History of the Islamic Peoples: With a Review of Events, 1939-1947

History of the Islamic Peoples: With a Review of Events, 1939-1947

History of the Islamic Peoples: With a Review of Events, 1939-1947

History of the Islamic Peoples: With a Review of Events, 1939-1947

Excerpt

ARABIA, the "island of the Arabs" as it is called by its own inhabitants, is a primary geological formation of southwest Asia about a million square miles in extent. As early as the Jurassic epoch the deep Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf cut it off from India and Persia, whose mountainous conformation is still retained in the coastal region of 'Uman. In the Tertiary period, Arabia was divided from North Africa by the irruption of the Red Sea, which elevated the western mountain chain of the Sarat, in which Jabal Nabi Shu'ayb, west of the Yemenire capital of San'a in the south, rises to a height of more than 12,300 feet. Stretched out before this range lies the coastal plain of the Tihamah, about 30 miles wide; its northern part together with the mountain country is called the Hijaz. The mountain chain around the coast is partially crisscrossed by volcanoes now extinct, the source of the broad lava layers of the Harrah. Toward the east the chain casts out two spurs into the plains north of Medina, the mountain ranges Aja and Salma, now called Jabal Shammar. They divide the Syrian desert, which stretches as far as the swamplands of the Tigris and Euphrates in the east and the Syro-Palestinian limestone tableland in the west, together with its southern offshoot, the Nufud, from the central plateau of the Najd, the great desert tableland of primordial rock overlain by sandstone which slopes down into the Persian Gulf in the east. This is separated from the mountainous ridges of the southeastern coastal territory of 'Uman by a great sandy waste, the Rub' al-Khali, or "Empty Quarter," as it is called, which was crossed for the first time in February 1931 by Bertram Thomas and in January-March 1932 by St. John Philby.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.