Chapter 21 Harsh and Arid Lands Section One Landforms and Resources Unit Seven - Southwest Asia Golan Heights Looking into Israel from the Golan Heights. Landforms Divide the Region Southwest Asia forms a land bridge connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. Peninsulas and Waterways The most distinctive landform in Southwest Asia is the Arabian Peninsula, which is surrounded by the Red Sea on the southwest and the Persian Gulf on the east. Peninsulas and Waterways Also, on the southwest side of the Arabian Peninsula is a strategic opening to the Mediterranean Sea – the Suez Canal. Suez Canal Plains and Highlands Most of the land on the Arabian Peninsula is barren with some low hills, ridges, and wadis, which are riverbeds that remain dry except during the rainy seasons. Wadi Zen in Jordan Plains and Highlands The heart of Iran is a plateau surrounded by mountains. Mountains The Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan are linked with other ranges of mountains that frame southern Asia Hindu Kush Mnts. Water Bodies Euphrates River Because much of Southwest Asia is arid, there are few rivers that flow the entire year. Two of the most important rivers – the Tigris and the Euphrates – supported several ancient river valley civilizations. Water Bodies The Jordan River has no outlet to the sea, but its waters mingle with the salty waters of the Dead Sea, a landlocked salt lake. Jordan River An Oil-Rich Region The most abundant resource in Southwe st Asia is oil. Other Resources In parts of Southwest Asia, water is a scarce resource that must be constantly guarded and carefully used.