The latest conflict in Middle East has caused deep concern among the world. How can I relate events happening on the opposite side of the globe to myself? I decided to match the geography of the region to the San Francisco bay area, the place where I am living. Thanks Google Earth and GIMP, I can put them together side by side.
For all the troubles rises in the past decades, this region is relative small. The main map shows much of Israel, Lebanon and the West Bank. The inset shows the approximate extend of the nine county of San Francisco bay area. Their sizes are actually comparable. The distance from Beirut to Haifa is 130km and from Haifa to Tel Aviv is 84km. Similarly the distance from Sacramento to San Francisco is 124km and from San Francisco to San Jose is 67km.
The Gaza Strip is cut off from the bottom of the map. But it is shown here in the inset inside the inset under the same scale. Its size is comparable to the San Francisco Peninsular. The length of Gaza is about 41km, slightly shorter than the distance between San Francisco and Palo Alto (44km).
Here are some more figures. The combined area of Lebanon, Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip has about 14.3 million people in the area of 39,000 sq km. The Bay area has about 7 million people in the area of 17,000 sq km.
With this in mind we can start to imagine. What is it like if fighting erupt in our home town? How would it affect your life when your safety is at risk and key infrastructure are damaged?
Furthermore, life in San Francisco bay area are in general peacefully and prosperous. Why isn't more conflicts happen here? What is the social and historical cause that make the conflicts in the middle east so insolvable? What would be the way out?
2006.07.20 comments -