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CHAPTER 4

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World Geography Today
Chapter 19
The Persian Gulf and Interior
Preview
Section 1: Natural Environments
Section 2: History and Culture
Section 3: The Region Today
Chapter Wrap-Up
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Read to Discover
• What landforms and rivers can be found in the
Persian Gulf area and the interior of Southwest
Asia?
• How does the region’s physical geography affect
its climates and biomes?
• What natural resources does the region have?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Landforms and Rivers
• Arabian Peninsula—Mountains in the west and dry
plains stretching to the Persian Gulf in the east
• Iraq—Wide plain of Mesopotamia, with two great
rivers, Tigris and Euphrates
• Iran—Zagros, Elburz, and Kopet-Dag Mountains,
along with high plateaus
• Afghanistan—Hindu Kush mountain range
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Question
What factors influence the climate of
Southwest Asia?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Factors Influencing
Southwest Asia’s Climate
High
Pressure
Orographic
Effect
• Dry climates
• Humid near
coast
• Lack of water
• Clear skies
• Plants adapted
to dry conditions
• Humidity at
mountain peaks
• Rainfall on
mountains
• Trees in
mountain regions
Winds
Elevation
• Westerlies bring
winter rains
• Cyclonic storms
• Southerly winds
blow over water,
drop rain on
Elburz Mountains
• Cooler
temperatures
in highlands
• Resorts in
mountains
• Skiing in Iran
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Natural Resources
• Water, a Scarce Resource
• Tigris and Euphrates are critical to Iraq.
• Farmers in northern Iran depend on rain; others rely on
irrigation.
• Desert areas may have oases and wells.
• Desalinization of seawater is possible for wealthy
countries.
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 1: Natural Environments
Natural Resources (continued)
• Oil, Plentiful and Valuable
• Persian Gulf reserves are the world’s largest.
• Iraq, Oman, and Yemen also have deposits.
• Only Iran has substantial metallic ores.
• There are few other resources in the region for
developing industry.
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
Read to Discover
• How have peoples, empires, and Islam
affected the history of the Persian Gulf area
and interior Southwest Asia?
• What are the major features of the region’s
cultures?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
Question
How have various peoples and empires
affected the history and culture of countries
in Southwest Asia?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
Various peoples and empires have shaped history.
• Sumerians built the first civilization and cities in the
Fertile Crescent.
• Akkadians created the first real empire in the area,
around 2350 B.C.
• Persians established a powerful empire around
550 B.C.
• Greeks and Romans later controlled the region.
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
• The rise of Islam had a major impact, beginning in
the late A.D. 500s. Muhammad was born in Mecca,
and established his Muslim community centered at
Medina.
• Mongols arrived in the 1200s.
• Safavid Persians built a flourishing empire in the
1500s.
• Ottoman Turks also ruled the region in the 1500s.
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
Arabs
Persians
• Largest ethnic group
in entire region
• Arabic language
dominant
• Muslim
• Farsi language
• Dominant in Iranian
society, hold most
important positions
Cultures of
Southwest
Asia
Kurds
• Muslim
• In Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Turkey
• Desire self-rule
• Language like Farsi
Pashtun
• Largest ethnic group
in Afghanistan
• Speak Pashtu
language
• Several small tribes
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 2: History and Culture
Cultural Features
• Islam is the unifying element.
• Arabs are the major group in the region; Arabic is the main
language.
• Kurds live in borderlands of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
• Cultural diversity is more complex in Iran and Afghanistan.
• Most Iranians are Persians; other Farsi-related groups include
Baloch, Bakhtiari, and Hazara. Turkic languages are spoken by
the Turkmen, Azeri, and Qashqai.
• Pashtun are the largest group in Afghanistan.
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 3: The Region Today
Read to Discover
• On what activities do the region’s economies
depend?
• What are the region’s cities like?
• What are some important issues in the region
today?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 3: The Region Today
Question
What activities drive the
economy of the region?
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 3: The Region Today
Oil
Production
Agriculture
• 8.25 million • Mostly
subsistence
barrels a
• Barley,
day from
wheat
Saudi
Arabia
• Livestock—
sheep,
• Economies
goats, cattle
modernized • Farms in
by oil
river valleys
wealth
• Commercial
farming
• Oil-related
manufactur- near cities
• Import food
ing
Nomadic
Herding
Traditional
Crafts
• Tend herds
of camels,
goats, and
sheep
• Wool rugs
• Make
handicrafts
• Increased
settling in
towns due
to lack of
grazing land
• Use local
materials
and
traditional
designs
Manufacturing
• Building
materials
• Food
products
• Oil refining,
chemical
manufacturing
• Household
supplies
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 3: The Region Today
Urban Environments
• Largest cities are the national capitals
• Ancient cities
• Old sections—Buildings one or two stories tall,
twisting streets, bazaars, mosques
• Newer sections—Modern buildings, wide
avenues, traffic, high-rise apartments, fast-food
outlets
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Section 3: The Region Today
Important Issues
• Oil wealth—Can influence oil prices and affect
economies world-wide, protect tradition, support
governments, build military
• Power and authority—Democracy versus control
by a few
• Role of Islam—Maintenance of Islamic traditions
and laws
World Geography Today
Chapter 19
Chapter Wrap-Up Understanding the Main Ideas
1.
In what ways has the plant life of the region adapted to
the conditions there?
2.
Why has Mesopotamia been such an attractive target
for invasion throughout history?
3.
What is the major language spoken in Iran? In Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia?
4.
What changes are taking place in the traditional rural
economy and culture of the region?
5.
What are two important factors accounting for Saudi
Arabia’s influence in world affairs today?
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