Civil War Map Assignment Middle East

[email protected]: "One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal. $150 billion we gave them. For what?"

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: Federal procedures on immigration, customs and airport security will apply at Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports

SyAF helicopter crashed in Dumayer airbase

Operation #Sinai2018- paratroopers with CZ 807s and Bedouin militiamen (Union of Sinai Tribes) with an ATV technical

Correspondent of Aleppo 24 denies all the news about the withdrawal of any US troops from Manbij countryside

Footage from fortified mountain ridge east of Afrin

Today, IS media continues covering developments in Damascus, informing about repelling SAA attack and some progress on IS part.

Russian FSB says they have detained 60 ISIS supporters in Moscow region

RuAF Tu-204-300 RA-64057 Landed today in Damasccus international airport coming from Moscow Later headed to Khmemeim AB Latakia

Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told a panel of senators that Russia and Iran are destabilizing the fight against ISIS in Syria.

Russia's ministry of defense says Russia's top military officer, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, spoke with his US counterpart, Gen. Dunford about Syria, Tuesday, the same day Gerasimov threatened to target US forces in Syria if they retaliate against the government's use of chemical weapons

Tillerson says the work remains to be done in Syria, Iraq and relations with Russia.

Pictures and videos from the Joint @USMC @idfonline Kaya Green drill yesterday

Tillerson: We have achieved a ceasefire in Syria

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: Improving public services are critical to the lives of our citizens and is a priority for the @IraqiGovt. I issued directives to federal and local authorities to ensure that resources are mobilised to improve delivery of services in Baghdad and the provinces

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: We are focused on reconstruction, building our country and encouraging economic growth. Corruption remains a challenge but we are determined to root it out. I warn all corrupt individuals: we will pursue you and defeat you

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: The temporary ban on international flights to and from Kurdistan region was imposed to uphold Iraq's national constitution

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: I hope that we can work together with the authorities in Kurdistan region to serve the Iraqi people and use Iraq's wealth and resources to build our country

PM @HaiderAlAbadi: Today I issued an Executive Decree to permit the resumption of international flights to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports within a week; the airports will be under federal authority and jurisdiction

Iran: protest in Ilan , Kurdistan Iran province tonight, supporting Afrin

Netanyahu speaking live from Knesset. "I promised you I'd make supreme efforts to keep govt together and I kept to my promise."

Amascus countryside: Two people were killed in the town of Kafr Batna as a result of the targeting of residential neighborhoods in the town by the explosive barrel by helicopter.

Five fighters from the city of Deir Ez Zor were reported KIA in Rayhan on 3/12. Unknown what unit they're affiliated with.

Eastern Damascus: airstrikes completely destroyed the Great Mosque of Irbeen.

Strikes over Harasta today #Ghouta

Local media source confirmed that 9 civilians were killed and other injured in Turkish army attack near Badina village in Mabata district when the convoy of villagers tried to return to their village.

Clashes between PMF and Iraqi PM @HaiderAlAbadi bodyguards in Salahaddin Province which resulted in killing one of Abadi's senior commanders

UN: We did observe today an evacuation of 147 civilians. Among those there were 10 critical cases mostly women and children from Douma. Eastern_Ghouta

ISKP reports about assasination of an ANA soldier in Khost province (rare). No ID evidence though

Kashmir based militant group Ansar Ghazwatul Hind which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda releases statement on killing of three militants yesterday morning in Anantnag of South Kashmir, claiming they belonged to their group and not ISIS. Say, third militant is from Hyderabad.

Lebanese PM @saadhariri meets w Ziad Itani after his release

The @SyriaCivilDefe teams pulled 5 civilians (Including a girl ) out of the rubble so far, all killed after 5 Russian air raids targeted residential neighborhoods in Idlib city. Search and rescue operations continue amid the massive destruction in the area.

The villages reached by the Turkish delegation are Karkur, Zeiara west of Hama

FSA National Army, the "Al-Hamzah" group, especially the fighters of the Hamzah Brigade from inside the village of Kfardali, which was seized from YPG, west of Afrin,

VIDEO: Redeployed to eastern Mediterranean after 173 days and armed with Kalibr SS-N-27 missiles, Russian Navy Project11356M BSF Admiral Grigorovich class frigate Admiral Essen transits Med-bound Bosphorus en route to Tartus Syria. Note that Adm. Essen's pennant number changed to 490.

Turkey military delegation visit al-Ghab plain in north west Hama to set up Control Point(s) soon

SAA led by 4th Mechanized Division and Syrian Republican Guard continue advance in east Jisrin town, seized 10 more residential blocks amid significant rebels collapse

The Free Syrian Army forces control the village of Korka in the Jinderes district of the countryside of Afrin after fighting with the YPG militia within the Olive Branch operation.

3 civilians killed and others injured by air strike on Harasta

Activists from PoK hold protest outside United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland against human rights violations by Pakistan

The Free Syrian Army forces control the village of Zureiqat in the Sharan axis of rural Afrin after fighting with the YPG

[email protected]: "We've been talking about this for a long time We disagreed on things The Iran deal So we were not thinking the same. With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process."

The Syrian Free Army forces control the villages of Kila, Magargak and Darmashakanly in the Shaikh al-Hadid axis in the countryside of Afrin after fighting with the YPG militia within the Olive Branch operation.

Suspicious package at Tel Aviv University train station, delays across the system.

The Free Syrian Army forces control the village of Kfardali in the Jenderees region of rural Afrin after fighting with the YPG militia within the Olive Branch operation.

The Free Syrian Army forces control the village of Deir Mashmash and its camp and the surrounding hills in the axis of Sharan in the countryside of Afrin after fighting with YPG militias within the process of Olive Branch operation

Trump: My disagreement with Tillerson was about the nuclear agreement with Iran

Air bombardment by the government for the second day on countryside of Daraa

Resolute Support:U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to meet with Resolute Support personnel and Afghan government officials to discuss both the military effort and the potential for peace between the Taliban and the Afghan government

Cairo calls for the formation of a commission of inquiry into the assassination attempt of the Palestinian prime minister in Gaza

Rifaat Idris a volunteer of Syria Civil Defence in Eastern Ghouta, killed by an airstrike targeted Civil Defence center in Zamalka city in Ghouta.

[email protected]: The lives of all refugees and IDPs in the Kurdistan Region is protected. It is in the responsibility of @Kurdistan to protect them. Kurdistan is their home.

Picture from al-Qadam under Syrian army control

Putin arrived in Dagestan

Hamas condemns attempted assassination of Prime Minister

No seat for Taliban reps in upcoming Tashkent conference on Afghan peace, says @mfa_afghanistan

SDF leadership delivers protest note to US led coalition in Syria to protest against US silence over Turkey's attack on Afrin

FSA captured Lower Kafr Dali village near Qarabash

Lesson Plans

Back to lesson plans archiveJune 13, 2013

Middle East and North Africa geography – Lesson Plan

By Leah Fabel, Washington, DC


Geography and History

Estimated Time

Two or three 45-minute class periods

Grade Level

9 – 12


Students will be able to:

  1. Find the Middle East and North Africa on a map of the world, and know the location of the countries and capitals within the Middle East and North Africa.
  2. Understand and give examples of the diversity in the region, distinguishing from prevailing stereotypes.
  3. Understand and analyze the geographic history of the region, from its ancient empires to its 20th century colonial powers.
  4. Apply geographic knowledge to a 1941 newspaper article about the political future of the region.
  5. Evaluate the arguments made in the article, and the cultural perspective of the writer.
  6. Embark upon further study of the region, whether the unit concerns history or current affairs.


This lesson plan gives students an overview of the region’s geographical past, while exposing students to the complexity and diversity of the region. It also ensures a basic geographical starting point for any unit plan about the region, or for any mini-unit delving into Middle Eastern current affairs.


Throughout history, the geography of the Middle East has been at the heart of many of its most critical political and cultural moments. An understanding of not only its present-day geography, but also its historical geography, is essential for any student eager to understand what’s going on in the region, and why.


  1. Hand out unlabeled maps of the Middle East and North Africa to each student. (Maps can be found at National Geographic — there is a specific one for the Middle East Region, but a map of Africa needs to suffice for North Africa.)
  2. (5 min) Working with a neighbor and a sheet of scratch paper, have students brainstorm a list of as many Middle Eastern and North African countries and capital cities as they can think of. Ask who was able to come up with 10/20/30 responses. Gauge to what extent students actually have a geographic knowledge of the region.
  3. Come back together as a class for a short discussion before labeling the maps together.
Discussion questions:
  1. What is the Middle East? Where did the term come from? (Is it in the “middle” of anywhere?)
  2. Is it a defined land mass, or can it have different definitions?
  3. If we don’t mean an defined set of countries, what do we mean by Middle East?
  4. As a class, come up with a list of qualities generally assumed to be similar about Middle Eastern countries. As students do this, point out anomalies. They might say “Muslim,” for example. That’s generally true, but point out that several Middle Eastern countries (e.g. Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria) have sizable Christian populations, and that more than 80 percent of Israeli citizens are Jewish. If they say “Arabic,” point out that Moroccan Arabic is almost unintelligible to an Arabic speaker in Jordan or Syria, for example. In Iran, the majority speaks Farsi (also called Persian).
  5. Using an overhead or a projection screen, label the countries and capitals/major cities of the Middle East and North Africa: Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara), Syria (Damascus), Iraq (Baghdad), Iran (Tehran), Jordan (Amman), Israel/Palestine (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Lebanon (Beirut), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Mecca), Kuwait (Kuwait City), Bahrain (Manama), Qatar (Doha), UAE (Abu Dhabi), Oman (Muscat), Yemen (Sanaa), Algeria (Algiers), Libya (Tripoli), Morocco (Rabat), Tunisia (Tunis), Egypt (Cairo), as well as major bodies of water (students may find this is more neatly done on a new map altogether): Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab el Mandeb (Teacher’s note: Strait of Hormuz and Bab el Mandeb are especially important if you’re going to do a lesson on oil production/transportation.)
  6. Working with a partner and using in-class resources such as the Internet or almanacs, list on a graphic organizer each country’s predominant religion and % who identify with it; predominant language and % who identify with it; form of government, current leader, and his/her years in power. (Teacher’s note: If you do not have access to the Internet, make copies of almanac pages for each country — or for the countries on which you want students to focus. Scatter the pages around the room, and have students move from station to station gathering the info from each page.)

The boundaries of the modern Middle East largely are a 20th century, post-WWI creation. To understand the modern dynamic of the region, however, it’s important to be aware of the boundaries and the leaders that existed for centuries before.

In a summary paragraph of 10 sentences or less (rubric below), summarize the time period, geographic reach and defining political and cultural traits of of one of the following: (Or, assign students one of the following, so as to make sure at least one person does each empire or caliphate.)

  • The Ottoman Empire
  • The Byzantine Empire
  • The Abbasid Caliphate
  • The Fatimid Caliphate
  • The Umayyad Caliphate

(Differentiation for special needs students: Depending on the skill level of your students, assign this as a completely independent research project, or give them a reading such as a Wikipedia page or a section from a textbook that contains the information requested. As a modification for students with disabilities, highlight for them key passages of the reading.)

10-point rubric:

2 pts: Paragraph includes the time period that this empire or caliphate was in power.

3 pts: Paragraph includes the capital of the empire/caliphate, as well as its reach at the peak of its power.

2 pts: Paragraph includes the dominant religion of this empire or caliphate. Student should distinguish whether the Muslim rulers are Sunni or Shiite.

3 pts: Paragraph includes one of the most important historical legacies of this empire or caliphate (e.g. brought Islam to North Africa), and at least two cultural or political details of the empire or caliphate.

DAY 2:
  1. For each empire/caliphate, call on one student to share his/her summary. Students should take notes or use a graphic organizer to record information about each empire/caliphate.
  1. Discussion: What does this information tell you about the region’s history with democratic rule? What about its history as individual countries? In the absence of a strong sense of nationality, to what do you think people felt loyal? (Tribe? Religion? Town? Employer? Family?)
  1. Explain to students that you will now focus on post-WWI Middle East. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, European colonial powers became a greater influence. Using maps and colored pencils, have students shade countries based on their colonial power (or, in some cases, their relative independence in the 20th cent.)
  • Turkey: independent (following fall of Ottoman Empire)
  • Syria: France
  • Iraq: Great Britain
  • Iran: independent
  • Jordan: Great Britain
  • Israel: independent (gained statehood in 1948)
  • Palestine: Great Britain
  • Lebanon: France
  • Saudi Arabia: independent
  • Kuwait: Great Britain
  • Bahrain: independent (with some British oversight)
  • Qatar: independent (with some British oversight)
  • United Arab Emirates: independent (with some British oversight)
  • Oman independent (with some British oversight)
  • Yemen: independent (with some British oversight)
  • Algeria: France
  • Libya: Italy
  • Morocco: France
  • Tunisia: France
  • Egypt: Britain

Have students read “Moslem Federation,” Washington Post, May 1941. Working in pairs or groups, have students start on homework questions.

Differentiation for special needs students

Highlight for students the key passages in the article. For students who struggle with comprehension skills, answer question number two for them. Also, if necessary, delete question number five.

Extension Activities

Students can research a country currently facing political turmoil and write a piece in the tone of “Moslem Federation” offering modern day guidance concerning U.S. foreign policy.

Further learning:

Depending on how teachers choose to focus their unit plans, the following video clips are excellent examples of recent protests and democracy movements in the Middle East. Each would require a briefing for students about the modern history of the country. In Libya, for example, students would need to know that following Italian colonial rule, Libya was led by King Idris (1951-1969). Qaddafi took power from Idris in a 1969 coup, and has been in power ever since.

Reports of Violence in Libyan Protest

Egypt’s Revolution Inspires Protests in the Middle East

Disappointing Speech Incites Protesters, Leads to Mubarak’s Resignation

Egyptians Take to Streets to Oust President

  • Tags:

    EgyptMiddle EastSyriaWorld & Geography


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