Regional Geography 105
North Africa and Southwest Asia

Physiography - Climate

Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean
- Sahara, Libyan, Syrian, Afar Triangle, Sinai, Negev, An Nafud, Arabian
- Atlas, Zagros, Hindu Kush
- Iran, Anatolian
- Arabian, Sinai, Asia Minor

Rivers & Cultural Hearths

Major importance historically, economically and agriculturally.
5 of the 8 major Cultural Hearths are located along major river systems.
Mesopotamia Cultural Hearth
Nile River Cultural Hearth

Aswan High Dam

Construction: 1960-1970
Radically changed the hydraulic system of the Lower Nile
Controls flooding
Hydroelectric power generation
Irrigation control
Problems resulting from dams:

Historical Economics

Major trade routes between Europe and the Orient - historical economic influence.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - modern economic influence.

Oil: What the United States Uses

July ______: ___________ million barrels of oil per day
___________ million barrels of oil per day - Imported
___________ million barrels of oil per day - Domestic

Hubbert's Peak

Leading Oil Supplying Countries to the U.S.

Middle East

Term coined by the Europeans
"Near East" - Turkey
"Middle East" - Egypt, Arabia, Persia
"Far East" - China, Indochina, Japan, India
Terms still widely used despite failings.

Arab World


Islamic Realm

Islam - the religious faith of Muslims
A Moslem is one who believes "there is no god but God, and Mohammed is the messenger of God"
Allah is Arabic for God.

Islam is based on “literal word of God” as revealed to Mohammed - Mecca, 571 - 632 AD
Believed to be last and final prophet chosen by God
Important prophets:
God’s revelations recorded in Koran

Five Pillars (fundamental duties, practices and beliefs of Islam)
1) Repeated expression of the basic creed; "There is no god but God, and Mohammed is the messenger of God"
2) Daily Prayer - five times daily
3) Ramadan - month of daytime fasting
4) Giving of Alms - to the poor and Mosque
5) Hajj - pilgrimage to Mecca

Youngest of the major world religions
Conceptual roots: Judeo-Christian Tradition
To Muslims: Islam is a continuation and rectification of Judaism and Christianity.
Believe Jews and Christians have deviated from God’s word.

Islam is prevalent throughout the realm
Some countries are Islamic Republics

Islam in the World Today

Why the current focus on Islam and Terrorism?
Does Islam promote violence and terrorism?