Saudi Arabia/Middle East: A Look Back at History


Sometimes to better understand what is happening today one may need to look back.  This link illustrates in a 90 second interactive map the ‘various’ empires which have risen and fallen in the Middle East region in the past 3000 years.  Given the ongoing events taking place today in the Middle East and Africa it is worth taking a look at the geo-political changes which took place in the past.


27 Responses

  1. What’s happening in the Arab World to is reaction to 14 and 1/2 century of absolute rule, denigration, poverty, isolation, backwardness and economic disparity between the rulers and the ruled.

    The Arab regimes’ responses to peaceful and justice seeking citizens demonstrate the fact that the ruling elites consider the people over whom they rule are subhumans.

  2. Agree Ali. It is the Rulers decadence for so many years that I have never been able to understand.

  3. I love that powepoint presentation!!!!! Yes, I admit, I am boring, boring geek. I love the study of shifts and changes in human migration. I truly think if one really examines the history of the all the Empires, we can really see that many of us are truly a decendent of similiar places. Perhaps, we can realize not to classify people or assume h/her ethnic background merely by physical appearance. Blond hair blue eye me has got some Middle Eastern roots—surprise, surprise
    Another point I would like to add too. Scary, but true, and that is we are so fragile. Very powerful one day, seemingly industructable, to collapse.
    I found it interesting that when I was living in Turkey, a few Turks were unfamiliar with the Byzatine Empire—-eeks, now that is scary.

  4. 😀 That’s brilliant!! Of course as an archaeologist specialising these days in the archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula, I would dispute a lot of those boundaries, especially when it comes to the Gulf and I have a couple of small issues with dates and of course they left out Everything that was happening in the Gulf and Arabia during the early period, when Egypt wasn’t actually the only fish in the sea… Not to mention they left out Most of what was happening in what is now Saudi throughout the whole thing… But that’s just me being nit-picky!! 😀

  5. That was very interesting. I don’t remember half of that being taught in school.

    But the future lies in being free from rulers and nations.

  6. Thank you so much for this background info. The map makes clear what seeing all those archeological digs did not.

  7. Good maps and presentation. You will notice that in much of history,as least as relates to the many empires, Arabia was out of it. It seems that the barren lands of the desert people were too much or not rich enough for the many conquering armies that marched back and forth along the fertile crescent area.

    Claire, I too have issues with empires and boundaries on presentation, but still it is good work.

  8. A lot of empires stayed away from inner Saudi…looooool.

    My father LOVED this link, thank you for sharing.

  9. Right now Ghadaffi’s mercenaries are murdering the Libyan civilians. He even sent fighterplanes to kill his people.
    And they are killing doctors and medical personnel in the hospitals.

  10. Ghadaffi is insane! He’s always been insane, even before this anytime he talked he made no sense what so ever. Like Bush on crack.

    Oh wait…Bush was on crack, LOL.

    But that guy is sick, for sure. One of those people I hope there’s a hell for.

  11. This year will make history! It is kind of like ’89 all over. Oh wait, Carol doesn’t remember 1989 – she is just a young thing!

    Anyway, exciting times these. You know, I would give a little finger to see Ghadaffi hanging from a lamppost. I would even be nice to my friend MD. I would give up coffee for a day. I would kiss Xuxa, my stupid lazy good-for-nothing dog! The world is full of evil people, but Mad Gaffy, that vile repugnant son of a bitch, is close to the top of the line.

    PS: Good news is that many of Libyan soldiers and pilots will not follow the mad dog’s orders to massacre the people.

  12. Qadafi and Chevaz…what a pair…

  13. Regarding Qadafi,

    In the state we have the occasional mad man with a gun, who starts shooting randomly at co-workers. Qadafi is a mad man, he always had the strange behaviors and the Manson Helter Skelter look about him. Unfortunately, he has bigger and more lethal weapons. This could have been much worse if he was not convinced out of building Chemical weapons a few years back. I am sure he would not have hesitated about using them.

    He is hanging on by a thread now and no country that respects itself will accept him. I am with Jay on this. Hanging him will be the minimal punishment.

  14. Been watching TV. Quote: The longest serving Arab leader appeared briefly on TV to dispel rumors that he had fled. Sitting in a car in front of what appeared to be his residence and holding an umbrella out of the passenger side door, he told an interviewer that he had wanted to go to the capital’s Green Square to talk to his supporters, but the rain stopped him.”

    That is from Yahoo and it shows a picture of the the dictator holding an umbrella 0 inside a car. It really looks silly – like an old man in a day care center. Where are those girl guards of his?

    He wanted go to but the rain stopped him…. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  15. “He wanted go to but the rain stopped him….”

    He is the lion of the desert. Bullets and bombs are nothing to him. But a little rain will mess up his latest fashionable dress!!!

  16. sounds pretty lame to me….

  17. Could someone explain exactly what the Arab Leagues purpose is? Apparently it has nothing to do with Arab dictators gone wild as they have had very little to say about any of these historical events taking place this year….anyone?

  18. @Coolred38,

    Arab league purpose:

    – 50% sit around in a round table periodically. Talk about the Palestinian problem. Issue strong condemnation statements of the state of Israel. Then head out to lavish dinners.

    – 30% Talk about how to use the Palestinian situation and the West to distract their people from the incompetence and thefts going on in their counties.

    – 18% security coordination between countries to keep dissent at bay.

    – 2% closed committees for creating the latest jokes about Qadafi’s latest outfit….

  19. There are also those at summit meetings who sit around the large round table, go to a dinner as protocol dictates, return to their hotel and do consult/work hard through the rest of the night before the next round of meetings.

  20. MoQ, you are really mean!
    That was good – now I understand the AL, at last!

  21. I think all the war going on in that region of the world right now is a bit sad in that a lot of people are dying as a result of all the political changes. I just hope that in the end, the change that the majority of the people in each country want will be granted. War is never a good thing, but sometimes necessary. Of course, war goes on in other parts of the world, too. This area just seems to get more press time lately.

    Sometimes, even when there is what appears to be political change happening, the same groups of people end up in power. I guess that’s why I liked this one cartoon’s (Making Fiends) version of fixed “presidential elections”. Even with the election, the same person ended up in power. I hope this doesn’t happen, unless it’s really what the majority of people want.

  22. @Jay,

    Glad to help 🙂

  23. Hey, I just came to a brilliant conclusion….

    Ghadaffi is going to Canada! If you see the “interview” video, he is wearing a silly hat with earflaps. Viola, he is going to a cold climate, obviously Canada.

    It is well know fact that Canada will take any refugee..

  24. Strange one, I don’t know what planet you live on, but what’s happening in the Middle East right now is quite news worthy.
    Actually, for anybody who has only a smattering of knowledge about the Middle East it is mindblowing!
    It is big, amazing, astounding, and totally unexpected.
    And although the Middle East may seem far away from where we are, in America and Europe, these events will have measurable influence on our lives. Another reason why the news media are quite right in reporting on current events.
    We don’t live in isolated countries anymore, we live on a planet where almost everybody is interconnected in some way or other. And due to everybodies dependence on oil, we are all very closely connected to the Middle East.

    What is happening now, the horrendous loss of human lives, civilians being murdered by their governments, Ghadaffi sending in fighter planes to massacre the Libyans, the Bahreini government attacking and killing families in the dead of night, Doctors and medical personnel being murdered in their hospitals in Libya so they can’t attend to the wounded, how sick is that?

    Don’t you think that, considering the sickness factor of these crimes, it is a bit insensitive to play it down with ”This area just seems to get more press time lately”?

    However insensitive you may be to the murders and suffering and pain going on right now, in a short time you will feel in your own life the repercussions of these ”little skirmishes”, and maybe then you will understand that what’s happening now is quite properly headline news.

  25. MoQ.

    Thank you. Funny enough I have received similar answers in other places I have asked this question. Apparently the Arab League is the white American man’s version of the Good Ole Boys club and not much more.

  26. Jay, I hope we Canadians haven’t stooped so low as to accept that wing nut!!! 😦

  27. Aafke,
    I never said it was a small thing. I just consider war to be a timeless thing in a way because it’s always going on somewhere. It’s sad, and I am willing to help other people as much as I can, but sometimes, there is really nothing other people can do.

    If I sound calloused, it’s because I grew up in a town where living in a safe neighborhood meant there weren’t drive-by shootings at night (in my mind), even pawn shops got robbed, and women didn’t go walking by themselves generally speaking because they might get hit by a car, raped, and/or stolen from. (Although I did hear a story recently about a woman who went for a run armed with a baseball bat.) To be perfectly honest, though, when you are used to a certain lifestyle it becomes normal to you. I used to think it was normal for dead bodies to be found out near the highway, which is why you didn’t go walking by yourself- especially at night. I am very thankful now to not have to live in a city like that anymore, so I can only imagine how much more grateful people in these countries will be when they are no longer forced to have to deal with these situations.

    However, I have no idea how much the situation will improve after the new governments are formed. That is for time to tell. I think it is a bit crazy to jump to conclusions that it is going to massively improve the country overnight until the change begins to happen and there are signs of improvement being made.

    What about all the fighting going on in the Ivory Coast? Uganda? Congo? What about the corruption within other governments? What about the crime-ridden areas within countries in Europe and North America? War,conflict,etc. ARE sick and twisted by nature.

    Yes, it is very amazing what that all this is going on in the same part of the world at the same time. I have to agree with that!

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