Mesopotamia (" the district between the rivers"), the Biblical Aram-Naharayim, or Padan-Aram - that is, the country between the Euphrates and the Tigris. It is, of course, only a geographical expression, and is used somewhat loosely. Mesopotamia covers over 50,000 square miles of sandy but fertile soil, from which cereals, tobacco, rice, and many fruits are raised. The climate varies from extreme heat in summer to a degree of cold rare in corresponding latitudes. The inhabitants are Arabs and Kurds, who are more or less nomadic in their habits. The country contains the historic cities of Mosul (the ancient Nineveh), Edessa, Diarbekr or Amid, Nisibis, Nicephorium, and Thapsacus. Bagdad (q.v.) lies beyond to the south-east.