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Why do Southwest Asia and North Africa form a useful world

region? What are some of the problems associated with defining
the region?
- They form a useful world region because its a region that is
considered a culture hearth, which means they have witnessed
many cultural innovations that subsequently diffused widely to
other portions of the world. It was an early epicenter for
agriculture, great civilizations, and three major world religions.
Some of its problems with defining region are that Turkey sits
between Europe and Asia, Cyprus left the region due to addition
to European union, some people in China share religion with them
but theyre considered central Asia, transitional African countries
go to Sub-Saharan.

2. Describe the climatic changes you might experience as you

traveled from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the highlands
of Yemen. What are some of the key climatic variables that
explain these variations?
- The Mediterranean Coast is a dry and has an arid climate, while
the highlands, like the ones in Yemen, receive more rain the rest
of the region. Latitude and altitude explain these variations.

3. Discuss five important human modifications of the Southwest

and North African environment, and assess whether these
changes have benefitted the region.
- Some major human modifications of the region are
deforestation, salinization, managing water, harvesting of unique
plant species for pharmaceutical companies, and the destruction
of rare coral reefs. Although some of these changes like
managing water have benefited the region, most have been
detrimental and have cause environmental problems that could
grow as time goes. Deforestation and the destruction or coral
reefs are the most damaging as they are destroying species and
environments that are essential to earth.

4. Discuss how pastoral nomadism, oasis agriculture, and

dryland wheat farming represent distinctive adaptations to the
regional environments of Southwest Asia and North Africa. How
do these rural lifeways create distinctive patterns of settlement?
- Pastoral nomadism typically occurs in dryer regions, but nomads
use transhumance since the terrain of the land in this region

allows for easy relocation from environment to environment.

Nomads are on the decline and government resettlement
programs are actively promoting a more settled lifestyle. Oasis
agriculture is achievable where there are high groundwater levels
or modern deep wells in arid areas. There is higher demand for
consumption of crops grown in there, so new drilling and pumping
technologies have added to the number of oasis settlements.
Population growth as well as groundwater change threaten the
drylands where wheat farming depends on seasonal moisture.
Sophisticated technologies, higher demand, and fertilizer/crop
specialization are helping to find ways to work around the arid
terrain so that it is easier to harvest.

5. Compare the modern maps of religion and language for the

region, and identify three major examples where Islam
dominates non-Arabic-speaking areas. Explain why that is the

- Older Indo-European languages dominate much of the Iranian

plateau as well as Turkey, Iran and part of Iraq. These languages
survive because they provide a sense of cultural identity, they
remain because of who's in power, and their languages just
branch off different traditions.

6. Describe the role played by the French and British in shaping

the modern political map of Southwest Asia and North Africa.
Provide specific examples of their lasting legacy.
- France was a major colonial presence in North Africa. They
spread into Algeria and Tunisia and pushed their languages and
cultures on the natives. France progressively gained control of
most of North Africa, and the landscape of modern Algeria still
reflects this in architecture and colonial culture. Great Britain
established colonies over coastal states of the Arabian Peninsula
and those around it. British and Russian influence led to Persia
turning into Iran.

7. Define Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism. Outline three

regional examples where Islamic fundamentalism or Islamism
redefined the domestic geopolitical setting since the late 1970s.
- Islamic fundamentalism is the return to more traditional
practices, within the Muslim regionIslamism challenges
infringement of global pop culture and blames colonial, imperial,

and western essentials for many of the regions economic social

problems. Some examples of this include Algeria embarking into
cycle of Islamist-led violence and protests; Egypt finding itself
trapped in Islamist-initiated instability, and having groups like
Muslim Brotherhood are pushing for political change; and Sudan
creating conflict between the Muslim north and Christian south
which led to civil war and eventual an separation into North and
South Sudan.

8. Explain how ethnic differences have shaped Iraq's political

conflicts in the past 50 years.
- Iraq split into devout Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis, which led to

Saddam Hussein, their then leader, to create a major source of

uncertainty causing ravaging war and ruining their financial
stability. American invaded in 2003 to try to fix some of the issues
caused by these ethnic differences.

9. Describe the basic geography of oil reserves across the

region, and compare the pattern with the geography of natural
gas reserves.
- Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Libya, and Algeria are major producers

of petroleum in the world and they play an important, though less

dominant, role in natural gas production. The Arabian-Iranian
sedimentary basin extends from northern Iraq and western Iran
to Oman and the lower Persian Gulf which is where the area
where most petroleum reserves are. Algeria, Libya, and Egypt
also have both oil and gas reserves. Unfortunately Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon and Morocco werent as geographically lucky and dont
have the oil reserves that their neighbors do.

10. What strategies for economic development have recently

been employed by nations such as Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and
Morocco? How successful have they been, and how do they
relate to the theme of globalization?

- Turkey ships textiles, food products, and manufactured goods to

its principal trading partners Germany, US, France, Italy etc.Israeli
exports emphasize the countrys highly skilled workforce which
focuses mostly on cut diamonds, machinery, etc.Tourism is the
major key for both Egypt and Morocco. They have been
increasingly successful as they have become known places to
acquire the items they produce which relates into globalization as

these countries have become more world renowned and have

increased their influence internationally.