Jazira(redirected from Al Gezira)
a plateau in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and northern Mesopotamia. On the north and east it is bounded by the spurs of the Taurus and Zagros mountains, on the west and southwest it passes smoothly into the plateau of the Syrian Desert and the Arabian Peninsula, and on the southeast it is separated by a scarp from the low-lying southern part of Mesopotamia. Jazira is a plain rising from 200 m to 450 m from the southeast to the northwest. Individual mountain ridges reach an elevation of 1,463 m (Mount Shelmira in the Sinjar massif). The plain is crisscrossed by the terraced valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and their tributaries and by dry river beds called wadis. Jazira is composed of Cretaceous and Miocene sandstones and limestones and of alluviums and basalt fields. In the north (in Iraq) there are large oil deposits (Kirkuk and others). The climate is subtropical Mediterranean, with hot, very dry summers and warm, humid winters. The landscape consists of desert in the south and semidesert with ephemeral meadow grass and wormwood vegetation on the submountain plains in the north. The mountain slopes have sparse pistachio thickets. There are oases and remains of floodland forests of poplar, willow, and tamarisk along the river valleys.