Many questions have been asked about the Arabian Peninsula. Questions such as what is the geography of the peninsula, and how Muslims are perceived around the world. Now, those questions have been answered.
The Arabian Peninsula is located in Middle-East Asia. Countries considered part of the peninsula are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The peninsula is bounded by the Persian Gulf to the northeast, the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman to the east, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the south, the Bab-El-Mandeb to the southwest, and the Red Sea to the west. The peninsula is also more mountainous to the south, and more desert towards the north. The Arabian Desert, also the largest desert in Asia, is divided into three key parts. An Nafud, Ad Dahna, and Rub’al Khali. An Nafud is the farthest north and is considered an era, or a large sand sheet. Ad Dahna is the longest part and most central. Finally, Rub’al Khali is known as the largest sand desert in the world, stretching to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. The Sarawat is the largest mountain range on the peninsula, stretching from the border of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the Gulf of Aden in Yemen. Another mountain range, the Hejaz mountain range, runs north of the peninsula-south along the east coast of the Red Sea. This range is one of the two major mountain ranges in the Arabian Peninsula, along with the Asir mountain range. Along with that, The Najd, meaning “highland, is a vast plateau that occupies central Arabian Peninsula. The plateau stretches south and southwest to the northeast with elevations of 760-1525 m. The eastern half of the plateau is extremely fertile. Like, Mesopotamia fertile. In conclusion, the peninsula has many features geographically, and most of them contribute to the environment in a positive way.
Map of Arabian Peninsula Next, we researched the history of oil production in the Arabian Peninsula. Beginning in 1922, Ibn Saud meats New Zealand engineer Major Frank Holmes. During World War 1, rumors sparked up about oil seeps contained in the Persian Gulf region. But in 1923, the king signed a concession allowing Holmes to search for oil in Saudi Arabia. Together, Holmes and Saud created a sort of travel team to go in search of the lost treasure. They searched for 2 years, but came up with only tiny amounts. About 7 years later, companies such as SOCAL, CASOC, and the Texas Oil Company created CALTEX, an Arabian business empire, to search for large amounts of oil. Eventually, on March 1938, CALTEX strikes oil in a promising site named “Dammam No.7”. In 1943, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), agreed to give the Arab government high amounts of free kerosene and gasoline. This created a spark of conflict between the government and citizens of Saudi Arabia. The Yom Kippur War (October 6-25, 1982), was a conflict for certain oil controls in the peninsula between Egypt/Syria and Israel. The Israel military won the war. After the war, the price of oil in the Middle East, the price of oil increased drastically, allowing the area to become very wealthy. In 1982, ARAMCO lost a lot of land, business, and other key factors of the business. 6 years later, ARAMCO was bought out by Saudi Arabia and became known as Saudi Aramco. Due to the high amounts of oil in the peninsula, constructions of pipelines became necessary. So, the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company’s pipeline, the Tapline, was born. This pipeline greatly increased efficiency and transportation of oil, but had some short lines too. Issues of taxes and reconstruction plagued it for several years. Eventually, the pipeline was shut down in 1983.There are environmental issues all throughout the word due to oil usage. There have been a lot of oil spills in the oceans throughout the years. This caused water pollution which caused a lot of marine animals to be harmed or even die. Also some oil spills on land caused fires that eventually ruined woodlands, grasslands, etc. Construction activities that use oil, destroy the vegetation of the environments and allow erosion to happen which is a big environmental issue. Also oil wells cause air pollution which contributed to the climate change. Oil construction and wells also make noise pollution for the wildlife living there and disrupt their migration paths. In conclusion, oil usage is a big reason why the environment is damaged.
In Saudi Arabia, there is a number of rules that apply to the people who visit. One is you cannot criticize the royal family or Islam. If you do criticize them, you will get a severe punishment. Also, there is zero tolerance towards drugs. If you are drug trafficking or if you are a drug offender, you will be sentenced to death. Another rule is you cannot photograph anyone that lives there without their consent or holy sites, official buildings, or military and government institutions. Their next rule for expats is if you import, possess, manufacture, and/or consumption pork, alcohol, or drugs, you will be penalized. Another caution for outsiders of Islam is you should not get involved in public displays of affection, such as holding hands. The last rule that I will include is that homosexuality, prostitution, and adultery are illegal. You will be punished by death if you do so. Although Saudi Arabia has very strict laws, it is still has a lot of positives.
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Muslims are perceived differently all throughout the world. During my research, I found out that 72% of Hungary, 69% of Italy, 66% of Poland, 65% of Greece, 50% of Spain, 35% of Netherlands, 35% of Sweden, 29% of France, 29% of Germany, and 28% of the United Kingdom view Muslims unfavorably. You may have noticed that America isn’t shown in the studies. America has perceived Muslims differently ever since 9/11. When 9/11 happened, anyone who was Muslim or Arab was targeted as terrorists instead of America just targeting the terrorist group. The stereotypes have decreased, but the Muslim stereotypes still exist today. But not all Americans view Muslims this way. Another viewpoint is that Muslims shouldn’t be treated differently, when only one certain group of Muslims did the damage. There are a lot of different viewpoints of Muslims throughout the world, but only a small amount is good. Now that we have answered some of these questions above, you are now a tad more educated on the Arabian Peninsula.