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Introduction to the Regions of Asia & the Middle East
Regions of Asia
 Middle East
 Turkey / Lebanon / Israel / Jordan / Afghanistan / Iran / Iraq / Syria / Saudia
Arabia / Kuwait / Yemen / Oman / Qatar / UAE (United Arab Emirates) / Bahrain
 South Asia
 India / Pakistan / Nepal / Bhutan / Bangladesh / Sri Lanka / The Maldives
 East Asia
 China / Taiwan / North Korea / South Korea / Japan
 North Asia – Russia
 Central Asia – The “-Istans”
 South Eastern Asia – Vietnam / Laos / Kampuchea / Thailand /
Myanmar / Indonesia / Malaysia / Philippines
The Middle East
Major Landforms : Mountains
Mountains block rainfall & provide natural barriers
for protection from attack.
Mountains in the Middle East located in the North
(Turkey) and North East (Iran / Afghanistan)
Major Mt. Ranges:
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Taurus (Turkey)
Mt. Ararat (North Eastern Turkey)
Zagros (Iran, Iraq)
Elbuzr (Iran)
Asir (Saudi Arabia)
Major Landforms : Seas
Seas - Provide trade routes to exchange products and
ideas throughout Mid East
(Note: A Sea is SALT water…)
Major Seas:
- Mediterranean (West)
- Black & Caspian (North)
- Arabian Sea (South)
- Red Sea (South West)
- Dead Sea (West)
Major Landforms: Rivers
River - fresh water source
provide trade routes / fertile soil / irrigation
Flooding of rivers = chronic problem
Major rivers:
- Nile (Egypt) - Runs South to North
- Tigris (Fertile Crescent)
- Euphrates (Fertile Crescent)
Major Landforms : Deserts
Deserts - Dry / Barren area of land without water or
vegetation
Major Deserts:
- Rub al Khali - (empty quarter)
Southern S.A. Peninsula
- Arabian Desert -Arabian Peninsula
- Sahara - Worlds largest Desert
Northern Africa
Strategic Location
 Commands major trade routes over land & seas
- Trade Promotes the flow of wealth / knowledge / ideas
- Rich Cities & Economic Advantages
 Makes the Middle East susceptible to attack
The Importance of Water
 Water is scarce in the Middle East
 Majority of population lives near oasis / along rivers / near the
coast
 Settlements are scattered - lead to the development of many
separate nations
The Middle East: Cross Road of Peoples
 Diversity
 Connects 3 Continents  Asia / Africa / Europe
 15 Countries
 350 Million People
 Meeting ground for many cultures
 7 Major Languages
- Turkish
- Hebrew
- Arabic
- Greek
 3 Major Religions
- Judaism
- Christianity
- Islam
- Kurdish
- Armenian
- Persian
Lifestyles
 Bedouins = nomadic herders & farmers
 Tribal society
 Family is everything
 Protection
 Access to water
 Modern Bedouin
 Only 3% of the population
 New political boundaries have limited wandering
 Most jobs in cities / oil fields / army
 Even so…cultural connection to family / tribe is still
strong
Living in the desert…
 Today modern cities can survive in the desert…if there
is money to import the water (i.e. Kuwait)
 Older cities built to fit the environment…
 Protect against invasion and the sun
 Narrow streets / thick walls / inner open courtyards /
awnings along streets to provide shade