Lanzhou 1. For centuries in this part of China, rafts have been an important means of transportation--made of Sheep skin, inflated and tied together, they navigated the Huang He, or Yellow River. 2. In stone fields, a thin layer of stones is spread over the surface of the field to hold in moisture. 3. The famous silcroat (something like that) passed through Lanzhou on its way through northwest China. 4. Lanzhou is also a cultural crossroads between the Huang He (Silk Road? WEST)River peoples in the east and other ethnic groups from the west. 5. Spice has always been one of the most important products traded at the market. 6. A traditional house (for Muslims) is built around a courtyard. 7. China must import much of its new energy from the oil-rich Islamic States to their west. 8. What's not as clear is the future of Uygur Muslims in far western Xinjiang where a small minority promotes separatism and the government treats many there as terrorists. Egypt 1. And 4,000 miles from its source, the Nile puts forth its greatest gift: a lush and fertile delta, that ushered one of the world's oldest civilizations. 2. 95% of Egypt's people live on, and depend on, just 5% of the land. 3. Damaging levels of Stalinization affects as much as 50% of Egypt's farmland. 4. Most farms of the fellaheen, the Egyptian peasant farmer, are less than an acre in size. 5. But nearly as quickly as they are gaining new farmland in the desert, they are losing their best farmland to urban growth. 6. From 1800 to 2000, the man to land ratio in Egypt decreased from 1 acre to 1/8 acre per person. 7. 20% of Egypt's total area--slated for arrogation and development. . 8. In 1959, Egypt, and its neighbor to the south, Sudan, agreed to a split of the annual flow of Nile water. Turkey 1. In Istanbul, for thousands of people, marginal street trade is the only source of income. The poorest among them have built shelters at the edge of the city. 2. As Constantinople, the city was the center of the Christian Byzantine Empire. As Istanbul, it was the seat of the Turkish Ottoman sultans. 3. One of Ataturk's major goals was economic modernization. Development was focused on the cities. The effort led to mass migration from the countryside. 4. Istanbul is growing rapidly. Immigration is at about 300,000 to 400,000 per year, but these are only estimates. 5. Others, like many inner-city shopkeepers and tradespeople, regret the lack of traditional values in modern Turkish society and are drawn toward fundamentalism. 6. Beginning in the 1920s, one of Ataturk's most significant changes, was the formal separation of Church and State. 7. Human rights, corruption, economic problems, and the strength of Islam may keep Turks from the one thing they want the most: membership in the European Union. 8. From all these countries (SE Europe, SW Asia, & Turkestan) thousands of people come to Istanbul to trade. Boulsous of these merchants arrive and leave every day, hoping to sell Turkish products back home for a profit. Jerusalem 1. According to Muslims, Jerusalem is the holiest place after Mecca and Medina. 2. According the proposal just after World War II, Jerusalem and Bethlehem were to have special status under United Nations jurisdiction. 3. After the 6-day war in 1967, Jewish neighborhoods began appearing in West(?)(unification?)EAST Jerusalem. 4. Hoping to eventually trade land for peace, Israel gambled on a 1993 plan negotiated in Oslo (Norway). This plan produced mutual recognition of Israel and the P.L.O. 5. Within the one-square kilometer Old City of Jerusalem, there are at least 57 holy sites, holy to 3 separate faiths. 6. Jews pray in front of their ancient temple whose ruins lay buried behind its Western wall. 7. The Israelis continue to control too many aspects of (leal, real, dead) life for the Palestinians. 8. After standing back for 2 years, U.S. President George W. Bush specifically calls for a Palestinian state as part of the so-called road-map for peace. Oman 1. It was not until the mid-1960s that commercial quantities of oil were discovered. 2. The 2 1/2 million inhabitants of Oman can go by car on new roads all over the country. 3. Oil revenues account for 80% of Oman's income. 4. Oman's government sees economic diversification as the key to their future. 5. Today, foreigners make up 2/3s of Oman's labor force, a quarter of the total population. 6. The status of women in Oman is noticeably different from its neighbors. 7. One sector seeing more development in the name of diversification is Oman's fishing industry. 8. Oman really lives in the shadow of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This remarkable city has become the "capital" of the Arabian Peninsula.