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NAME

DATE

Geography and History Activity

CLASS

netw rks

Islamic Civilization
Lesson 1 A New Faith

Understanding Places:
The Arabian Peninsula
History

The Arabian peninsula has played an important part in the


history of the world. It is the location from which Islam and
Arabic language and culture spread.
In modern-day Arabia, no single nation rules the peninsula.
From the Mediterranean Sea south to the Arabian Sea, the
peninsula is divided into seven countries. The largest of these
countries is Saudi Arabia.

Geography

In ancient times, the peninsulas location made it a crossroads


for trade. Caravans carrying cloth and carpets traveled east to
Asia to trade for silks and spices. Traders traveling west to
Africa or north to the Mediterranean also crossed the peninsula.
In later centuries, the Arab Empire grew wealthy from such
trade.

To meet its growing need for oil, the United States helped
develop many of the oil fields on the peninsula. In October
2010, the United States imported about 8.5 million barrels of
oil a day. The United States imports more oil from Saudi Arabia
than from any other country on the Arabian peninsula.

Copyright by The McGraw-Hill Companies.

In modern times, a new source of wealth was discovered on


the peninsula: oil. Later discoveries were made in the twentieth
century in each of the countries between the Syrian border and
the Arabian Sea. Today, the Arabian peninsula has the largest
oil reserves in the world.

NAME

DATE

CLASS

netw rks

Geography and History Activity Cont.


Islamic Civilization
Culture

The discovery of oil in the Arabian peninsula had an enormous


impact on the culture of Arabia. The money gained from oil has
transformed the culture. Many of the old patterns of living are
changing. While the vast oil revenues have brought better
health care, education, and an overall higher standard of living
for people, the rapid cultural change has been unsettling for
many. The blending of Arabian culture with western culture
presents both opportunities and problems for the people and
countries of the peninsula.
Saudi Arabian Oil Reserves

SYRIA
Mediterranean
Sea

IRAQ

400 miles

400 km
0
Lambert Azimuthal
Equal-Area projection

KUWAIT

JORDAN

Pe

an

rs

SAUDI
ARABIA

Riyadh

QATAR

lf

U.A.E.

OMAN

Re
d
a

Oil

Se

KEY

YEMEN

Arabian
Sea

Copyright by The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Makkah

Gu

NAME

DATE

Geography and History Activity Cont.

CLASS

netw rks

Islamic Civilization

Directions Answer the following questions.

Understanding the Concept


1. Describing How many countries are on the Arabian
peninsula today?

2. Identifying In what century were oil fields discovered in


the Arabian peninsula?

3. Locating Look at the map. Where are most of Saudi


Arabias oil fields located?

Applying the Concept


4. Determining Cause and Effect How has the discovery of
oil brought about positive changes on the Arabian peninsula?

6. Drawing Conclusions What conclusion can you make


about oil being discovered on the Arabian peninsula?

Copyright by The McGraw-Hill Companies.

5. Analyzing What effect has oil had on the culture of the


Arabian peninsula?