My Favorite Scoop – Zohair Ahmed

This article shows how GMO’s may save chocolate from becoming sparse and expensive. More and more chocolate lovers are being born in India and China, causing a increasing demand of chocolate. Cocoa trees are plants that bear their fruit 5 to even 10 years after being planted. This long period will not be able to sustain the demand, as more and more cocoa plants are being attacked by diseases and insects. This pushes people to turn to GMO’s to make the cocoa trees resistant to diseases and insects they are being attacked by. GMO’s are a major topic of unit 5.

Unit 5- GMO’s

GMO’s have negative effects as well as benefits, it is just a matter of importance. GMO’s may harm people in the long run, but also may save foods such as chocolate, and may also help achieve MDG goals such as reducing malnutrition. As more and more yield is created by GMO’s, more people will be able to get enough food.

luscious chocolates of Belgium


Kiva-Mumtaz from Pakistan

Mumtaz is a 32 year old woman who has chosen the agricultural way of life with her husband. She would like to grow vegetables and fruits and sell them in the local market. Kashf Foundation, a microfinance provider in Pakistan, has helped her improve her farm. Mumtaz would like to use our borrowed money to pay for her seeds with packs of insecticides and pesticides for about 50,000 PKR (Pakistani Rupies) or $500, and will ultimately create a profit while she sells her crops and pays us back.


Palestine and Israel Conflict

Zohair Ahmed P.3

The conflict concerning the the two groups of Israelis and Palestinians occurs in the western edge of the Middle East, Israel having ports in the Mediterranean sea, and bordering many primarily Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The state of Israel is a primarily Jewish nation surrounded by Arab countries. The conflict’s root start as early as the 19th century, when the Ottoman Empire falls to the British. This time period was also when Zionism, the idea of Jewish nationalism was spreading among many Jews, causing them to come back to their origins, which they believed to be their homeland. When the Jews arrived to the lands, they discovered that people had occupied the land after they left, these were the Palestinians. in 1917, after the British had emerged victorious, the Balfour Declaration was created, which claimed a mandate on the land, and supported “The establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” – Balfour Declaration. The Jewish numbers now exponentially increased in the land. Terrorism acts against this immigration started as early as the 1920’s, an example of such terrorism is an organization that started in Syria called “Black Hand”, used as an attempt to root out migratory Jews. After World War 2 and the Holocaust, which was the systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing of six million European Jews, European Zionists acquire a stronger argument and reason for why they need the land of Israel. The U.N., an intergovernmental organization created to promote international cooperation, voted, in 1947, on resolution 181, which gives pieces of the land of Palestine to the Jewish people in the new state of Israel. These borders were not very strong, and divided the land awkwardly. In May 14th, 1948, the British mandate on Israel ends, and, on the same day, the nation of Israel is born. The day Israel is created, the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 begins. This war begins when Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iran declare war on Israel, with the argument of self-determinations, that outsiders gave land to people who haven’t occupied the land for a long period of time. These nations all attack Israel, and Israel attacks back, winning the war. The war results in Israel’s borders expanding to 1/3 more land than the U.N. proposal stated. From 1948 to 1953, 700,000 Jews move to Israel, mostly from Europe, and 700,000 Palestinians flee to neighboring Arab countries. Jordan annexes the West Bank, and Egypt remains in control of the Gaza strip. The situation escalates when Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal, cutting Israel off of it’s shipping lanes. This is better known as the Egypt Suez Canal Crisis of 1956. Reacting, Israel allies with the British and French, taking control, through military, of the Sinai Peninsula, increasing Israel’s size and giving them control of part of the Suez Canal. In 1967, another war called the 6 Day War takes place. This war, pertaining to it’s name, lasted 6 days. nations participating include  Egypt and Jordan. These two countries attack, but are defeated, resulting in Israel taking even more land, including the Golan Heights, West Bank, and the Gaza strip. The next and final war to take place was called the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This war took place as a surprise attack by the nations of Egypt and Syria on the holiest calender day of the Jews. This war had no clear winner, for both sides were dealt major setbacks and damage, no land was gained. The Oslo Agreement of 1993 stated that West bank and Gaza strip would eventually be given to a new, independent country of Palestine.  In more recent years, Israel is not following the Oslo Agreement, occupying agreed upon Palestinian land, and building on it, and Palestinians increase their acts of terrorism, such as electing the terrorist group of Hammas to represent the Gaza strip. These ongoing terrorist acts galvanize Israel to attack back with airstrikes, and other types of warfare. A common misunderstanding is that this conflicts revolves around religious differences, which is wrong, this is a border conflict which may show relation to religion, but is mainly focused on border disputes between Israel and Palestine. Groups carrying out the most attacks include Hammas, and The Israeli Defense Forces.

Key Institution #1: Palestine

Palestine is a stateless nation which has been in conflict with Israel over borders. The Palestinian people have been denied a state from before the formation of Israel, and now they live under a situation equal to a Military Occupation. Palestinians also retaliate to the massacres against them by Israel, such as the Safsaf and al-Dawayima massacres in 1948.

Key Institution #2: Israel

Israel is a state that is primarily ruled by Jews and has grown in size several times after winning wars against Palestine and it’s neighboring countries. Israel needed a state for the many Jewish people without a state, and the U.N. established this. They also are not one of the first countries to increase their territory over a victory in war. Lastly, Israel needs to protect itself and it’s people from the terrorist acts committed against it by Palestine, and from it’s neighboring countries surrounding it.

Suggestions for Peace.

This Conflict will only start to be solved when Zionists and Palestinians recognize the right for each to exist and the reasons for their differences. A suggestion for peace would be to split the land occupied by both nations by population, so that each country has land proportioned to it’s population. There would still be conflicts of ports and etc, so I suggest to split it in a way that there are no landlocked parts, and that both countries get ports in the Mediterranean Sea.

Loss of land shown by map of the conflict over time.
Israel poster 1.A pro Palestinian poster, demonstrating the perspective of Palestinians 2. A Palestinian explanation to why Israel belongs to Jews, perspective of Jews on the conflict
Map showing the geographic location of this conflict. Next to Arab countries, and on the western side of The Middle East. This map also shows the amount of land Palestine owns today.
Map showing the geographic location of this conflict. Next to Arab countries, and on the western side of The Middle East. This map also shows the amount of land Palestine owns today.

PING and PED by Zohair Ahmed

Name of PING: Pakistan
Ranking (UN HDI) Current Year (of 192): 146
Population: 182.14 million
Literacy rate (15+): 54.9%
Gender: Female Population with at least some secondary education (25+): 19.31%
Dependency Ratio of Population: Over 65=8% Less than 15=52%
Infant Mortality Rate: 69 per thousand live births
Life Expectancy at birth: 66.57%
Rate of Natural Increase (per 1000 population) 18.24
% of Population Ages 15-49 with HIV/AIDS: 0.1%
Net migration rate(per 1000 population): -1.8
Percent Urban: 36.85%
GNI (GDP) PPP per capita: 4651.64
Poverty: Percent of Pop living below $2 US per Day: 57%
% of GDP spent on education: 2.37%





Name of PED: New Zealand
Ranking (UN HDI) Current Year (of 192): 7
Population: 4.51 million
Literacy rate (15+): 99%
Gender: Female Population with at least some secondary education (25+): 94.98%
Dependency Ratio of Population:Less than 15=30.77% More than 65=22.47%
Infant Mortality Rate: 5%
Life Expectancy at birth: 81.13%
Rate of Natural Increase (per 1000 population) 6.71
% of Population Ages 15-49 with HIV/AIDS: No Official Measure
Net Migration rate(per 1000 population): 3.3
Percent Urban: 86.32%
GNI (GDP) PPP per capita: 32,569.37
Poverty: Percent of Pop living below $2 US per Day: No Official Measure
%of GDP spent on education: 7.24%





The two countries I have picked are very different. New Zealand’s population is at 4.51 million, while Pakistan’s population is at a massive 182.14 million. New Zealand has no official statistics on poverty or population percent with HIV/AIDS. Almost every piece of data has a huge difference in between the two. New Zealand’s female education population is 94.98% while Pakistan’s is 19.31%. Even though Pakistan has a larger population, New Zealand has a higher GNI PPP per capita at 32,569.37 while Pakistan has 4651.64. The results in the data were so diverse it is shocking. New Zealand has a smaller population and is far more advanced than the country with over 45 times it’s population.

AP Human Geography: Mapheads Chapter 5 Book Review


Hey. I am Zohair Ahmed, a freshman at Lake Travis High School. I had moved to Austin, TX a year ago from Dallas, TX. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 9/28/2000. I have been out of the country eight times, and have gone to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, The Bahamas, and Canada. I speak English, learning Spanish, Arabic (I can read, write, and somewhat speak it), and Urdu (I can speak and understand it). I grew up in Missouri, Ohio, and Texas.

I am reviewing Chapter 5 of Maphead by Ken Jennings. The title of Chapter 5 is Elevation. The focus of this chapter is on older maps and map collectors. Older maps because they “combine all sorts of facets of art, history, scarcity, antiquity, intrinsic interest- all in one.”(82).

“Collectors used to be loyal”(92) Map Collectors now focus on making a good deal rather than finding maps. They…

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