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Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia (Simpson 8th Grade): Assignment

Topics for Research

Algeria civil war/conflict – history of Algeria from 1992

Algeria fight for independenceAlgeria's war with France ending in 1962

Arafat, Yasir – former head of PLO and of Palestinian Authority

Armenian Genocide – Turk killing of one million Armenians in 1915- 1916

Aswan High Dam – environmental and economic impact, both positive and negative

Ataturk, Kemal – founding leader of modern Turkey

Babylon - once the greatest city on earth, home to the Hanging Gardens

Ben-Gurion, David - first prime minister of Israel

Dead Sea - high salt content, lowest point on earth’s surface

Dead Sea Scrolls - biblical manuscripts dating from around 3 BC to 60 AD

Hajj – Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca

Hamas – Palestinian terrorist group, strongest in Gaza

Hezbollah – Iranian-backed group in Lebanon

Hussein, Saddam – former military dictator of Iraq

Iran/Iraq War - eight year war in 1980s, millions dead - nothing gained

Iran hostage crisis – Americans taken prisoner during the 1979 revolution

Khayyam, Omar - Muslim/Persian scientist and poet around 1100 AD

Khomeini, Ayatollah – former religious and political leader of Iran

Kurds - people without a country in Southwest Asia

Mesopotamia - “Cradle of Civilization”

Mohammed - founder of Islam

Niyazov, Saparmurat – former dictator of Turkmenistan

OPEC - Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

Ottoman Empire – Turkic Muslim empire from mid-1300's to the early 1900's

Persian Empire - focus on empire at its height around 500 BC

Persian Gulf War - world vs. Iraq in early 1990's

Qadhafi, Mu'ammar – leader of Libya from 1969 to 2011

Seljuk Turks - controlled much of the Middle East before and during the Crusades

Six Days War - 1967 Arab/Israeli War

Temple Mount/al-Aksa – holy site sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims

Wahabbism – radical Islam originating in Arabia in the 1700's

Zionism - movement to establish a Jewish nation



Details and Due Date

Each student will choose a topic from the list.  You will then complete a written report meeting the following criteria:


LENGTH AND FORMAT:  Your report should be approximately 450 words in length, which is around 1.5 page typed, double-spaced.  Typing is required.


SOURCES: You must have at least two sources for your report.  There are no restrictions on the sources you may use (except that you may not use Wikipedia).  You must cite your sources in proper MLA format (use of Noodletools will help!).  DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!!!


CONTENT: You need to develop a thesis statement (like a topic sentence in a paragraph) and include it in the introduction to your paper. You should then organize your paper into body paragraphs, each consisting of a main argument in support of your thesis. Go beyond a simple report on your topic and offer an analysis of how this issue/person/event affects people and nations.  Try to explore the causes and effects, the “why” as well as the “what.”  Make sure that you organize your content and that you follow the rules or grammar and usage we have discussed!




As you will note on your syllabus, the written reports are due on Wednesday, February 22.