Ch 7 Study Questions
North Africa / Southwest Asia

Note: There are a zillion possible questions and too many in the question bank, but the ones below seem to be the most relevant to this course. I have tried to keep the universe of useful questions to a manageable level (with partial success).

Which of the following is not one of the “Five pillars of Islam”?
A. Use of terrorism in the name of Islam
B. Giving alms to the poor
C. At least one pilgrimage to Mecca
D. Daily prayer
E. A month of daytime fasting (Ramadan)

Shi’ite Muslims constitute the great majority of the population of:
A. Egypt
B. Israel
C. Saudi Arabia
D. Turkey
E. Iran

85% of Muslims are:
A. Imams
B. Shi’ite
C. Mullah
D. Sharia
E. Sunni

The split between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis developed over:
A. who should succeed Muhammad
B. differences in religious practice
C. differing moral interpretations of some of the hadiths, or saying of Muhammad
D. the sanctity of polygamy
E. the proper status of the shah

Islamic law is known as:
A. imam
B. ayatollah
C. mullah
D. hadith
E. sharia

The group that has organized terrorist attacks dedicated to punishing the perceived enemies of the Islamic people is:
A. al-Sharia
B. al-Qaeda
C. al-Wahhab
D. al-Gebra

OPEC is a(n):
A. oil cartel
B. Organization of Public Economics
C. common market of Andean nations
D. insurgent state in Peru
E. Islamic fundamentalist group

All of the following are impacts of the oil industry except:
A. migration of Arabs to Europe
B. increasing incomes
C. modernization
D. intraregional migration
E. increases in regional disparities

Egypt ’s peasant farmers are known as:
A. Shatt-al-Arabs
B. fellaheen
C. Shi’ites
D. mestizos
E. Bedouins

The countries below, which one is most often viewed as the leader(real or potential) of the Arab world is:
A. Iraq
B. Egypt
C. Turkey
D. Libya
E. Israel

In 1990, Iraq invaded which of its neighbors?
A. Jordan
B. Kuwait
C. Iran
D. Saudi Arabia
E. Turkey

A minority group in Northern Iraq that has expressed its desire for an independent state is:
A. Kurds
B. Iranians
C. Shi’ites
D. Armenians
E. Azeris

The Shi’ites in Iraq:
A. form the minority of the population
B. live in the northern part of the country
C. were Saddam Hussein’s strongest supporters
D. had their religious freedom restricted by the Hussein regime
E. fought on the side of Iran in the Iraq-Iran War

Which of the following statements about Lebanon is false?
A. All the various religious denominations have come to an accommodation that has provided peace in the country for the past five decades.
B. It is now a majority Muslim state.
C. The country fell apart in 1975 when a civil war broke out.
D. Beirut was once known as the “ Paris of the Middle East.”

The modern state of Israel was created in:
A. 1923
B. 1937
C. 1948
D. 1959
E. 1967

The country that controlled the West Bank of the Jordan River at the beginning of the 1990s is:
A. Israel
B. Jordan
C. the PLO
D. Lebanon
E. Iraq

Jews compose about ____ % of the population of the West Bank.
A. 10
B. 50
C. 90
D. 1
E. 0

Israel regards which city as its capital?
A. Tel Aviv
B. Haifa
C. Beirut
D. Jerusalem
E. Acre

In 1947, the UN had assigned Jerusalem to be:
A. Israel’s capital
B. Jordan’s capital
C. the capital of Israel and a Palestinian state
D. an international city
E. the property of the Vatican

The State of Israel:
A. was settled by people fleeing the Zionist policies of Nazi Germany
B. was created from territory that was formerly administered by the British
C. was part of the Ottoman Empire and ceded to the Israelis in 1923
D. was created out of the country of Palestine that previously had no Jewish population
E. was founded after World War I

The largest oil reserves in the Middle East are in:
A. Israel
B. Libya
C. Kuwait
D. Saudi Arabia
E. Yemen

In Saudi Arabia:
A. petroleum reserves are concentrated in the west
B. annual rainfall is almost everywhere under 10 inches
C. non-fuel mineral deposits are unknown
D. a wide belt across the “waist” of the peninsula is devoid of human activity
E. Shi’ites outnumber Sunni Muslims

Which of the following was a reason why the capital of Turkey was moved to Ankara?
A. The site would remind the Turks that they were a new nation.
B. The site of the city is on the beautiful south shore of the Black Sea.
C. It is near the center of the country.
D. Istanbul is too near the Bosporus and thus lies open to attack.
E. Ankara is not the capital.

Iran fought a major and particularly ugly war during the 1980s with:
A. Iraq
B. Israel
C. Kuwait
D. Turkey
E. Azerbaijan

The benefits of oil wealth in Iran:
A. have affected all geographic areas of Iran
B. did not affect most ordinary Iranians
C. led to Iran’s attack on Iraq in 1980
D. have led to the movement of the capital to Abadan
E. have provided significant funds to help settle almost all of Iran’s nomadic population

Iran differs from most of the realm in that:
A. it is non-Islamic
B. its population is nearly 100% Arab
C. it is dominantly Shi’ite
D. it is ruled by a monarchy
E. as a nation it is very young

The most important ethnic group in Afghanistan is the:
A. Pushtuns (Pathans)
B. Turkmen
C. Azeris
D. Kurds
E. Baluchis

The country in which the Taliban ruled with a very strict interpretation of Islamic law and severe restrictions on women is:
A. Sudan
B. Saudi Arabia
C. Afghanistan
D. Somalia
E. Pakistan

.Which of the following countries produced more than 70% of the world’s opium in 2000?
A. Sudan
B. Saudi Arabia
C. Afghanistan
D. Somalia
E. Pakistan

Major climate of North Africa and Southwestern Asia

The civil war in southeast Turkey involves the Turks and the
A. Kurds
B. Chechens
C. Serbs
D. Greeks

What is Sharia?
A. Holy city of the Shiite religion
B. Branch of Sunni religion
C. Famous Moslem singer
D. Islamic law

Choose from a list of the case study nations or elements withi; presented as matching, fill-in, or in a crossword puzzle:

Nation with Shi'ite majority

Nation with known nuclear power

People indigenous to Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria

The major secular state of the realm

The Soviet Union's "Vietnam"

A major choke point

Egyptian peasant farmer

The group that has organized terrorist attacks dedicated to punishing the perceived enemies of the Islamic people.

Turkey's most populous city.

Realm's largest city.

Nation promoting larger families.

Hajj (sometimes hadj) destination.

Jordanian area occupied by Israel; could have become a Palestinian homeland.

Repressive puritanical Afghan Sunni regime overthrown by U.S. invasion.

Egypt's primary natural resource.

Realm's most urbanization nation.

Realm's poorest nation in terms of quality of life (not just average income but including measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy).

Why is Jerusalem one of the primary elements that divides the Israelis and Palestinians, but which also may be a key in achieving peace? What is so important about the city in terms of historical geography (religion, location, culture, and politics)?

Egypt has been inextricably linked to the Nile River for several thousand years but today's high population growth is putting strains on that relationship. Describe the traditional and the changing human-environment or human-Nile relationship and what the next 20 years may bring.

The High Aswan Dam has been both a bane and a boon to Egypt. Give two benefits and two problems of the dam.

Turkey has been trying to gain membership into the European Union. Give two reasons that have been influencial in preventing its success. Or--what should it do to have a better chance of achieving membership next year (2008)?

Turkey is an anomoly in the "Middle East." Give two reasons why it is so different from most of the other nations in the realm.

Why is the U.S. at war in Iraq? What are the major components to consider for ending the war?
Or--some experts maintain that U.S. military success is not possible in Iraq? Why? Do you agree?

Why is the U.S. worried about Iran? Are those worries realistic? What should be the relationship between the two nations?


Be comfortable enough with the four major themes used in this course to use them in broad questions, i.e., memorization of trivia and details is not necessary (you know where to find those when needed), but be able to discuss them intelligently and in particular, integratively with each other. Themes: Islam, Petroleum, Iraq war, and Israel. For example: What is the relationship of petroleum to the Iraq war? What is the relationship of the Israel issue with the Iraq war? Why is there conflict between the Jewish state of Israel and the Islamic Middle East?

Here are three summarizing questions used in a previous test:

1. The friend asks: "The Iraqi war is a mess in all kinds of ways and I know we all have opinions, but you have had a geography course that offers depth of the many issues that may help to clarify some of the complications. Why can't the war be easily resolved? What is so complex about it?" List four very good reasons (A, B, C, D) why the Iraqi war cannot be easily resolved. Add a few phrases or sentences explaining each reason.

2. Your friend continues: "So there are problems beyond the simple terrorism ideas. I read stories, but have difficulty understanding, why the Islamic sects are in somewhat of a civil war. Why? Why can't the Sunnis and Shi'ites get along? What's the problem and why can't it be solved?" List three very good reasons (A, B, C) why the issue cannot be easily resolved. Add a few phrases or sentences explaining each reason.

3. Friend: "Of course, there is also the issue of Israel. It is a legal nation, so why is there so much fighting and problems? Why can't the issues be resolved easily?" List three very good reasons (A, B, C) why the Israel issue cannot be easily resolved. Add a few phrases or sentences explaining each reason.