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11 Middle East at the Crossroads Again

Unit Overview
Student Contribution #1
The Middle Eastern countries had many conflict due to their geography and all their different religious cultural. Back in the 1500’s there were 3 main empires; The Ottomans Empire, their Safavids Empire, and the Mughals Empire. Out of these empires the Ottoman empire was the biggest empire compare to the 3, with the Mughal’s empire being the smallest. These three empires had their own practices and occupy their own space. The Ottoman Empire was a very large empire and interacts with many other cultures, therefore, they let their own people to practice their own beliefs. All the asked for was for their people to not revolt, and to just be stable. The Safavid empire wanted people in their occupy spaces to become fully understand their religion because they did not want to interfere with other European countries. The Mughal empire being the smallest empire decided to assimilate the Muslim and the Hindu cultural together. 

There were many conflicts in the Middle Eastern because everyone wanted part of it due to their high oil produced. Everyone wanted to be able to buy their oil or to be able to take over that country with high oil producing area. Some areas with major oil producing are Iraq, Kuwait, Iran etc.  around that area. The Persian Gulf, being right in the middle of those three country, is also a major oil producing area. The US aircraft airline surveillance that area often because all the country wants to claim the enormous oil preserve is there’s. 

In the 1900’s Israel was created. They faced a lot of conflict because they were surrounded by mostly Arabs. Not only that, the country was extremely small, only 6 miles wide. Israel was created because the United Nations felt like there should be a land for the Jews. However, some countries, decided to take over spaces surrounded by Israel, and that is why it is so small. Egypt and Syria, ended up declaring war on Israel, however, Israel fought a great fight. They would eventually expand overtime. They could control the Sinai Peninsulas, the Gaza Strip and the Golan heights, which were mountainous, which gave the Israelis an advantage. After realizing that Israel could survive by themselves, the United Nations. ended up helping them. 

Key Vocabulary Terms

Set #1:
  • Al-Queda: A terrorist group consisted of Sunni Muslim created by Osama bin Laden in 1988 to get rid of the Western influences in the Muslim countries; the Al-Qaeda was based in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and now it is in Afghanistan. This organization attacked the Twin Towers in New York (the 9/11 event). The group is still active today after Bin Laden’s death.
  • Zionists: A person (group of people) who is dedicated to the Jews of having their own homeland in Palestine. The term also relates to the ideology of Zionism (the support of the Jews’ re-establishment homeland) and the Zionist movement. The founder of the movement is Theodor Herzl. Zionists are a target for those that are engage in a violent jihad, not approved by Islam, due to their beliefs.  
  • Muslim Brotherhood: n March 1928, Hassan al-Banna founded this religious and political Islamic organization in Egypt. The organization believes in not using violence, similarly to Gandhi, to pursue their goals. The creation of this organization is to dominate the world, making everyone follow the Islam’s way of life. The Muslim Brotherhood is spread across the world to parts of the US, North/East Africa, Sudan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. 
  • Suez Canal: The Suez Canal is a waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea with no locks in Egypt. The canal was open in November 1869. This canal had Great Britain invading Egypt to occupy the country, but only lead to Great Britain having the rights to protect the canal. The canal also had to shut down because of the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973); it was reopened in 1975. 

  • Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO):  The leader of the PLO, formed in 1964 in Egypt, is Yasser Arafat. This organization is use to target against the Israeli civilians. There are 6 Palestinian groups in this organization, with one dominating group, the Fatah (belonging to Yasser Arafat). The goal was to regain the land that the United Nations gave to Israel. The PLO is a paramilitary group that still exists.

  • Yom Kippur War:  The war started in October 1973 on the holiday for the Jews, Yom Kippur, between the Arab and Israeli. This war took place in the territories that Israel occupied: Sinai and Golan Heights. The Israelis won this war but was left with many casualties. This war occurred because the president of Egypt Anwar el-Sadat wanted to regain back Sinai that was lost to Israel in the Six Day War (1967) and wanted to come to peace.

  • Jihad:  In media, it is translated “holy war” but in linguistic term, it is the struggle or striving of oneself, where it relates to a person’s efforts in being a good Muslim and spreading the Islamic faith; it is not a concept of war or violence. There are two kinds of jihad: the outer and inner jihad. The outer jihad had to do with defensing and the inner has to do with self-improvement on becoming a better Muslim.

  • Dome of the Rock:   A worship building built by the Muslims in the capital city of Jerusalem. Due to an earthquake in July 1927, the building had to go through renovations; the Arab and Turkey governments provided funds for the Jordan government in order to repair the building. It is one of the oldest Islam’s structures and it is located on the dome of Mount Moriah.
Set #2:
  • Pan-Arabism: A united group among Arab nations in the Middle East. They believe they should be politically united in one Arab State. This idea was created in the early twentieth century after alienation from the Ottoman rule. It’s related to Arab nationalism, the principle of political alliance between all Arab states. 
  • United Arab Republic:  A former union between Egypt and Syria. It was formed in 1958 but only lasted until 1961. Their union was based off of Arab nationalism and Pan-Arabism. They merged together into a single group and took over land in southern Egypt and Northern Syria. 

  • Anwar Sadat:  the Third president of Egypt. He served from October 15th 1970 until October 6th 1981. He was assassinated by a fundamentalist army officer. During his presidency he made serious peace negotiations with Israel and received the Nobel Prize for doing so. 

  • Camp David Agreement:  Was formed in 1978. It was signed by Israel and Egypt. Anwar (president of Egypt), Menachem Begin (prime minister of Israel), and Jimmy Carter (U.S president) were gathered at Camp David to sign this historical agreement. A peace treaty issued at Camp David from talks with Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Egyptian president Sadat, and host U.S president Carter.
  • Intifada  An uprising of Palestinians against the Israeli takeover of the West Bank and Gaza strip. This lasted from 1987 until 1993 and again in 2000 to 2003. They failed to achieve their goal of independence in the first two uprisings. Arabic word that literally means “tremor”. It was a Palestinian uprising in 1987 against the Israeli occupation in the Gaza strip and West Bank.

  • The Hajj: An annual Islamic religious journey to Mecca which is the most holy city of the Muslims. It is a required duty for Muslims to complete it once in their lifetime. It is performed between the 8th and the 13th of the last month in the Islamic Calendar. 

  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC): is a permanent intergovernmental organization. It was created at the Baghdad Conference that was held on September 10th to the 14th of 1960. Five countries were in agreement; Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. The goal of this organization was to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among the member countries; they wanted to secure fair and stable prices for their petroleum producers. 

  • Sunni and Shi'ite:  The split in Islam that separates two groups of people; the Sunnis and the Shiites. The separation of the two people can go all the way back to the 7th century. After Mohammed’s Death there was a man who took over and some believed he was not entitled to that position while others did. This split the community into two groups. The Shi’ites favored Ali and wanted him to be the Caliph, Muhammad’s cousin and son in law. Ali and his successors are called imams and are considered Muhammad’s descendants. The Sunnis Abu Bakr, the prophet’s adviser, to lead the Muslim state. 

Potential Essay Questions
Essay Question #1. What political and economic problems have Middle Eastern nations faced since 1900 and how have they attempted to solve these problems? 
In addition to the lecture notes and videos played ruing class, relevant assigned readings include the handout preparing for the history simulation, Al-Qaradhawi's "Leading Sunni scholar supports suicide bombings in Palestine..."; Huckerry's "When women become terrorists"; Powell's "U.S. role in Arab-Israeli conflict"

Student Contribution #1

I. Introduction
Introduce topics from the body paragraphs 

II. Body 1 - Political Problems
Reemerging governments from past colonial control (the battle between the Soviets and the US)
The Arab-Israeli conflict (wars between them and who supports either side)

III. Body 2 - Economic Problems
Control over oil-rich land (who has control, who supports them, how is control being fought over)
Trade and agreements with other countries 
Outside countries ways of supporting the country with the oil reserves

IV. Body 3 - Solutions
Wars and conflicts before they can come to a solution (support from outside countries like the US and Soviet Russia) 
Splitting up the country (UN’s attempt to keep peace, backfire)
Agreements (Israeli removal from land that they took over n exchange for the Arabs to stop attacking)

V. Conclusion
Revisit introduction and body paragraphs main points 

Student Contribution #2

1.     Politics

a.     Israel created from land in Palestine by the UN in 1948

                                               i.     Supported by USA for economic reasons such as oil

                                             ii.     Jews and Arabs lived in same region

                                            iii.     Caused neighbors to be angry- caused war

b.     Nasser is the president of Egypt

                                               i.     1956 Suez Canal is nationalized to charge tolls

1.     Previously owned by British and French

2.     Cheapest way to transport goods

                                             ii.     Attempts to unite more countries with Egypt, Syria, and the United Arab Republic (UAR) to add to the UAR but failed

                                            iii.     Wanted to redistribute the wealth of oil rich countries to other Arab countries

                                            iv.     Supported Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to take back Palestine from Israel in 1964

1.     Supported by Arab countries

2.     1966 armed attacks started against Israel

a.     Jihad (slide 27) “holy war” Islamic people do the will of god

                                                                                                     i.     All Islamic people should resist against foreign infidels

1.     Men

2.     Women (Huckerry article)

3.     Children

4.     Slaves

2.     Economy

a.      Oil contributed to political influence and control

b.     Nationalizing the Suez Canal (1957) blocked trade for countries costing them more money

                                               i.     Nasser hoped countries would pay tolls to use the canal

                                             ii.     Israel and UN invade to reopen canal later in the year

                                            iii.     Egypt closes it again during 6-day war-1967

                                            iv.     Opened in 1975 for commercial- stayed open

3.     To solve the problems    

a.     Power, 2001, U.S. Role in Arab-Israeli Conflict (From PP notes)

                                               i.     Palestinians must be punished for violence

                                             ii.     Palestine and Israel must negotiate

                                            iii.     Israel must stop settlement activity

Essay Question #2. How have outside countries and history forces impacted events in the Middle East and contributed to the challenges and conflict? 
In addition to the lecture notes and videos played during class, relevant assigned readings include the handout preparing for the history simulation and Powell's "U.S. role in Arab-Israeli conflict"

Student Contribution #1
1). Introduction
A). Talk about countries that are involved with the Middle East and why
I). Israel Jews and Palestinians Arabs - both have conflict because of land in the
Middle East
II). United Nations - wanted to keep peace and protect the Arabs
B). Tell what history forces have impacted events in the Middle East
I). Politics and government
II). Economics
III). Religion and philosophy
C). Discuss about what the conflict and challenges that the Middle East had went through
I). Lands
II). Distribution of people
III). U.N.
2). Politics and government
A). Create a constitution that will both protect the Jews and Arabs
B). Smaller political parties
C). Political system for each religion groups - Jews, Muslims, Christians
3). Economics
A). Jobs needed for Palestinian
B). Availability jobs in agriculture, business, and industry in Israel
C). Checkpoint for safety and security for Israel
D). Exporting oils
4). Religion and philosophy
A). Jewish temple destroyed in Jerusalem
B). Effect of rebuilding Jewish temple in Jerusalem
C). Christians
5). Conclusion
A). Restate your introduction and summarize the body paragraphs

Student Contribution #2

Economic interests
Accessing Middle Eastern oil
o Backbone of strong western economies
o Very important in imperial and superpowers (France, Britain, US, former Soviet Union)

Earth and the Environment
Large oil producing areas are not very spread out
Large amounts of oil in Persian Gulf; Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq all claiming the same oil
Conflicts over who gets oil

Outside countries
How the US recognized Israel
o During Arab Israeli conflict US Gave Israel lots of aid which made Arab countries upset
o US always wants to help countries that want to be democratic, or that are democratic
United Sates creates counterbalance
o Patrols the oil exchange in the Persian Gulf throughout aircraft
o Very dangerous for US, could easily be shot down and it would be hard to blame a country because you cant prove where the missiles came from
Soviet Union
o 1972 war nearly led to conflict between US and Soviet union
o Soviet Union giving weapons to Israel

Historic relationship of Jews and Arabs
o Christians, Jews, and Arabs all feel a special connection to Palestine
o Been the source of constant conflict

Student Contribution #3

Economic interests

·      Accessing Middle Eastern oil

o   Backbone of strong western economies

o   Very important in imperial and superpowers (France, Britain, US, former Soviet Union)


Earth and the Environment

·      Large oil producing areas are not very spread out

·      Large amounts of oil in Persian Gulf; Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq all claiming the same oil

·      Conflicts over who gets oil


Outside countries

·      How the US recognized Israel

o   During Arab Israeli conflict US Gave Israel lots of aid which made Arab countries upset

o   US always wants to help countries that want to be democratic, or that are democratic

·      United Sates creates counterbalance

o   Patrols the oil exchange in the Persian Gulf throughout aircraft

o   Very dangerous for US, could easily be shot down and it would be hard to blame a country because you cant prove where the missiles came from

·      Soviet Union

o   1972 war nearly led to conflict between US and Soviet union

o   Soviet Union giving weapons to Israel



·      Historic relationship of Jews and Arabs

o   Christians, Jews, and Arabs all feel a special connection to Palestine

o   Been the source of constant conflict