Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province is one of the major Iranian cities. The city of Ahvaz is located in the plain of Khuzestan, with a height of 18 meters above the sea level. Ahvaz with the total area of 20,000 hectares, is the fourth largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad and Tabriz. It’s approximate population is over 1,300,000 persons which has made this city the 7th most populous city of Iran.
Iran’s longest river Karun originates from the mountains of the Bakhtiari, and flows in Ahvaz which divides Ahvaz into two parts, East and West. There are large industrial plants, office facilities and industrial areas of National Iranian South Oil Company and National Iranian Drilling Company, has turned Ahvaz into one of the most important industrial centers and this has caused many immigrants to live in the Ahvaz.
Since 1355 Ahvaz has become the first populous city of Khuzestan, but before that it was Abadan holding the rank. The city of Ahvaz is an important transit axis which is connected to the important ports of Abadan, Mahshahr and Imam Khomeini through ground, air and rail. Also, because of the terminals and border markets of Shalamcheh and Chazabeh near Ahvaz, the city is directly affected by the traffic of goods and passengers for tourism and pilgrimage in Iran and Iraq.
The name Khuzestan means “The Land of the Khuzi”, and refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the “Susian” people (Old Persian “Huza”, Middle Persian “Khuzi” or “Husa” (the Shushan of the Hebrew sources). The name of the city of Ahvaz also has the same origin as the name Khuzestan., being an Arabic broken plural from the compound name, “Suq al-Ahvaz” (Market of the Huzis)–the medieval name of the town, that replaced the Sasanian Persian name of the pre-Islamic times.
The entire province was still known as “the Khudhi” or “the Khooji” until the reign of the Safavid king Tahmasp I (r. 1524—1576) and in general the course of the 16th century. The southern half of the province—south, southwest of the Ahwaz Ridge, had come by the 17th century to be known—at least to the imperial Safavid chancery as Arabistan. The contemporaneous history, the Alamara-i Abbasi by Iskandar Beg Munshi, written during the reign of king Abbas I (r. 1588—1629), regularly refers to the southern part of Khuzestan as “Arabistan”. The northern half continued to be called Khuzestan. In 1925, the entire province regained the old name and the term Arabistan was dropped.
There is also a very old folk etymology which maintains the word “khouz” stands for sugar and “Khouzi” for people who make raw sugar. The province has been a cane sugar producing area since the late Sassanian times, such as the sugar cane fields of the Dez River side in Dezful. Khouzhestan has been the land of Khouzhies who cultivate sugar cane even today in Haft Tepe.
The province of Khuzestan was more or less according to the Elamite Empire and Susa archaeological monuments show the greatness of its past. In the Sassanian period, the province of Khuzestan was a part of the Southern province. After the victory over the Roman Empire, Shapur I built the famous Shushtar Bridge. One of the old towns of Khuzestan which is located in the North West of Shushtar is the Port Jundishapur (Jundishapur) that was built during the reign of Shapur I and had gotten a certain reputation. The scientific and cultural centers such as the university of Jundishapur in this area, indicates the importance and prosperity of this province where the great masters of medicine from Greece, Egypt, India and Rome were joined together at.
After the conquering of Khuzestan by Arabs, an Arab clan called Mashashian ruled over this area for almost 80 years independently and Since then were the officials of Safavid government until 1737 B.C. In this year Nader Shah Afshar the king of Afsharid dynasty could shorten the hands of Mashashian from Huwyzeh. So some peace were brought to this area where was the target of Arab invasions.
At the beginning of the Qajar era and with the rise of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, the land of Khuzestan was divided into two parts. The northern parts including the cities of Shushtar and Dezful and Huwyzeh became parts of Kermanshah and the southern parts including Rāmhormoz and Falahieh and Hendijan went under the governance of Pars. The emergence of the city of Naseri (new Ahwaz) was during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah.
The province of Khuzestan from 1980 to the last day of the war with Iraq was the scene of operations to retake the areas occupied by forces of the Iraqi army. At the beginning of the war, in cities such as Susangerd, Dezful, Andimeshk, Khorramshahr, Abadan and Ahvaz were routinely the targets of missile strikes and artillery.
Ahvaz has a desert climate with long, very hot summers and mild, short winters. Ahvaz is consistently one of the hottest cities on the planet during the summer, with summer temperatures regularly at least 45 degrees Celsius, sometimes exceeding 50 degrees Celsius with many sandstorms and dust storms common during the summer period. However, in winters, the minimum temperature can fall to around +5 degrees Celsius. Winters in Ahvaz have no snow. The average annual rainfall is around 230 mm.
Top Tourist Attraction
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, Ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil, Tomb of Daniel, Salasel Castle, Contemporary Arts Museum of Ahvaz, Haft Tepe, Susa Museum, Shush Castle, Marashi Historical House, Mostofi Restaurant and Museum, House Preparatory School, First Shevi Waterfall,
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