• Unit 8: North Africa and Southwest Asia

    The area of North Africa and Southwest Asia is vast, but its three regions of North Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Turkestan region of Central Asia share many traits. The countries in the North African region include those bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, from Morocco to Sudan. It borders the Atlantic Ocean, the Sahara Desert, and the African Transition Zone. Egypt has territory in both Africa and Asia by way of the Sinai Peninsula. The region of Southwest Asia includes Turkey, Iran, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula. The land on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea is frequently referred to as the Levant, and is often considered to be part of the Middle East. Central Asia, also referred to as Turkestan, includes the "-stan" countries from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan. The suffix "-stan" means "land of". Afghanistan is the only country of Central Asia that was not officially a part of the former Soviet Union.

    We begin this unit by looking at the three physical and cultural traits the countries of the realm have in common: climate, natural resources, and Islam. We will also look at the availability and control of fresh water, which is one of the cornerstones of the region. We will then analyze the differences and similarities between the three most prevalent monotheistic religions in the region. Finally, we will study the at major conflicts in the region throughout history.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

    • MapCheck: North Africa and Southwest Asia

    • 8.1: Introducing North Africa and Southwest Asia

    • 8.2: Muhammad and Islam

    • 8.3: North Africa and the African Transition Zone

    • 8.4: Israel and Its Neighbors

    • 8.5: The Arabian Peninsula

    • 8.6: Iraq, Turkey, and Iran

    • 8.7: Central Asia and Afghanistan