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POLSC321: Mideast Politics

Unit 1: Geography of the Modern Middle East   In order to understand the politics of the Middle East, it is necessary that you first know the geographical relationships between and among the states of the region.  This is particular important with respect to conflicts between nations, the influence of ethnic groups across the region, and the strategic interest of foreign powers in the region.  

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 4 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.2: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 1.25 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the states and bodies of water in the Middle East. - Identify the various ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East.

1.1 Middle Eastern States   - Web Media: World Atlas’ “The Middle East” Link: World Atlas’ “The Middle East” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and review the maps of the Middle East on this webpage with attention to the names and borders of states.  Also, read the brief text on the Middle East.  Please note that this resource also covers the topic outlined in subunit 1.2.
 
You should spend approximately 1 hour studying these maps, taking notes, and identifying the names of bordering states and bodies of water in the Middle East.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above. 

1.2 Middle Eastern Bodies of Water   Note: This topic is covered by the resource assigned below subunit 1.1.  To cover this topic, review the map again and pay attention to the names and locations of the bodies of water.  You should spend approximately 30 minutes reviewing the bodies of water on the map.

1.3 Middle Eastern Ethnicities   - Reading: University of Notre Dame’s OpenCourseWare: Professor Asma Afsaruddin’s “Ethnic and Religious Diversity” Link: University of Notre Dame’s OpenCourseWare: Professor Asma Afsaruddin’s “Ethnic and Religious Diversity” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read with the intention of learning the names of the principal ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East, along with the primary characteristics that distinguish them and their primary geographical locations. 
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above.

  • Web Media: PBS’s “Global Connections: The Middle East” Link: PBS’s “Global Connections: The Middle East” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and review the data in the charts with attention to the majority ethnic group in each society and the most significant minority groups.  This resource also covers the topic outlined in subunit 1.4. 
     
    You should spend approximately 30 minutes studying and note-taking on this resource.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above.

1.4 Middle Eastern religions   Note: This topic is covered by the resource assigned below subunit 1.3.  To cover the topic of religion, review the data in the charts again and pay particular attention to the majority religion in each society and the most significant minority religions.  You should spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing this resource.

  • Assignment: About.com’s “Free Blank Outline Map of the Middle East” Link: About.com’s “Free Blank Outline Map of the Middle East” (HTML) (JPG)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above.  If possible, try to print out this blank map of the Middle East.  Then, fill in the name of each state and body of water.  For each state, name the majority religion and ethnic group, as well as any minority religion or ethnic group totaling more than 5% of the population.  Be sure to distinguish between Shia and Sunni Muslims.  If you are unable to print the map out, try to develop a system to organize how you will label each state and body of water.  After you have filled out the map, double check your answers by reviewing the map linked under subunit 1.1.
     
    You should spend approximately 1 hour completing this assignment.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.