While the Middle East is often associated with fossil fuel production, the region has immense potential for the development of renewable energy. In particular, the sunny climate is well-suited for large scale solar energy production. In many countries, ubiquitous cheap oil and gas have long inhibited the development of major initiatives to move towards renewable [...]

In this republished article by journalists William Booth and Hazem Balousha, educated and unemployed Palestinians in their 20s discuss lives bereft of opportunity and hope. Nearly 60 percent of young Gazans are unemployed and most would leave if it were possible. With few stable job prospects and no escape, many have resorted to occasional odd […]

News outlets and educational resources recently reported on a surprising environmental impact of civil unrest in the Middle East. Certainly, we know that people are displaced and that critical infrastructure is damaged during conflict, but another byproduct of war is the disruption of economy. Transportation is less accessible and safe, resources become scarce, and demand [...]

From Mauldin Economics comes this review of four maps that explain Iran’s place in the Middle East. It is important to understand Iran’s geo-political position in the region as the country has significant influence in several countries and is involved through financial and material support in at least three current conflicts. The people of Iran, […]

One particular achievement of the Golden Age of Islam is the Astrolabe, an astronomical instrument from the 12th century; let’s learn more about it! Using the Astrolobe from Muslim Heritage by Emily Winterburn* Al Sufi, one of the most famous astronomers of the Islamic world, was writing in Isfahan (in modern day Iran) in the 10th […]

Maps are an excellent introductory tool for taking students on meaningful adventures through geography, cultures, history, and current events.  We often think of maps as neutral documents that give us an unmediated snapshot of political borders and cities, or terrain, or resources. However, maps are human documents, and they therefore reflect their creators’ point of […]

Maps can help explain a region’s geography, its demographics, and the current political and environmental climates, among other attributes. Maps allow people to make spatial connections between different places and can facilitate the understanding of the presence and movements of goods, people, languages, animals, and more. Another valuable tool, information graphics, or infographics, are graphic […]

The Middle East is the common term for a region consisting of countries in southwest Asia and, usually, at least part of North Africa. It is an interesting term - middle of what? east of what? While the term is now widespread both inside and outside the region, it is in fact relatively new. It [...]
Water security has always been an issue in the arid environment that characterizes most of the Middle East. Not until recently, however, has it been so serious. Although the Nile, Euphrates, Tigris and Jordan Rivers provide substantial agricultural, industrial and commercial support, the longevity of this scarce resource is being tested daily. The rich landscape [...]
Why should we think so hard about geography? Why does geography matter? In addition to the intrinsic interest of the physical structures of the earth, geography is the canvas on which history—the lives of people over years, centuries, and millennia—is painted. The rivers, mountains, plains and valleys, oil deposits and rainfall patterns of the Middle [...]