Monkeys Essay, Research Paper
The Monkeys Smell Good The Middle East is a region in Southwest Asia that includes the countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, U.A.E., Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. The aspects that make up all that is geography in the Middle East include physical geography, economic geography, religion, and human history. The Middle East is known for its physical geography, being the largest area of dry climate in the world. Southwest Asia is mostly desert and steppe climate because of subtropical high pressure over the area which keeps the region dry and the air warm. Some places around the Mediterranean Sea have a Mediterranean climate. Like all desert regions, temperatures vary greatly between day and nighttime, with afternoon high reaching well over 100 degrees, then dropping up to 30 degrees at night. Rain is very rare in the desert, usually only occuring a few times a year. Surface water is virtually non-existant in the driest areas. But people are able to survive in the desert, getting water from springs and oases. Where there is no water, there are no people, and these arid regions between water sources are only visited by the occasionalt migrating herder. There are some regions in the Middle East, however, that receive some rain during the year, sometimes more than 50 inches, compared to the desert’s 4 inch average. These areas are found mostly in NE Iran and Afghanistan, though the rivers that drain these highlands provide water for the valleys beneath. Rivers that flow from a humid climate region, through the desert, to the sea are called exotic rivers. These rivers are what keep agriculture alive in the midst of such arid environments. Agriculture is a major occupation in the Middle East, despite the mostly dry climate. Fertile soil for farming is found in the river valleys, on mountain plateaus, and in some oases, where natural spring water seeps up throught the rocks, providing good farming conditions. However, some of this farmland is being destroyed. Overgrazing has led to soil erosion, and the few mt. forests have been cut down, but the countries in which this is happening are taking action to try and save what they have left. Although there is some land that ffarmers are able to grow on, the busness is mostly subsistence farming, where the farmer grows only what he needs for himself and his family. Commercial farming is found in a few places, mostly Israel, but is widespread only in Europe. In the Middle East, they grow barley and wheat, citrus fruits, olves, figs, nuts, and grapes. Livestock is also kept on these farms. On these private desert farms, the practice of irrigation was first developed centuries ago. What does one think of when the Middle East? The popular answer is “oil.” Oil is the region’s richest mineral resource, and is found mainly along the shores of the Persian Gulf, and in Iraq. Since a lot of the world’s oil comes from this region, those countries with abundant oil supplies joined together to create the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to better control the world oil prices. But even with the great oil economy in other countries, Israel is the only developed country in the Middle East because of te lack of other resources in the area. The historical geography of the Middle East is great, and here, in the wetter river valleys of the region, called the Fertile Crescent, the world’s first civilzations arose in the area once known as Mesopatamia. The region has been known for many great contributions to the modern world, including the domestication of many common farm animals of today, writing, developed by ancient Sumerians, iron weapons from the Hittites, the first trading networks were formed by Phoenician merchants along the Med. shore. Control of the region has varied as well, going from one empire to another through the years after 600 B.C. By A.D. 800, the area was mostly under Muslim rule, but soon divided into many small empires. The Ottoman Empire was formed by a Turkish guy named Osman in 1300, and Southwest Asia was included after 1453, when Constantinople was captured. Today, most of the countries have broken off independantly. Religion has a lot to do with the division.
Southwest Asia is known as the birthplace of three of the world’s major religions. A guy in Palestine name Abraham founded Judaism, the first religion centered around monotheism, the belief of only one god. The holy book of the Jews is called the Torah, and the one god is God. Then one day, this Jew named Jesus Christ deciedes that he wants to be special and make his own religion. Christianity branched off from Judaism and developed from the techings of Christ. Man, at least Abraham was original. He wasn’t so egotistical that he had to name his religion after himself. The holy book of Christians is known as the Bible, and their god is recognized as a trinity of Jesus, God, and some Holy Spirit. Then there was another creative guy in the Middle East named Muhammud. He developed the religion of Islam around the holy book of Qur’an and Allah, his god. Islam has branched into two mjor sects, the Sunni and the Shi’a. The Sunni follow the original teachings of the Qur’an and personal prayer, while the Shi’a follow imams, who are religious as well as political leaders. Sunni is the major branch, with 90% of all Islam followers, known as Muslim. However, with different religions and different people populating the region, many conflicts have arisen throughout history. The Arab people dominate most of the region, excluding Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan. Today, most Arabs are Muslim, and non-Arab cultures in Turkey and Iran also practice Islam. Israel is know to be occupied primarily by Jews. Many Jews each engage in the idea known as zionism, and take a trip, if not move, to the Jewish homeland in Israel. The conflicts today have arisen in that area with the Jews arguing that ancient Palestine belonged to the Hebrews and therefore should belong to them. After World War 1, Palestine was ruled as a British mandate by Great Britain. That ended in 1947. Palestine was then divided into halves, with half going to the Arab Palestinians, and the other half was given to the Jews, who believe that they should have control over all of it. In 1948, Palestine was declared the Jewish State of Israel by the U.N. There are conflicts in other areas of the Middle East, though. Non-Arabic Muslims known as kurds are scattered throughout the mountains of Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Syria, and Turkey. They don’t have an independent country to call their own.