Awhile ago in Social Studies, we had a project where we had to write a book about the Middle East. When I got the project, I was thinking it was going to be just like a multi-page essay or something like that, but when I learned we were going to write the pages for a book and then it was going to be turned into a hardcover actual book, I was shocked. The book we had to write about had to have certain topics about the Middle East like water, oil, Persian Gulf War, etc. We also had to choose a certain format like a letter to the editor, top ten list, magazine article, or that sorta thing for each page. Here is what my book looks like (when it’s not in a book).
P.S. The pictures for the book are included in the gallery on the bottom of the article.
Water scarcity is a big problem in the Middle East. There is very little rainfall, there is a dry climate, and it is overused for agriculture . Some countries like Turkey and Iraq are lucky because they have two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, to use for their needs. But other countries like Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Syria have a small river to share or no river at all. Since those countries are working with oil, a spill could pollute the water. Pesticides used in farming leak in the run off and pollute the rivers as well. Not only is the water amount getting smaller every year, but the population is at about 400 million and growing ever so fast, so there will be less water to go around.
There are also some solutions to the problem like conservation, water treatment, or desalination, but most of those are expensive and people don’t like the idea of having used water.
Top Ten Countries in the Middle East with the Highest Population
1. Egypt : 84,605,000
2. Iran : 76,789,000
3. Turkey :76,081,000
4. Iraq : 35,404,000
5. Saudi Arabia : 30,193,000
6. Yemen : 25,252,000
7. Syria : 22,169,000
8.United Arab Emirates : 8,659,000
9. Israel : 8,047,000
10. Jordan : 6,517,000
Oil and OPEC
I have recently noticed that in your latest edition of your Middle East newspaper you failed to mention about oil and OPEC. I have collected some information for you to use in your next edition.
Oil is a common natural resource in the Middle East and is found mostly around the Persian Gulf in countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iran. The oil found in these countries has made them more developed. Since oil is a resource needed all around the world, they can sell their oil and make money to help improve their health care, education, or infrastructure.
OPEC, or the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was made to regulate the amount of oil produced and the price it is sold at. Most of the countries around the Persian Gulf, like the ones mentioned before, are involved in OPEC.
The Three Religions of the Middle East
Written By: Nicholas Kreitz
The Middle East is made up of lots of religions, but there are three main religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Judaism is based on the belief in one god, not many. God spoke to Abraham and promised him Canaan, the “promised land”, if he told the people to worship only God, whom they call Yahweh. Abraham left this land to his second son, Isaac. Judaism’s holy city is Jerusalem and holy book is the Torah, part of the Old Testament. They pray in synagogues.
Islam is also based on the belief in one god. They call the god of Abraham the name Allah. People who practice Islam are called Muslims, and they believe that Allah chose Muhammad as his prophet. Islam’s holy city is Jerusalem and their holy book is called the Quran. They worships in mosques and they pray five times a day.
Christianity is also based on the belief in one god. Christians believe that Jesus, the son of God, lived on Earth, was crucified and then rose from the dead. Christianity’s holy city is also Jerusalem and their holy book is called the Bible, and includes both the Old Testament and the New Testament. They worship in churches.
These religions have many things in common, like the belief in one god and their holy city, but they also have differences. For example, where they worship, how they worship, the holidays they celebrate, their holy books, and their prophets.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Nick: Hello and welcome to Point-of-View News! Today I will be discussing the Arab-Israeli Conflict with my friends, Charles from Israel and Amir from Jordan. So, Charles, it says you are an expert on Israeli history. Tell me why exactly Israel was established.
Charles: Well Nick, there were a few reasons Israel was established. One of them is that in the Jewish religion, Abraham promised his land to his son, Isaac, and the Jews thought the land was rightfully theirs, but the Muslims begged to differ. A group of Jews then started the Zionist Movement which was basically a reverse colonization of the Jews and that they should all move back to the “Holy Land”. Then the Holocaust happened and most of the world felt sympathy for the Jews and wanted to give them a homeland. The British had a mandate on the land the Jews wanted after the war. The British had promised this land to the Palestinians living there but still promised it to the Jews, and created the country of Israel.
Nick: Thank you Charles. Now Amir, tell me why this conflict is still going on today.
Amir: Sure thing! The conflict is still going on today because the Palestinians, who lived there before, are Muslims, and in Islam they believe the land belongs to Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, so the land is rightfully theirs. Since the Palestinians and the Jews, who currently live there, have different ideas, the conflict is everlasting.
Nick: Thank you Charles and Amir! That wraps up our special edition of Point-of-View News.
Persian Gulf War
Host: Welcome to Waging War Trivia! Today our contestants will be asked questions about the Persian Gulf War. Okay! Contestant #1, what were three or more reasons that Saddam Hussein gave to start the war?
Contestant #1: Well, Saddam Hussein said that Kuwait was slant drilling into Iraq, Kuwait had passed OPEC production limits, Kuwait was part of Iraq during the mandate, and strangely enough he said he was angry because Kuwait wanted him to pay backed the money he owed.
Host: Correct! Contestant #2, name the two sides involved in this war.
Contestant #2: The two sides to this war were Iraq and a U.S.-led coalition of 29 other countries.
Host: Correct! Contestant #3, give a description of the two stages in this war and how the conflict ended, and for a bonus question, add why the U.S. was involved in this war.
Contestant #3: Well, the two stages were Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In Desert Shield, the U.S. Coalition built uq troops around Iraq to intimidate it. Desert Storm was when the Coalition launched all the air strikes and ground strikes into Iraq. The war ended with Iraq being forced out of Kuwait. For the bonus questions, people say that the U.S. got involved because they did not want their oil trade to cease and they wanted to protect Kuwait’s sovereignty.
Host: All correct. This has been an interesting night for Waging War Trivia, but it has ended in a tie. Until next time, I’m your host, Nick, and have a good night!
Operation Enduring Freedom Short Story
Hey kids, let me tell you a story about my days in the Army and Operation Enduring Freedom.
It all started when George Bush was in office. On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda crashed two hijacked planes into the Twin Towers (left). We had intel that the Taliban, in Afghanistan, were harboring Al-Qaeda and their leader, Osama Bin Laden. Since Al-Qaeda had attacked the U.S. and we wanted to capture their leader, and also remove the Taliban from power, we thought we could hit two birds with one stone and invaded Afghanistan.
Now, kids, let’s get this straight — the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are pretty different people. The Taliban is a group of people that believe in harsh Sharia Law. They want to stay in Afghanistan so they can stay in power. The Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, is a world-wide terrorist group, led by Osama Bin-Laden, that has killed many Americans.
Now you know about Operation Enduring Freedom. See you kids later this week!
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Welcome back kids! Ready for another story? This one is about Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After the Persian Gulf War, Iraq was still an autocracy and was ruled by Saddam Hussein. The country was very stable, but only because everyone was scared of Saddam Hussein because he would kill his own people. The war was fought to remove Saddam Hussein from power and look for weapons of mass destruction. The reasons we invaded were that Saddam Hussein was gassing his own people, flying in the “no-fly” zones that were there to protect the Kurds and Shiites, and the U.S. had suspected that Iraq was making and selling selling weapons of mass destruction to Al-Qaeda.
The war started in March of 2003 and ended in 2009. After the war was fought and the U.S. Coalition won, they killed Saddam Hussein and tried to set up a more democratic government there.
That’s all for this week, kids! See you later!
Government Game Show
Host: Welcome to Name-That-Term! Today our topic is Government in the Middle East. Without further ado, let’s begin. What country is this? I am a country with one central government that holds power, but people are allowed to vote and have lots of personal and political freedoms.
Contestant #1: That country is Israel, and its government terms are Unitary and Democratic.
Host: Correct! What country is this? I am a country with one central government, and one person that holds all the power that goes by the title of King.
Contestant #2: That country is Saudi Arabia which is an absolute monarchy, but its government terms are Unitary, Autocratic.
Host: Correct! Okay, Contestant #3, you got the show. What country has a government based on religion, and says that people have the right to vote?
Contestant #3: That would be Iran. They are a Theocracy and Republic, or so they say.
Host: Correct! That ends our episode of Name-That-Term. See you next week!
Economy Game Show
Host: Welcome back to Name-That-Term. Our topic today is economy. Let the games begin. Contestant #1, what economy am I? The government decides what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce. My economy also produces a product very efficiently to sell for other products.
Contestant #1: Those terms have got to be a Command Economy and Specialization!
Host: Correct! Contestant #2, what economy am I? Individual persons decide what to product, how to produce, and for whom to produce. My economy is also well rounded and self supporting.
Contestant #2: Those terms are Market Economy and Diversification.
Host: Correct! Alright Contestant #3, you get an easy one. Both government and individual persons decide what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce.
Contestant #3: Well, that’s a Mixed Economy!
Host: Absolutely correct! that brings an end to this episode of Name-That-Term. Until next time, I’m your host, Nick. Good night!
Title Page (Hint: Click on the pictures to enlarge)
Oil and OPEC
Persian Gulf War
Operation Iraqi Freedom