2014 Middle East North Africa Vocabulary

Middle East / North Africa Vocabulary
Directions: Define the following terms in your own words. Please provide a picture or an example for each
1. Al-Qaeda - an international Islamic terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azam.
2. Arab Spring - a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, riots and civil war throughout the Arab world
beginning in December, 2010.
3. Carthage - a city in Tunisia that was the center of the ancient Carthaginian civilization.
4. Christianity - a monotheistic religion based on the teaching of Jesus Christ.
5. Dome of the Rock - a Muslim shrine located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
6. Fertile Crescent - a region containing moist and fertile soil in the otherwise area and semi-arid areas of Western
Asia, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta Delta of Northeast Africa.
7. Five Pillars of Faith - the foundation of Muslim life, which includes, the testimony of faith, prayer, giving zakat
(support for the needy) fasting during the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime.
8. Haj - an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religions duty for Muslims which must be carried
out once in their lifetime if they are able.
9. Hamas - a Palestinian Islamic organization that currently controls the Gaza Strip, which has been classified as a
terrorist organization by the United States.
10. Irrigation - the artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops.
11. Islam - the religious faith of Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad, the prophet
of Allah.
12. Jerusalem - an ancient city which is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims and whose status is
currently disputed by Israel and Palestinians.
13. Judaism - a monotheistic religion practiced by the Jews that stresses belief in God and the laws of the Torah.
14. Kurds - a stateless ethnic group inhabiting areas in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, often referred to as Kurdistan.
15. Mecca - a city in Saudi Arabia where Muhammad was born, which is regarding as the holiest city in Islam.
16. Mesopotamia - an ancient region in West Asia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the area currently
known as Iraq.
17. Mosque - a building used for public worship by Muslims
18. Oasis - an area in a desert where there is water and plants.
19. Occupied areas of Israel - the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967, including, the West
Bank (which includes East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip and much of the Golan Heights.
20. OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) - a multinational organization designed to coordinate
and unify petroleum prices of its members to ensure the stabilization of oil markets.
21. PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) - once considered a terrorist organization, this group is internationally
recognized as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people.
22. Ramadan - the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.
23. Shiite/Shi’a Muslim - the second-largest denomination of Islam, who believe that Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali
was his successor as the leader of the Islamic Caliphate.
24. Stateless nation - cultural or ethnic group without its own state.
25. Sunni Muslim - the largest denomination of Islam, who believe that Abu Bakr was the successor to Muhammad
as the leader of the Islamic Caliphate.
26. Synagogue - a house of worship for Jews.
27. Taliban -an Islamic fundamentalist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001.
28. Terrorism - the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
29. Water desalination - the remove of salt and other minerals from saline water.
30. Zionism - a nationalist and political movement of Jews that supports the establishment of a Jewish homeland in