • Jesus was put on trial, was found guilty of being a claimant to Jewish kingship, and was crucified
      • Christians believe Christ was resurrected from the dead two days later and ascended into heaven
    • Seldom has Christianity been majority religion in the land where it was born
    • Crusades(11 th 14 thcenturies)

6.3.2 Christianity: Death & Resurrection in Jerusalem 34. Church of the Holy Sepulcher 35.

  • Islam
    • Monotheistic faith
    • Dominant religion by far in Middle East & North Africa
    • Prophet was Muhammad, who was from Mecca
    • Quran is the holy book of Islam
  • Five Pillars of Islam
    • Profession of the faith
    • Prayer five times daily toward Mecca
    • Almsgiving
    • Fasting during Ramadan
    • Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca (Islams holiest city)

6.3.3The Message of Islam 36. Great Mosque in Mecca 37.

  • Oil dominates the regions economic geography
    • Large reserves
    • Role of OPEC
      • Aim of taking joint action to demand higher profits
  • Other resources include:
    • Remittances
    • Revenues from ship traffic through Suez Canal
    • Exports o