WorldGeographyMI OPEN BOOK PROJECTBrian Dufort, Sally Erickson, Matt Hamilton,David Soderquist, Steve Zigray


The text of this book is licensed under a Creative CommonsNonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license as part ofMichigan’s participation in the national #GoOpen movement.This is version 1.4.4 of this resource, released in August 2018.Information on the latest version and updates are available on theproject homepage: on-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SAii

The Michigan Open BookProjectAbout the Authors - 6th Grade World GeographyBrian DufortShepherd Public SchoolsOdyssey MS/HSBrian is originally from Midland, MI and is a graduate of Northern Michigan University.He has spent his entire teaching career at Odyssey Middle/High School, an alternativeeducation program in the Shepherd Public School system. In 2001, his environmentalstudies class was one of seven programs from the United States and Canada to bechosen as a winner of the Sea World/Busch Gardens Environmental ExcellenceAward. Brian is also the Northern Conference director of the Michigan Alternative Ath-Project Manager: Dave Johnson,Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate SchoolDistrict6th Grade Team Editor: Amy Salani,Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate SchoolDistrict6th Grade Content Editor: Carol Egbo6th Grade World Geography AuthorsBrian Dufort, Shepherd Public SchoolsSally EricksonLivonia Public SchoolsCooper Upper ElementarySally has taught grades 3-6, as well as special education. She has served asa district literacy leader for many years and participated in the Galileo Leadership Academy in 2001-03. She is proud to be a teacher.Sally Erickson, Livonia Public SchoolsMatt Hamilton, East Jordan PublicSchoolsDavid Soderquist, Three Rivers SchoolsSteve Zigray, Concord Public SchoolsMatt HamiltonEast Jordan Public SchoolsEast Jordan Middle SchoolMatt grew up in Cadillac, MI. He holds a bachelor and masters degree from MichiganState University. He currently teaches middle school History and Geography. Mattstarted and advises a club at his school called the Shoe Club to inspire his students toDream Big. His wife and two daughters enjoy traveling and spending time in the outdoors.

David SoderquistThree Rivers Public SchoolsThree Rivers Middle SchoolFor the Past 11 years David has taught 6-8 grade Social Studies for Three RiversMiddle School. He serves as Department Head, School Improvement Member andSocial Studies Rep for his area. Over the past few years he has completed his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and become a state recognized Instructional Coach.Steve ZigrayConcord Community SchoolsConcord Middle SchoolSteve Zigray is a 6th grade teacher. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University and a Masters Degree in K-12 Administration from Eastern MichiganUniversity. Honors Steve has been awarded are the 2001 Junior Achievement Educator of the Year and he was nominated for Jackson Magazine’s, Educator of the year in2014. He has also coached high school and middle school sports, worked on variousschool improvement committees, wrote the 6th grade Common Assessment tests forJackson County ISD and is an active member in the community as well as the PTO. Helives in southeast Jackson County with his beautiful wife and three fantastic daughters.

Chapter 4North Africaand theMiddle EastQUESTIONS TO GUIDE INQUIRY1. How are we, as members of a global society,interconnected?2. Does where you live affect your viewpoint on the areaswhere others live?3. How does culture impact a person’s perspective?

Section 1Introduction and Physical GeographyQUESTIONS TO GUIDE INQUIRY1. How are we, as members of a globalsociety, interconnected?2. Does where you live affect your viewpointon the areas where others live?3. How does culture impact a person’sperspective?Image source: 0/BlankMap-World-1ce.pngOn the map above, the regions circled in green are North Africa and the MiddleEast. Using only this map, try and answer one of the questions geographersasked when studying place:Where is it located?76

This allows you to then look at what is around it, and what isconnected to it.The region of North Africa and the Middle East lies at thecontinental crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. At thisintersection of the world, all three continents meet here at theMediterranean Sea. The region extends from the eastern borderof Pakistan to the Atlantic coast of Morocco in the west. Theregion includes many diverse landscapes. It contains ruggedmountains, vast deserts, spacious plains and is surrounded bynumerous seas. In this unit, you will learn how geography impactsImage source: /8/12683649/9446804 orig.jpgthe way people live. You will also discover how culture impacts aperson’s perspective.The map above contains lines of latitude and longitude whichwere discussed in the introduction. These imaginary lines run upand down, as well as across the world to give geographers theThink about the following question:ability to assign coordinates which describe where a place is.Use the map above (Hint: You can click on it to make it bigger) totry and answer the same question you were asked before.Does where you live affect your viewpoint on theareas where others live?Where is it located?When looking at this region, there are some different viewpointson an appropriate name. The Middle East has been known byIn this chapter we’ll explore another theme of geography:many different names throughout history, all depending on theLocation. In order to study a place you have to know where it is.viewpoint of the people referring to the area. Today SouthwestAsia and Middle East are used interchangeably. With both terms77

being used to describe the same region, it can be confusing at There are a number of different ethnic groups in the area.time as to which is appropriate. Geographically, Southwest AsiaOne example are the Kurds who live in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syriacontains all of the countries of the Middle East as well as Pakistanand Turkey. The Persians are the predominant ethnic group inand Afghanistan, Using the map on the previous page, whatIran, connected by ethnic background and language.countries seem to make up the Middle East?The use of the term “the Middle East” has been criticized recentlyAs build your knowledge of North Africa and the Middle East,as a primarily Eurocentric view. Having a Eurocentric view meanskeep these questions in mind:that the worldview is centered on Western Civilization. Accordingto the Associated Press, the term “The Middle East” would referto the countries of the western part of the region and Near Eastreferred to the countries of the east, but now they areinterchangeable. With all this in mind, there are a number ofdifferent ways to refer to the region, however the current“How does where you live impact how you live?”“How does culture impact a person’s perspective?”accepted terms are Southwest Asia and the Middle East. Forsimplicity, the term “Middle East” will be used in this chapter.North Africa and The Middle East are two regions often groupedtogether because they have many things in common. The regionInteractive 4.1 World Bank- The Middle Eastis almost entirely composed of desert. In the region, Islam is thedominant religion and most people speak the Arabic language.These important factors bring the two different areas into oneregion. With all these things in common, there are manydifferences among the people. Christianity and Judaism are major religions in the area78

The region of North Africa and the Middle East is a large, diverseregion. There are many different geographic and humancharacteristics that make up the region. The varied landscape hasinfluenced the way people live their lives.North Africa and the Middle East have rich cultures and a historyreaching far into the past. As you work through this section, youwill look at the impact religion, government, and lifestyle play inhow a person’s perspective is shaped.The region of North Africa and the Middle East covers almost 6.6million square miles (17 million sq. km) in area, more than twicethe size of the continental United States. North Africa consists ofthe countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. TheMiddle East is made up of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey,Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates,Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan.The Middle East and North Africa have long been linked together.For centuries camel caravans have crossed the region takinggoods and ideas back and forth. This region became acrossroads for trade, connecting Africa, Europe, and Asia. Todaytrade still makes a lasting impact, with oil being the dominategood instead of the spices and silks of centuries ago.Image source: trade#mediaviewer/File:Caravane hoggar1.jpg79

The rich history of the people in the region extends far beyondFossil fuels are in high demand worldwide. Due to the largeeconomics. The Middle East has long been known as the "cradledemand for oil, a fossil fuel, many countries in the region haveof civilization.” This is wheregrown very rich meeting the world's growing reliance. North Africafarming began. This is wherethe first cities developed andthis region is also theInteractive 4.2 GoogleMaps - North Africa and theMiddle Eastbirthplace of three major worldand the Middle East have the largest known oil deposits in theworld. Oil is refined down and used in many different products.Gas is one product that comes from oil and is important since it isthe fuel used by most cars, trucks, planes and ships worldwide.religions.Use this link to examine thearea. Look at both the humanand physical characteristics ofthe region. What are some ofthe things you observe? Zoominto the area, to some of theUse this interactive widget to learnmore about the regions.countries. Explore some of the pictures that show up at thebottom.Economic ActivityNatural resources define the economic activity of North Africa andthe Middle East. Petroleum, or oil, is the most important resourceImage source: 0/Oil Reserves Updated.pngto the region due to the world’s demand for it and the regionhaving so much of it. Another major resource is water, which, incontrast to oil, is important due to the lack of fresh water in theregion.Describe where oil is located in North Africa and in theMiddle East.80

The lack of water limits how much agriculture areas are able tosupport. Very few areas are able to have commercial farming orlivestock. In most areas there is just enough water forsubsistence farming and nomadic herding. Small areas ofcommercial farming produce olives. Wheat and fruit can befound along the Mediterranean coast. Nomadic herders movecattle from place to place in search of both food and water tofeed their animals. Families who rely on subsistence farming livePhysical FeaturesThe Sahara desert is a combination of large sand dunes androcky terrain. As you travel the region small areas of fertile plainsexist around the few rivers and the occasional oasis, giving theregion its only sources of fresh water. The Nile, the longest river inAfrica, runs through this region, emptying into the MediterraneanSea. To the north, the Atlas Mountains stretch across the region.on small plots of land and will raise just enough food to feed theirfamily. The people of the region have spent centuries learninghow to adapt to the challenges of surviving in this dry region.North Africa is one of five subregions of Africa. The world’s largestdesert, The Sahara, is the main physical feature in the area.Image source: 959/in/photostream/Image source: ecoregion.svg81

The physical landscape of the Middle East is defined by greatTo the north, the Anatolia Plateau covers much of the ruggeddifferences. The region has some of the world’s highestlandscape of modern day Turkey.mountains to the east and the world's driest areas in the desertscovering much of the region. The region also boasts a number ofClimatebodies of water, both fresh and salt water. The Tigris andDespite the many seas and rivers in the area, North Africa and theEuphrates rivers come together in the area once known asMiddle East are regions of mostly arid and semiarid climateMesopotamia to create one of the most fertile river valleys in thezones. An area with an arid climate receives less than 10 inchesworld.Critical Thinking Skill:With a vastnetwork ofseas andWhat other regions of the world have a climate similar to North Africa andthe Middle East?Why would these other regions have a similar climate?gulfs, tinaddition toabundantnaturalresources, thisregion boastsone of theImage source: geographic.pnglargestshippingnetworks inthe world. In the south is the world’s largest peninsula, theArabian Peninsula, which covers more than a million square miles.Image source: /ClimateMapWorld.png82

of precipitation in a year. TheVegetationsemiarid zone will receive slightlyThe vegetation of the region is very limited due tomore precipitation on average perthe arid and semiarid climates. Much of the regionyear. These two zones often are theis covered by desert scrub. Desert scrub is madehottest places in the world.up of small trees and shrubs that can survive in aSummer temperatures can beregion where water is scarce. Other vegetationextreme with daytime temperatureszones exist depending mainly on the temperaturereaching above 100 F. There is veryand rainfall of an area. The river valleys arelittle vegetation or moisture in thecovered with mixed forest vegetation. In theseair to keep in heat, so temps canareas, both coniferous and deciduous trees grow.drop drastically at night.In the Nile River Valley you will find the region’sonly area of broadleaf evergreen forest. Somesmall areas of temperate grassland appear in theAlong the coastal areas, the climatecooler climate found in the highland area ofis more moderate. Much of the areaTurkey. Finally, along the coast of theenjoys a Mediterranean climate.Mediterranean Sea, you will find chaparral. ThisHere summers are warm with littlearea of small trees and bushes thrives in the warmprecipitation and winters are mildMediterranean climate.and wet. In other areas of theregion, the climate can varydrastically due to changes inelevation. Generally, in themountain areas, as the elevationgoes up the temperatures drop.Image source: e watershed topo.png83

Section 2History and ReligionQUESTIONS TO GUIDE INQUIRYNorth Africa and the Middle East is a large, diverse region. There are many1. How are we, as members of a globalsociety, interconnected?different geographic and human characteristics that make up the region. The2. Does where you live affect your viewpointon the areas where others live?As you work through this section, you will look at the impact religion, government,3. How does culture impact a person’sperspective?Interactive 4.3 The Spreadof Religionvaried landscape has influenced the way people live their lives.and lifestyle all play in how a person’s perspective is shaped.History and Religion- How does culture impact a persons perspective?The civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt had a huge impact on latercivilizations. The Middle East and North Africa is known as “the cradle ofcivilization.” This is where agriculture (farming) first began. The first citiesdeveloped here and the region is also the birthplace of three of the worlds majorreligions. Around 5,000 years ago, two civilizations developed in the region. InNorth Africa, Egypt grew along the banks of the Nile River. To the east,Mesopotamia, developed on a fertile plain located between the Tigris andEuphrates Rivers.View this animated timelinedepicting the spread of the fiveworld religions.Ancient EgyptAround 5,000 years ago, two civilizations developed in this region. In North Africa,Egypt grew along the banks of the Nile River. To the east, Mesopotamiadeveloped on a fertile plain located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.84

These civilizations had athe position people held in society. At thehuge impact on latertop were the rulers and governmentcivilizations. This is why theofficials, in the middle were business andregion has been called ‘thecraftspeople, and at the bottom were thecradle of civilization.’ This isfarmers and slaves.where agriculture, or farming,Ancient Mesopotamiawas invented and where thefirst cities developed. TheAround 4000 B.C.E., people began toregion was also thesettle and farm the area along the Tigrisbirthplace of three of theand Euphrates Rivers. This area, alsoworld’s major religions.known as the Fertile Crescent, is an archshaped area of fertile land that stretchesReligion was very importantfrom the Persian Gulf to the Mediterraneanin Egyptian society. Thesea. Very similar to Ancient Egypt, thebelief system waspeople of Mesopotamia relied on yearlypolytheistic. Polytheism isfloods to provide them with fertile soil andthe worship of or belief infresh water for irrigation. To help controlmany gods or deities. Allthe flooding, the people developed alevels of Egyptian societycomplex system of ditches, canals andwere influenced by thedams. This also provided water forbeliefs of the Egyptianpeople. Egypt was aImage source: of fertile crescent.svgirrigation of the farms.theocracy, a form ofgovernment where a religious leader or leaders rule. Egyptianrulers were called pharaohs and the Egyptians believed they wereAbout 1000 years later the small farming villages began togods as well as rulers. The rest of society was broken down intodevelop into larger cities in the area of Sumer. These large citiesmany different levels. This complex social structure was based onincluded the main city, normally surrounded by tall walls, and the85

farmland around it. As these Sumerian cities grew, eachJudaism is the oldest of thedeveloped their own form of government and came to be calledthree religions. Judaismcity-states. Each city-state also included a center area that had aoriginated in Israel fromlarge temple dedicated to the god of that city. Just like in Egypt,Israelites or Hebrews alsopeople in Mesopotamia practiced a polytheistic religion.known as Jews. Today,Israel is still the center of theJewish religion, but manyCritical Thinking:Explain how you think people in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamiafelt about the floods. Was the effect positive or negative?believers are spreadworldwide.Jewish history and religionis found in their holy book,the Torah, or Hebrew Bible.Three World ReligionsIs there a church, synagogue or a mosque in your area? Thesethree places of worship represent three of the world’s majormonotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All threereligions were “born” in the region and continue to claim portionsof this region as holy land. While you will learn more about thesereligions in later grades, a brief history is necessary to understandthis region of the world.History of ReligionJudaismImage source: Th%C3%A1i gi%C3%A1oIn the first four books of theTorah, Judaism was founded by a man named Abraham. Around1800 B.C.E God told Abraham to leave his home along theEuphrates River and move his family to the land of Israel. TheTorah states that God made a covenant or agreement withAbraham. If he moved to the land of Canaan (Israel), he and hisfamily would be blessed. The descendants of Abraham, known asIsraelites today, believed they would continue to be blessed aslong as they followed God’s laws.The Jewish people believe the most important laws were given toa prophet, or messenger of God, named Moses. According to theTorah, Moses led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. Afterescaping slavery, the Hebrew people endured the long journey86

back to the promised land. Along the way Moses received God’splaced their trust in God,laws, the most important being the Ten Commandments. Thesetheir sins would belaws were very different from others of the time because theyforgiven. Jesus’were based on how the people should worship God.followers declared heAround 1000 B.C.E. the kingdom of Israel was created in the areaInteractive 4.4 JudaismOverviewLearn a little more about Judaismthrough this YouTube video(requires internet connectivity)of present-day Israel by King David.was the son of God andsavior of all people.The capital city of Jerusalem wasMany people viewedestablished and a temple built. LaterJesus as a savior senton the kingdom split into two states-by God to save them.Israel and Judah. In the comingThe large following thatcenturies, the people of Israel wouldhe was building worriedbe conquered by outside invadersmany of the Romanand forced to leave their homeland.leaders in Israel. JesusThis scattering of the Jews is knownwas convicted of treason under Roman law and sentenced to beas the Jewish Diaspora.crucified. According to the Gospels, Jesus rose from the deadChristianityChristianity, another monotheistic religion, began about 2,000years ago with a Jew named Jesus. About 30 C.E. Jesus beganpreaching in the present day region of Israel. The life andteachings of Jesus are presented in the four Gospels, the firstfour books of the New Testament. The New Testament is part ofImage source: ySymbolWhite.PNGand appeared to his followers.Over time, Jesus’ followers spread his message all throughout theMediterranean region. Churches formed in communities large andsmall. Eventually the Gospels, accounts of Jesus’ life, and otherwritings from early Christians came together to form the ChristianBible. Christianity spread all over Europe and became thedominate religion there and eventually around the world. It ispresently the world’s largest religion with about 2 billion followers.the Bible, the Christian holy book. Jesus taught that God loved allpeople, even those who had sinned. He explained that if people87

IslamIslam is the third monotheistic religiondeveloped in the region in the 600sCE in present day Saudi Arabia.Muslims are followers of Islam.Muslims believe a man namedMuhammad was the last and greatestprophet of Islam. He followed theprophets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.Muhammad, born around 570 C.E., was a merchant living in thetrading city of Mecca. According to the Quran, the holy book ofImage source:, Muhammad was given messages about God from anFile:PikiWiki Israel 13177 Christianity and Islam.jpgangel. The angel told him that god wanted him to preach to thepeople, telling them that there is only one God, Allah. In hisHow does where you live impactmessages, Muhammad was also sent to tell people that all whomhow you live? Living in the Middlebelieved in Allah were equal in his sight.East exposes people to three of theAfter the death of Muhammad in 632 C.E., a group of religiousleaders know as caliphs ruled the Muslim community. For thenext few centuries, Islam spread into Asia, North Africa, and partsof Europe. Muslim control of trade in these areas helped theirInteractive 4.5Comparative Religionsworld’s major religions. How do youthink these religions influence the waypeople your age live in the MiddleEast?cities grow. These cities became centers for trade, learning andgovernment in the Muslim world. Muslim scholars made manyimportant contributions to math, chemistry and medicine.Complete this handout with yourknowledge from this section andany additional research you need.88

Section 3Cultures and Government - North AfricaQUESTIONS TO GUIDE INQUIRYCultures and Lifestyles1. How are we, as members of a globalsociety, interconnected?Culture is the way of life shared by a group of people. It includes their ideas,2. Does where you live affect your viewpointon the areas where others live?rules and institutions found among the people. There are a number of traits that3. How does culture impact a person’sperspective?traditions, values and beliefs. All these areas are influenced by the viewpoints,can describe a people's culture. This section will focus on six: art, language, food,government, religion, and ethnic background. Why does this matter? The region ofNorth Africa and the Middle East has servedas the crossroads for the continents of Asia,Africa, and Europe. This has resulted in aregion that has been home to many differentgroups and cultures.The people of North Africa have a long andrich past. As the birthplace of one of theworld’s earliest civilizations, Ancient Egypt,the region has a rich cultural heritage. Manyof the traditions and cultures of some of theethnic groups have changed and adaptedover time. Modernization and urbanizationhave had an impact on the way of life for thepeople of the region. Despite this, many still89Image source: cameleer with his traditionally decorated camel. Cairo, Egypt, North Africa.jpg

hold on to their traditional ways.Ethnic Backgroundseparated the area into geometric boundaries, separating theland using straight lines. These boundaries were drawn by thecolonial powers and did not take into account natural and culturalThe people of North Africa are a mix of indigenous and Arabfeatures that existed in the area. This created conflict among thecultures with a strong European influence. The main indigenousnew countries. In the mid-1900s nationalism began to take holdpeople, the Berbers, existed long before the Arab invasions. Ofand many North African countries were able to gain theirthe some 15 million Berbers who occupy the area, most or pastoral nomads. These people mostly live in the AtlasMountains and areas of the Sahara desert.The majority of people in the region are Arabs.United by language, the Arabic-speakingpeople migrated to the region from theToday many different types of governments exist. Europeancolonization still has a great impact on the governments of theregion. Stability is difficult to obtain. Civil warshave been common. Some countries arebeginning to develop democracy andArabian Peninsula in the 600s C.E.constitutional monarchies that look to createBedouin herders can still be foundsome equality and stability for the peopleraising animals in the desert where waterin North Africa.can be found to support vegetation.GovernmentEarly on, the people of North Africa were hunter-gatherers thatlived in small groups. As time passed the Egyptian civilizationdeveloped in the Nile River Valley. This civilization had atheocracy, government based in religious belief. The pharaoh wasnot only the head of government but seen as a god as well. Ascenturies passed, different groups fought for control of the region.Finally in the 1800s a period of European colonial rule tookcontrol. The European states took control of the governments and90

language still is spoken. With the continued growth of the worldLanguage, Food and ArtHow does where you live impact things like your language, foodcommunity, in many of the larger cities English is spoken.and the art or music you enjoy? In a region as culturally diverseHistory and the world community have had a strong influence onas North Africa, it has a large impact. Due to the high degree ofart and music. Much of the art that comes from the region has acultural diversity, the region’s food, language and arts havestrong mystical feel to it. Berber and Islamic culture heavilydeveloped a flavor of their own. The diet of people living in theinfluence the style of the region’s art. Traditional symbols andregion is based on staple foods that can be grown and raised insigns are used to draw connections to pre-Islamic times. Music isthe harsh desert environment. Food like seafood, goat, lamb,influenced much the same way. Many of the original peoples ofbeef, dates, almonds, olives, and other fruits and vegetablesthe area, like the Berbers, enjoy traditional music styles. Much ofmake up the staple diet of the people. Highly influenced bythe music is Muslim influenced. Today, popular music containsMuslim culture, most dishes served in the region follow Islamicaspects of these traditional roots as well as popular music thatLaw for food and meal preparation.has been imported.The history and cultureshave also had a largeInteractive 4.6 Music ofMoroccoimpact on the languagesspoken in North Africa.Today most people speakArabic. This is a result ofthe dominant influence ofthe Islamic religion on thearea and the conqueringof the area by the ArabIslamic armies in the 600sLearn more about the Music ofMorocco at this InteractiveWebsiteC.E. In some areas theImage source: /traditional BerberIlkhanateSilkCircular.jpg91

Section 4Cultures and Government - The Middle EastQUESTIONS TO GUIDE INQUIRYVery much like North Africa, the Middle East has a rich history and heritage. As the1. How are we, as members of a globalsociety, interconnected?birthplace of civilization and three major world religions, the region has had a2. Does where you live affect your viewpointon the areas where others live?number of traditional, religious and ancient influences on the cultures in the region.Modernization and urbanization have also had an impact on the way of life for thepeople of this region. Despite this, many still hold on to their traditional ways.3. How does culture impact a person’sperspective?Ethnic BackgroundAlmost 350 million people live in the Middle East today,more than the current population of the United States.There is a variety of backgrounds as a result ofmigration from neighboring a

accepted terms are Southwest Asia and the Middle East. For simplicity, the term "Middle East" will be used in this chapter. North Africa and The Middle East are two regions often grouped together because they have many things in common. The region is almost entirely composed of desert. In the region, Islam is the