Oil and Water

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This program features two case studies that examine the interaction between humans and natural resources: Egypt: Gift of the Nile and Oman: Looking Beyond Oil.

A growing population and a shrinking arable land base is the dilemma presented in the first case study, Egypt: Gift of the Nile. The continued sprawl of Cairo is eating up some of Egypt's best Delta farmland. Simultaneously, Egypt is developing so-called mega projects to further reclaim the desert and maximize use of the Nile's waters.

Updates to this case study include new maps and satellite imagery, commentary by Dr. Dona Stewart, discussion of the Nile Basin initiative, the shift from collective to commercial agriculture, and Egypt's on-going mega-projects aimed at creating an artificial Nile.

The second case study, Oman: Looking Beyond Oil, examines the country of Oman as it tries to diversify its economy. Nomadic in nature until the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the people of Oman have modernized in the past thirty years. Fully eighty percent of the Omani economy is now based on oil. To avoid over dependence on one extractive commodity, Sultan Qaboos has enacted a national plan called Omanization in order to provide domestic worker training, develop new economic sectors, and replace foreign guest workers. One component of Omanization, and distinctive for an Islamic country, is the education and employment of women.

Updates to this program include commentary by Dr. Alasdair Drysdale on the expanding role of women in Omani society, Oman's desire to diversify into high-end tourism, and how Oman's relative location to Dubai may affect its diversification efforts.

Find additional resources, including primary source materials, interactives, and downloadable print materials, at: http://www.learner.org/series/powerofplace/page18.html

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