- from Asia
Central Asia is shaped like a bowl. It includes an area of relatively flat land in the center.
On the east and south are mountains. In the west is the Caspian Sea. Starting east of the Caspian Sea and extending to the southern edge of the region are deserts. Only along the banks of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya river systems, which cut through the deserts in this area, is farming possible.
The names of the countries that make up Central Asia end in the suffix -stan. In Persian, -stan means “land.” So, Kazakhstan would mean “land of the Kazakhs.” (Kazakh is an ethnicity, or culture.)
North of Kazakhstan is the Siberian region of Russia. This is North Asia. It begins in the Ural Mountains in the west. It stretches to the Pacific Ocean in the east. Central Siberia is a huge plateau. From there to the east and south are more mountains. The Amur River, the longest in Russia, forms the boundary with Mongolia in the south.