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Location:
Southwest Asia
At the
Crossroads of 3
Continents
Much of the region is desert
Ex. Sahara (Hot & Lacks Water)
•Greatest population
around coast & rivers
•Mediterranean Sea,
Red Sea,Persian Gulf
•Nile River, Tigris-Euphrates
Provides half the worlds oil (OPEC)
 Switch from hunting
and gathering to
farming and permanent
settlement
Civilizations grew near
sources of water
Ex. Early
River Valley
Civilizations
Located around
Fertile Crescent
Mesopotamia
“Land between 2
rivers”
Phoenicians,
Sumerians,Egyptians,
Babylonians,Persians,
Hebrews
 Law: Hammurabi’s Code
 Writing Systems:
Cuneiform (Sumerians)
• Hieroglyphics (Egyptians)
• Phonetics (Phoenicians)
 Architecture:
• Pyramids-Egypt
• Ziggurat-Sumerians
• Hanging Gardens- Babylon
The Wheel, Calendar, etc.
•
Egyptians- Polytheistic
Judaism
Christianity
Eastern Orthodox
Islam
War in Afghanistan
Civil War in Lebanon
Iran Iraq War
Persian Gulf War
Arab-Israeli Conflict
Brutal Civil War between
Muslims & Christians
Palestinian refugees & PLO
leaders settle in Lebanon
Muslims gain majority over
Christians
Israel & Syria both enter
conflict
Uneasy truce in 1992
Belief that Muslims should strictly
follow Islamic law & resist Western
influences
Ex. Iranian Revolution, Afghanistan
Modernization vs.
Traditionalism
Pro-Western Shah overthrown
Ayatollah Khomeini
establishes a religious state
based on Islamic law
Ex. limited woman rights
Seizes U.S.
Embassy/Hostage Crisis
Muslim rebels overthrow
Soviet puppet government
Taliban set up extremist
Islamic State
Men cannot cut beards,
Women must be
covered,cannot attend
school
Taliban ousted by U.S.
forces following 9/11
Border dispute explodes into full scale
war
•Ayatollah Khomeini
vs. Saddam Hussein
•Ravages both
nations economies
Iraq demands financial
aid from Kuwait
Cause of the Persian Gulf War 1990
Iraq invades & annexes Kuwait
Operation Desert Shield
US led coalition defends
Saudi Arabia from Iraq
Operation desert Storm
Coalition destroys Iraqi
forces & liberates Kuwait
UN levies sanctions
against Iraq
Jewish sovereignty in
Palestine goes back 3000
years until they were driven
out in 135 A.D.
Diaspora-dispersal of
Jews from Palestine
 Arab Sovereignty dates
th
back to the 7 century
Both groups stake
claim to the region
Zionism- movement
to establish a Jewish
homeland in
Palestine(1890’s)
Balfour Declarationstatement that British
made supporting a
Jewish homeland in
Palestine (WWI)
Nazi persecution of
the Jews sparks
movement to
Israel(WWII)
1947- UN partitions
Palestine into a Palestinian
& Jewish state
Palestinians rejected
partition
•1948 David Ben Gurion
announced creation of the
state of Israel
Arabs react by waging
war in 1956,1967, 1973
Defeated each time
1948- War for
Independence
1956- Suez Crisis
1967- Six Day War
1973 Yom Kippur
War
1978 Camp David AccordsBrokered by President Carter
Peace Treaty between Israel
(Menachem Begin) & Egypt
(Anwar Sadat)
Israel returns Sinai
Peninsula
Sadat is eventually
assassinated
The Oslo Accords
Portions of the West
Bank & Gaza were to
be governed by a
Palestinian authority
led by Yasir Arafat
Attempts at peace
today have been
hindered by terrorist
attacks
Palestinian Liberation
Organization
Led by Yasir Arafat
1970’s & 1980’s PLO
militants began a terror
campaign against Israel
Intifada- Militant uprising
inside Israel
Terror attacks, boycotts,
demonstrations continue
today
•Militant group
such as Hamas,
Hezbollah,
Jihad,& Al Qaeda
commit acts of
terrorism among
Israel and its
supporters
Kemal Ataturk (1923)
Father of the Turks
•Modernizes/Westernizes
Turkey
•Democracy
•Secularization-Legal
System based on European
rather than Islamic Law
1967: Six Day War- Israel occupied
Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the West
Bank
1973: Egypt attacked Israel’s
occupation of troops in the Sinai
Peninsula, Syria attacked in Golan
Heights
1978: Camp David Accords-Israel’s
Begin, Egyptian’s Sadat and U.S.’s
Carter Egypt recognized Israel
1993: Israel and PLO self government
for West Bank Palestinians