Iraq, also known as Mesopotamia, is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert.
Iraq shares borders with Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (35 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf. The capital city, Baghdad is in the center-east of the country.
Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the centre of Iraq, flowing from north to south. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppe and desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.
Historically, Iraq was known in Europe by the Greek eponym 'Mesopotamia' (Land between the rivers); after the foundation of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932, it became known by its ancient endonym 'Iraq'. Iraq has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is identified as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing and the wheel.