cultural Characteristics of North Africa and the Middle East

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cultural Characteristics of North Africa and the Middle East

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cultural Characteristics of North Africa and the Middle East

Francisci WG.4


Palestine and Israel

Modern Day Israel

Before 1948, this land was known as Palestine.

After intense feelings of

nationalism, the Jewish people in

Palestine created the country of Israel in 1948.The areas known as

West Bank and the Gaza Strip are where most of the Arab Palestinians live today (



The area known as Golan Heights is a disputed area between







Religion is a divisive force in the Middle East.

The Middle East is the birthplace of 3 monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.Jews,

Christians and Muslims all claim the city of Jerusalem as a religious heritage site.



Many people in the Middle East are moving to urban areas (cities) thus resulting in rapid industrialization.The way of life differs greatly in urban areas as opposed to rural areas.

Modernization is centered in urban areas while traditional

life continues in rural areas.Many people in rural areas are living as nomads

– individuals who move from place to place with herds of animals.



The population is made up of a large percentage of people 15 years or younger.

The population pyramid has a wide base and is shaped like a triangle or pyramid

.Because of the dry climate and the

physical features of the land, the population is not distributed evenly.


Population Distribution of Middle East


Boundary and Territorial Disputes

Western Sahara and Morocco (over resources).Iraq and Kuwait (over oil

).Israel and Syria (for Golan Heights).Turks and the Greeks on the island of

Cyprus (ethnic differences).



Area that includes parts of Iran, Iraq and Turkey, Syria and the former Soviet Union.The Kurds, an ethnic group, lives in this

region.The Kurds have strong feelings of nationalism and want their own



Arab vs. Non-Arab Countries

The main ethnic group in the Middle East is Arab.


language spoken by the Arabs is

Arabic.Non-Arab countries in the Middle East include Turkey,

Iran and Israel.


Political Organizations

The League of Arab States: Political organization of over 20 Arab nations.Designed to strengthen ties among the members,

coordinate policies, and promote

common interests.



The art of the region reflects the diversity of religions.

Stained glass

Geometric tilesCalligraphyMosaicsPrayer



Architectural Structures

Religious buildings:Mosques (Islam)Churches

(Christianity)Synagogues (Judaism)


Architectural Structures


Yurts: a circular

tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads.


Architectural Structures

Statues and monuments of the region include:Kaaba (Mecca) – IslamWestern Wall

(Jerusalem) – IslamDome of the Rock (Jerusalem) – IslamChurch of the Holy

Sepulcher (Jerusalem) – Christianity Pyramids – Egypt


Architectural Structures

Mosques and

minarets: a tall slender tower attached to a mosque

.Hagias Sophia: Museum in Istanbul, Turkey – a church then a mosque.

Bazaars and suqs: an outdoor

market in an Arab city.Walled CitiesOil


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