Physical Geography This region is extremely arid, and most areas receive less than 18 of precipitation per year. the dry terrain varies from huge

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1 The Middle East

2 Physical Geography This region is extremely arid, and most areas receive less than 18 of precipitation per year. the dry terrain varies from huge tracts of sand dunes to great salt flats. Because it s so dry, most of its rivers flow seasonally. in some areas irrigation has transformed the deserts into productive farmland. The most distinctive physical feature is the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. It is here where you will find one of the largest desert in the world, the Rub al-khali, or Empty Quarter. In the summer the temperature on the sand exceeds 150, and as many as 10 years may pass without rainfall. To the extreme west of Afghanistan is the Hindu kush mountain range, which form the western edge of the Himalayas. One of the few routes through this rugged terrain is the Khyber Pass.

3 Oil in the Middle East Industrialization and the increasing popularity of automobiles made petroleum a highly desired resource, so oil companies began searching for other sources. Oil and gas deposits formed millions of years ago when an ancient sea covered the Middle East. The first oil in the Middle East was discovered in Persia (now Iran) in In 1938, it was found in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. In1948 the world s largest oil supply was discovered in saudi Arabia on the edge of the Rub al Khali in al-ghawar. It contains ¼ of all the Saudi reserves of oil.

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6 This oil has led to extreme wealth in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait.

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9 Oil use within the Middle East has also increased. What are the consequences of this increase for the U.S.?

10 However, not everyone has benefitted from this wealth. There is a large income disparity between the ultra-rich and the poor in many oil-producing countries:

11 This inequality is partially responsible for uprisings in the Middle East known as Arab Spring predominately in Syria, Egypt, as well as Libya in North Africa. Discrimination and political inequality has also led to these rebellions. Young people often lack opportunities for better education and jobs.

12 Israel Around 2000 BCE a Semitic people known as Hebrews left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan. According to the Israelites, King David conquered Jerusalem around 1000 BCE and established the Israelite Kingdom. It remained the center of Jewish sovereignty and worship until 133 CE. About 61 CE Roman general Pompey invaded Judea and destroyed Jerusalem. After a jewish revolt in 133 CE, the romans drove the jews out of Jerusalem and renamed the area palestina (Palestine in English). From this point, the Jews no longer had a homeland. In the late 1800s a movement to establish a Jewish

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14 Homeland in Palestine developed. It was called Zionism, and increasing numbers of Jews traveled to the holy land. By the beginning of WWI Palestine was ruled by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. During the war (1916), Great Britain convinced arab leaders to revolt against the ottoman empire, promising them they would support an arab state. In 1917 Lord Arthur Balfour issued a declaration announcing British support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. When the war ended the League of nations established Palestine as a mandate of great Britain. In the 1930s Jewish immigration to Palestine swelled

15 Due to persecution in Eastern Europe, and later hitler s racist nazi regime. This lead to heightened tensions, including arab riots, and Britain limited immigration into Palestine. After wwii, the Un recommended that Palestine be divided into two regions: one for jews and one for arabs, and in may, 1948, the jews proclaimed the state of Israel and Britain withdrew from Palestine. In the following weeks, neighboring arab nations invaded israel. The jews managed to drive the arabs out and when the fighting ended in 1949, israel held the territory more territory than the un originally established

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17 In 1967, the Israelis learned that Egypt planned to attack, so it preemptively attacked Egypt in june, it then went on to conquer the Golan heights. The result of the six days war was theat israel obtained the new territories of the Sinai peninsula, west bank and Golan heights.

18 In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked israel on yom kippur, the most holy day in the jewish calendar. They failed to take back the land lost in the six days war. In 1978 during the camp david accords, israel returned the Sinai to Egypt. In 1994, israel withdrew from the gaza strip Today Palestinians continue to fight the Israelis for control of what they believe is their land, oftentimes using terrorist attacks. They complain that they are treated like second-class citizens.

19 Conflict in Afghanistan In 1979, the soviet union invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to spread communism. A resistance movement made up of Islamic fundamentalists known as the Taliban fought to eject soviet forces from their country. The U.S. cia (covertly) and Pakistan gave financial and military support to the Taliban. In 1989 the USSr withdrew and 3 years later the Taliban took over rule of the country. By 1996 the Taliban controlled most of the country, including its capital, Kabul. After taking control, the Taliban enforced its interpretation of sharia, Islamic law:

20 Banned music, tv, the &internet Men must have a long beard women can t: work outside of the home, wear loud shoes, wear nail polish, make up or perfume, go outside without male accompanying them, be treated by male doctors, go to university, attend or play sporting events, laugh. Men had to wear traditional Islamic clothing, women a burqa. Non religious books banned Taliban Laws Males and females rode on separate buses Anyone with a non-islamic name had to change it Men had to have short hair Everyone must attend a mosque 5 times a day No conversion to a religion outside of islam Non-muslims had to wear a badge to differentiate them from Muslims.

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22 The Taliban was known to support terrorism, including al Qaeda, led by Osama bin laden. After attacks on us embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. asked the Taliban to turn over bin laden, which refused, so In 2001 the u.s. invaded Afghanistan. On may 2,2011, an American navy seal team attacked bin laden s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Killing him and interring his body in an undisclosed location at sea. Since bin laden s death, al qaeda has diminished in power due to a lack of leadership, but other terrorist groups have grown in its place The U.S. plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2016.

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24 Conflict in Iraq In 1979 Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq. His regime was brutal, and he was known to discriminate against minorities, arrest, torture and murder people at will. In August of 1990, he invaded Kuwait, claiming that he wanted to help Kuwaiti revolutionaries, but later said he did so because the country was rightfully part of Iraq. His invasion concerned western countries because they feared oil prices would rise, possibly to the point where they controlled the economy. In February, 1991, a UN coalition led by the U.S. drove him out of Kuwait. This was the Gulf War

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26 After the Gulf War, Hussein was allowed to remain in power, but the some leaders in international community, among them President George W. Bush, viewed him as a tyrant and a threat to stability in the region. President Bush also became convinced that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, such as anthrax, nerve gas, and nuclear weapons, so in March of 2003, American troops invaded Iraq in what was called Operation Iraqi Freedom. No WMDs were found. In December, 2003, Hussein was captured by U.S. forces, and turned over to the Iraqi people to be tried for crimes against humanity. He was executed in December of Pres. Obama has slowly been moving troops out of Iraq.

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