Iraq is bordered by 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 (Arabic:بغداد Baġdād), is in the center-east of the country.
Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the centre of Iraq, flowing from northwest to southeast. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppeand desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.
Historically, the territory comprising Iraq was known in Europe by the Greek toponym 'Mesopotamia' (Land between the rivers). 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.