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Semestral Exam 2 Study Guide


Contents • Section 1- Palestine • Section 2- Women’s rights in the Middle East • Section 3- UNICEF • Section 4- The Renaissance


Section 1: Palestine Palestine is a self-governing territory in the Middle East, which has borders with Israel and Egypt. The area of Palestine has been in dispute with Israel about independence for many years. This has been one of the biggest issues in the UN in recent years and the Palestinians have said they will formally ask for independence this year. Israel is currently occupying Palestine, illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. Life in Palestine is extremely difficult. It is characterised by extreme poverty and danger. According to the United Nations Relief and works Agency, over half of Palestinians live in poverty 1. This is made worse by Israel, who controls access to resources and movement. Palestinians are spending more on food, but buying less food. Israel is currently enforcing a military occupation and this requires force as necessary. Checkpoints are a common feature of life in Palestine, making movement difficult at times. For example, the Palestine football team does not play matches because their players are not allowed to pass checkpoints. Patrols by tanks and soldiers happen every day and clashes between the military and Palestinian civilians are common. Children often describe how it is their way of fighting the occupation by Israelis. Education is poor in Palestine, and children often drop out of school to help their family earn more money.




Section 2- Women’s rights in the Middle East An issue which is emotional for many people, women’s rights in the Middle East are now much higher on the agenda, mainly because of the revolutions that have taken place in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Women in some Middle-Eastern countries have been deprived of some basic rights taken for granted in countries like Mexico. Some of these rights include; ● ● ● ● ● ●

The right to work The right to education the right to drive The right to vote the right to choose who to marry The right to leave the house alone

It is important to know that many of these horrible practices come from local traditions and not from Islam itself. Women do not have to cover all of their face and often combine the headscarf with western clothing like jeans. Some countries are more sympathetic to womens’ rights than others. For example, in Kuwait women can both vote and run for political office. Jordan has a strong womens’ rights movement. In terms of the worst countries, Afghanistan was recently chosen as the worst place to be a woman, due to the violence and lack of healthcare for women2. Pakistan is ranked third worst on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. "These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse," the same poll found3. 2 3


The UN has been attempting a number of solutions to this issue. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was passed in 1980 and has been signed by all but 5 countries in the world (the United States is one of those five). This was an agreement which outlined the principles of human rights for women and girls. Despite some of the political changes that have taken place in some parts of the Middle East, womens’ rights have been slow to follow, and the world is waiting with anticipation for positive changes which will improve the basic rights of women in this part of the world.

Section 3- UNICEF ●

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation focusing on children and child rights, with a presence in more than 190 countries and 6

territories. We work with local communities, partners and governments to ensure every child’s rights to survive and thrive are upheld. ●

UNICEF delivers programmes in more than 150 less-developed countries around the world. Our global reach allows us to share knowledge across borders, while our local presence means we can deliver assistance where it is needed most. UNICEF is ready to respond rapidly wherever disaster strikes, delivering life-saving help for children.

UNICEF works with families, communities and governments in more than 190 countries worldwide to protect and promote the rights of all children.

We help governments to build schools, train teachers and provide textbooks so that every child can get an education.

We support families and communities to care for children and protect them against exploitation and abuse, fulfilling their right to a childhood. We work with partners to ensure that every child has the opportunity to take part in sport and play.

We support governments to build and equip health systems, train health workers and provide food and clean water, so every child can be as healthy as possible. UNICEF is also the world’s largest distributor of vaccines to the developing world. In 2008, we supplied vaccines for 56 per cent of the world’s children, protecting them against death from preventable diseases.

UNICEF recognises that children are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of HIV and AIDS and climate change. In 2005, we launched our global campaign, Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, to bring about real and lasting change for children affected by HIV and 7

AIDS. In 2010, we launched Carbon Positive, a tool that allows individuals and businesses to calculate their carbon footprint and support climate change adaptation programmes. â—?

All information from;

Section 4- The Renaissance The Renaissance began in late 14th century Italy, in Florence and can be described as the rebirth of classical ideas dating back to Ancient Rome and 8

Greece. The most important changes took place in Art and architecture, religion, medicine and treatment and trade. Italy was a series of city-states rather than one unified country during the Renaissance. The three most powerful city-states were Florence, Milan and Venice. Florence This city-state is called the cradle of the Renaissance, as the movement started here. Florence was a powerful city-state in the centre of Italy. Florence was famous for its strong economy and powerful leaders. Florence’s strong economy was based on its powerful banking system and its competitive wool industry. Florence was ruled by the Medici family after it was decided a powerful family was needed to defend Florence from other city-states. The Medici made Florence powerful due to alliances and by exiling opponents (forcing them to leave). They were also big supporters of the art and architecture in Florence, allowing beautiful buildings like the Cathedral to be constructed.


Milan The strategic location of Milan on the river Po helped it to develop into a powerful city-state. However, its location also meant it was a target for invaders, particularly the French. Milan was ruled by both the Visconti and Sforza families during the Renaissance. The Sforza family in particular were very strong rulers, similar to the Medici family in Florence. Milan conquered lots of territory in Northern Italy during the Renaissance, including nearby areas like Pavia and Parma.

Venice Formed in the 5th century in the marshlands of North-East Italy, Venice was different from other city-states in Italy. The location of Venice meant it was able to trade extensively with Europe and the Islamic world to the East. Taxes on goods brought into Venice meant it was able to become very rich. Venice had a very strong navy which was able to protect the city and cargo ships against any attackers. Although Venice was technically a republic, it was ruled by a small ‘Council of Ten’, made up of wealthy merchant families.


Humanism Humanism can be described as a way of thinking centred on the human experience. The humanists emphasized the importance of human values instead of religious beliefs. Renaissance humanists were often devout Christians, but their promotion of secular, or non-religious values, often put them at odds with the church. Religion


Europe at the start of the Renaissance was mostly Catholic. But dissatisfaction was growing with the Catholic Church. This was for a number of reasons, particularly the selling of indulgences. Indulgences were the selling of a place in heaven for those in purgatory. It was an important source of money for the Church, but they were very unpopular. Martin Luther was a German Priest and theologian, who was very unhappy at how the Church was taking advantage of ordinary people. He very famously nailed his ‘95 theses’, a series of criticisms, to a church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This accidentally started a wave of religious protest in Germany, which began to spread across Europe.

Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1520 and ordered to attend an assembly in Worms, Germany, in 1521. He refused to recant on any of his writings. Five days after his trial, it was decided that Martin Luther was an outlaw and a heretic, and anybody was allowed to kill him. Medicine Humanism inspired many of the changes during the Renaissance. As well as new religious ideas, new ideas were spread about the workings of the human body, and possible treatments.


Andreas Vesalius- A Belgian anatomist, his work was very important in understanding where every bone, muscle and ligament is located in the body. He famously used to steal bodies in order to investigate how they worked. Thanks to his work, the effectiveness of surgery was able to improve a slightly.

William Harvey- An English doctor, who was able to prove that the blood flows around the body in a circulatory motion. He famously used to study victims on the battlefield during the English Civil War. Thanks to his work humans were able to understand more effectively how the heart works.

Ambroise Pare- A French surgeon, his ligature and dressing was very important in attempting to end the problem of blood loss in soldiers. It was not 100% effective immediately due to things like infection.



Semester 2 Study Guide-Social Studies  

Study guide for Grade 8 students @ Colegio Euroamericano, Monterrey, Mexico.

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