Persia, Afghanistan, and Beloochistan, are remarkable for their desert tracts, forest-covered mountains, and fertile river valleys. Grain, sugar, fruits, indigo, and dates grow abundantly. Many inhabitants own large flocks of goats and sheep, and others are engaged in the manufacture of silk goods, shawls, rugs, and perfumery. Others do the caravan carrying trade. There are also many warlike tribes that rove over the deserts ostensibly as cattle-raisers, but their chief business is that of bandits.
Persia is especially noted for its extensive salt deserts. The inhabitants are a slow, easy-going people, hospitable and generous. All of the above countries are important chiefly for the fact that they lie between Russia and the Indian Ocean. Afghanistan is called "the gateway of India." Nearly all the people are Mohammedans, and their education is confined chiefly to learning portions of the Koran and scraps of poetry.'