official_name = Ahvaz
native_name = اهواز
imagesize = 280px
image_caption = White bridge.
mapsize = 280px
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = IRN
subdivision_type1 = Province
leader_title = Mayor
population_as_of = 2006 census
population_total = 1,338,126
population_density_km2 = 2000
latd = 31 |latm = 19 | lats = 39 | latNS = N
longd = 48 |longm = 41 | longs = 38 | longEW = E
elevation_m = 17
elevation_ft = 52
The city of Ahvaz or Ahwaz [cite web |url=http://www.bartleby.com/65/ah/Ahvaz.html |title=Ahvaz |accessdate=2007-01-27 |year=2001-05 |work=
Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.] ( _fa. اهواز "ahvāz" or _ar. الأحواز), is the capital of the Iranian province of Khūzestān. It is built on the banks of the KarunRiver and is situated in the middle of Khūzestān Province. The city has an average elevation of 20 meters above sea level. The city had a population of 1,338,126 in 2006. [ [http://www.sci.org.ir/portal/faces/public/census85/census85.natayej سرشماری عمومی نفوس و مسكن 1385 - درگاه ملی آمار ] ]
The word "Ahvaz" is a Persianized form of the local "Ahwaz", which in turn itself is derived from a Persian word. The
Dehkhoda Dictionaryspecifically defines the Market of the Khuzis", where "Suq" is Persian word "chahar-suy/sugh" for market, and "Ahwaz" is a plural (اسم جمع) of the form "af'āl" (افعال) of the word "Huz", or more precisely, the root "ha wa za" (ه و ز), which itself comes from the Persian "Huz", from Achaemenid inscriptions from where the term first appears. Thus, which refers to the non-Arabic original habitants of Khūzestān.
The term "Huz", meanwhile, is the
Old Persianrendition of Suz ( Susa- Susiana), the native Elamitename of the region. Old Persian commonly changed the initial "s" in a foreign word into an "h," most famously, in its rendition of the name the river and the people Sindh/ Sindhiinto Hind/Hindi, which was then Hellenized into Indus, whence India.
Location and roads
Ahwaz located 120 km north-west of
Abadanand is accessible via following routes in addition of a single runway airport:
Tehran- Khorramshahrnational railway
Abadanhighway (145 km)
Andimeshk(152 km) highway
Bandar-e Emam Khomeynihighway (175 km).
Ahvaz being the largest city in the province consists of two distinctive districts: the newer part of Ahvaz, the administrative and industrial center, has been built on the right bank of the Karun while residential areas are found in the old section of the city, on the left bank.
Ahvaz has long, hot summers and mild, short winters. The maximum temperature in summer could soar up to 54 degrees Celsius while in winters the minimum temperature could fall around 2 degrees Celsius. The annual rainfall is 195 mm.Fact|date=February 2007
For a more comprehensive historical treatment of the area, see the history section of
Ahvaz is the anagram of "Avaz" and "Avaja" which appear in Darius's epigraph. This word appears in Naqsh-Rostam inscription as "Khaja" or "Khooja" too.Fact|date=April 2007
First named "Ōhrmazd-Ardašēr" (Persian: هرمزداردشیر) (Roamn "Hormizdartazir" [Dodgeon M. H. and Lieu S. N. C., "The Roman Eastern Frontier and The Persian Wars; A Documentary History", London (1991), p.35; ISBN 0-415-10317-7] ) it was built near the beginning of the Sassanid dynasty on what historians believe to have been the site of the old city of "
Taryana", a notable city under the Persian Achaemenid dynasty. It was founded either by Ardashir Iin 230 (cf. "Encyclopædia Iranica", al-Muqaddasi, et al.) or (according to the Middle Persian "Šahrestānīhā ī Ērānšahr") by his grandson Hormizd I; the town's name either combined Ardashir's name with the Zoroastrian name for God, "Ōhrmazd" or Hormizd's name with that of his grandfather. It became the seat of the province, and was also referred to as "Hūmšēr". During the Sassanid era, an irrigation system and several dams were constructed, and the city prospered. Examples of Sassanid-era dams are "Band-e Bala-rud", "Band-e Mizan", "Band-e Borj Ayar" and "Band-e Khak". The city replaced Susa, the ancient capital of Susiana, as the capital of what was then called Xuzestān.
The city had two sections; the nobles of the city lived in one part while the other was inhabited by merchants. [cf. "
Encyclopædia Iranica"] When the Arabs invaded the area in 640, the part of the city home to the nobility was demolished but the "Hūj-ī-stānwāčār" "Market of Khūz State", the merchant area, remained intact. The city was therefore renamed "Sūq al-Ahwāz", "Market of the "Khuz", a semi-literal translation of the Persian name of this quarter - "Ahwāz" being the Arabic broken pluralof "Hûz", taken from the ancient Persian term for the native Elamite peoples, "Hūja" (remaining in medieval "Xūzīg" "of the "Khuz" and modern "Xuzestān" "Khuz State", as noted by Yaqut al-Hamawi(1179-1229) and Abu-Mansoor Javalighi.
Umayyadand Abbasideras, Ahvaz flourished as a center for the cultivation of sugarcaneand as the home of many well-known scholars. It is discussed by such respected medieval historians and geographers as ibn Hawqal, Tabari, Istakhri, al-Muqaddasi, Ya'qubi, Masudi, and Mostowfi Qazvini. Nearby stood the Academy of Gundishapur, where the modern-day teaching hospital is said to have been first established.
Ahvaz was devastated in the bloody Mongol invasions of the 13th and 14th centuries. Ahvaz subsequently declined into a mere village. The dam and irrigation channels, no longer maintained, eroded and finally collapsed early in the 19th century. During this time Ahvaz was primarily inhabited by Arabs and a small number of
Sabians. Some minor cultivation continued, while all evidence of sugarcane plantations had vanished, although ruins of sugarcane mills from the medieval era remained in existence. [X. de Planhol, " Encyclopædia Iranica"]
In the 19th century, "Ahvaz was no more than a small
boroughinhabited mainly by Sha'ab Arabs and a few Sabeans (1,500 to 2,000 inhabitants according to Ainsworth in 1835; 700 according to Curzon in 1890)." [" Encyclopædia Iranica", p.690, see entry: "Ahvaz"]
In the 1880s, under Qajar rule, the Karun River was dredged and re-opened to commerce. A newly-built railway crossed the Karun at Ahvaz. The city again became a commercial crossroads, linking river and rail traffic. The construction of the
Suez Canalfurther stimulated trade. A port city was built near the old village of Ahvaz, and named "Bandar-e-Naseri" in honor of Nassereddin Shah Qajar.
Oil was found near Ahvaz in the early 20th century, and the city once again grew and prospered as a result of this newfound wealth. From 1897-1925, Sheikh Khaz'al controlled this area and the name was changed to "Naseriyeh". Afterwards, during the
Pahlaviperiod, it resumed its old name, "Ahvaz". The government of the Khūzestān Provincewas transferred there from Shûshtar in 1926. The trans-Iranian railroad reached Ahvaz in 1929 and by the World War II, Ahvaz had become the principal built-up area of interior of Khūzestān. Professional segregation remained well marked between various groups in that period still feebly integrated: Persians, sub-groupings of Persians and Arabs. Natives of the Isfahan region held an important place in retail trade, owners of cafes and hotels and as craftsmen. ["Ibid", p.690]
Iraq attempted to annex Khūzestān and Ahvaz in 1980, resulting in the
Iran–Iraq War(1980-1988). Ahvaz was close to the front lines and suffered badly during the war.
Iraq had pressed its claims to Khūzestān in part because many of the inhabitants of the area spoke Arabic rather than Persian, the dominant language in Iran. Iraq had hoped to exacerbate ethnic tensions and win over popular support for the invaders. Most accounts say that the Iranian Arab inhabitants resisted the Iraqis rather than welcome them as liberators. However, some Iranian Arabs claim that as a minority they face discrimination from the central government; they agitate for the right to preserve their cultural and linguistic distinction and more provincial autonomy. See "Politics of Khūzestān".
During the year 2005 the city witnessed a series of bomb explosions. Many government sources relate these events to developments in Iraq, accusing foreign governments of organising and funding Arab separatist groups.
In 1989, the "Foolad Ahvaz" steel facility was built close to the town. This company is best known for its company-sponsored football club,
Foolad F.C., which was the chart-topper for Iran's Premier Football Leaguein 2005. Ahvaz is also home to another IPL football team, Esteghlal Ahvaz F.C..
* Ahvaz is accessible via freeways to
Isfahanand Shiraz, and roadways to Tehran.
* A metro urban railway system is being built by the Ahvaz urban railway. It will be a 23Km underground line with 24 stations.
* The airport is served by
Iran Asseman Airlines(Dubai, Kuwait, Tehran), Caspian Airlines(Dubai), Iran Air(Isfahan, Kuwait, Tehran), Iran Air Tours(Isfahan, Mashad, Shiraz, Tehran), Kish air(Tehran)
Colleges and universities
Ahvaz is also known for its universities as well as its role in commerce and industry. Ahvaz institutes of higher learning include:
Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences
* [http://www.put.ac.ir/ Petroleum University of Technology] fa icon
Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz
* [http://www.iau-asrc.ac.ir/ Islamic Azad University of Ahvaz] fa icon
ome famous Ahvazis
Will V. Bet-Sayad, Scientist and artist, FDA
Sousan S. Altaie, PHD Scientific Policy Advisor, OIVD CDRH, FDA
Ezzat Negahban, Patriarch of modern Iranian archaeology.
Mehrangiz Kar, Human rights activist.
Ahmad Mahmoud, Novelist.
Hamid Dabashi, Intellectual historian, cultural and literary critic
Siavash Ghomeyshi, well-known singer and music composer.
* Patrick Monahan, British Comedian.
Parviz Abnar, Iranian Sound recordist.
Mohammad Reza Eskandari, Iran's current minister of Agriculture
Abu Nuwas, famous figure in Arabic poetry.
Ali Shamkhani, Iranian Minister of Defence (1997-2005)
Hossein Kaebi, national football star
Hamid Zangeneh, economist, author, and activist.
Jalal Kameli Mofrad, national football player
Hossein Shokrkon, Industrial and organizational psychologist
Seyed Kazem Alavi Fazel, Psychiatrist, X-Chancellor of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences
Hamed Haddadi, NBA basketball player
Mohammad MousaviNey soloist
Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi, the famous physician
Naubakht, an astronomer, and his sons;
Ibn Sakkit Doraghi Ahwazi, Writer in the early years after invasion of Islam
Sattaar Oraki Pouri, Iranian Pianist and Composer
Farid Omran, Originally from Abadan, Globally recognised composer
Reza Taheri, Football player, based in Husby (Sweden)
* mehrzad payandeh,famouse violonist
* mrs zafari,famouse english teacher
Mandaeism, Mandaic language
* Politics of Khūzestān
History of Iran
Takhti Stadium (Ahvaz)
* [http://www.ahwazcity.com/ Ahvaz Municipal Office] fa icon
* [http://www.iran-usu.org/index1.html Union of Iranian Southern Universities] fa icon
* [http://www.fooladfc.ir/ Foolad Ahvaz Football Club] fa icon
* [http://www.ahwazbazar.com/ Ahwaz Bazaar Directory] fa icon
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