Iraq : Geographic Perspectives

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-08-26
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Geographic Perspectives: Iraq provides a concise source of information on the physical environment and culture of the country. By examining the region through many of the sub-disciplines of geography including historical, political, economic, urban, and medical - these guides serve as a framework to better understand current events. Included are color and black and white maps, photographs, charts, and graphs.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

  • After September 11, 2001, Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq once again came into the global spotlight
  • A geographic perspective emphasizing regional patterns can provide a useful framework for understanding Iraq.

    Chapter 2 Location

  • To understand Iraq's geography, it is first necessary to appreciate its absolute and relative location
  • Iraq shares borders with six countries
  • Iraq has limited access to the sea
  • Iraq is slightly larger in area than California

    Chapter 3 Geomorphology

  • Iraq has four major physiographic regions: desert, uplands, highlands, and an alluvial plain
  • Deserts cover over 40 percent of Iraq's area, especially in the western and southern parts of the country
  • The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the lifeblood of Iraq, are vital to human populations and agricultural activity

    Chapter 4 Climate

  • Iraq has three distinct climatic zones: subtropical desert, subtropical steppe, and dry summer subtropical
  • Iraq's deserts are extremely hot and dry in the summer and cool and dry in the winter
  • Precipitation is limited, with even the wettest areas getting less than 30 inches per year
  • Cold is a significant hazard in the northern mountains
  • Sandstorms and dust storms are common, especially in the deserts
  • Spring flooding is a real hazard in many areas

    Chapter 5 Vegetation and Soils

  • Iraq is largely devoid of significant natural vegetation
  • Minor forest resources, already significantly impacted by human activity, exist in the northern mountains
  • The most unique natural biome in Iraq is the marshland area of the lower Tigris and Euphrates, but this area was damaged by Iraqi government policies in the 1990s that aimed at reducing populations in the region

    Chapter 6 Historical Geography

  • Iraq's history dates back to one of the earliest civilizations, in Mesopotamia
  • Iraq's history is marked by periods of prosperity interspersed with eras of conquest and destruction
  • Saddam Hussein came to power in the 1970s with the support of Sunni Muslims, who had been relatively favored since the times of British control

    Chapter 7 Cultural Geography

  • Islam is the dominant religion in Iraq, but there are divisions mainly among Shiite and Sunni groups
  • Iraq is the home of many important Shiite holy sites, including Karbala and Najaf
  • Arabic is spoken by 80 percent of the population
  • Kurdish languages are spoken by nearly 20 percent of Iraqis
  • The uniqueness of Kurdish culture goes beyond language differences

    Chapter 8 Political geography

  • Saddam Hussein's quarter-century in power reflected rule through shrewd politics and the ruthless destruction of any opposition
  • The two strongest sources of opposition during the Saddam Hussein era were the Kurdish populations in the North and Shiite Muslims in the South
  • Although a minority, Sunni Muslims dominated politics when Saddam Hussein was in power
  • Kurdish politics has often been characterized by internal disagreements and fighting

    Chapter 9 Economic Geography

  • Based solely on oil reserves, Iraq is one of the richest countries in the world
  • Because of United Nations sanctions and governmental neglect, the Iraqi people are the poorest in the region
  • Iraq has almost no capacity to grow its own food

    Chapter 10 Population and Urban Geography

  • Iraq's population is not uniformly distributed; it is clustered in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra
  • Iraq's population is growing fast, creating a large population under age 14
  • Demographic statistics reveal the poor quality of health care in Iraq

    Chapter 11 Medical Geography

  • Infectious diseases are endemic
  • Public health systems are in complete disarray, increasing disease and mortality rates
  • Food and water in Iraq is often unsafe
  • Poor nutrition is a major cause of health problems
  • Heat and cold also pose a human health risk in the area

    Chapter 12 Conclusion


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