West of Iran, which, according to the Bible, would have sheltered the garden of Eden, was at the heart of several empires at the dawn of our civilization.
Iranian Kurdistan (in Kurdish: Rojhellatî Kurdistan), also called the Rojhelat, is an unofficial name for areas of Iran inhabited by the Kurds, which has borders with Iraq and Turkey. They have 10 million inhabitants, representing 13% of the population. Its capital is Mahabad.
It includes parts of the western province of Azerbaijan, Kordestan, Kermanshah province and Ilam province.
The Kurds form the majority of the population of this region which is estimated at 7.5 million.
The province of Kurdestan is one of the most mountainous in Iran. It enjoys a temperate climate in spring and summer. Winters are long, rigorous and heavily snow-covered. Its population, of the order of 1,500,000 inhabitants, is mainly composed of Kurds speaking soran. It has an area of 28,817 km2 and is located in Sanandaj. The province produces cereals and fruit. It has chemical, metallurgical and agricultural raw materials processing industries. Its craftsmen work the leather.
The province has three universities: the University of Medical Sciences of Kurdistan, including the Tohid Medical Center, the University of Kurdistan and the Free Islamic University of Sanandaj. In the cultural field, there were 211 historical monuments, some of which, like Ghal'eh Kohneh in Bijar, date back to the Sassanid period.
This region is the eastern part of the large geo-cultural space called Kurdistan.
Iranian Government recognizes their language and culture, but not political or administrative autonomy. As Iran is a multi-ethnic country, the Kurds are only one issue among many.
Religion of Iranian Kurds
Kurds in West Azarbaijan Province are Muslims. In Kurdistan province, the majority is Sunni, but a population of Shiite Kurds is also living in Bijar and Qorveh. Immigration has led to a population of Shi'a in the provincial capital, Sanandaj. In the province of Kermanshah, the population is divided between the Shiite, Sunnit and Yarsan populations. Yarasan people live mainly in the Dalahu area in the west of the Kermanshah province, the northern provinces of the province, as well as in the province of the province. In Ilam province, the majority is with Shi'i Kurds, but a minority of Yarsan followers live in the province. Kurds are mainly Shiites. The Kurds of Mazandaran and Gilan are mostly Shiites and some of them are Yasan. The Kurds of Khuzestan, who are concentrated in Khorramshahr, are mostly Shiites and some of them are Yasan. There are also a number of Kurds living in the suburbs of Tehran, especially the western suburbs and southwest, as well as in Karaj, where there are followers of all three Sunnis, Shi'ites and Yarasans. Among the Kurds are also people with Christian and Jewish belief.
West of Iran
West of Iran, which, according to the Bible, would have sheltered the garden of Eden, was at the heart of several empires at the dawn of our civilization. Close to Iraq and Turkey, this region has always oscillated between commercial prosperity and devastating wars. In particular, the border area suffered from conflicts between Persians and Ottomans and, in the 1980s, from the Iran-Iraq war. In this steep region covered largely by dense forests, the highest passes are under snow as early as November. The tourists who come here are seduced by the warm hospitality that is offered to them in this uncrowded region.
The west of Iran is a cultural and linguistic mosaic: the Kurds dominate in the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah, the Um in Ilam and Lorestan, and Arabs populate the southern Khuzestan. The inhabitants of Gilan speak Talesh and Gilaki, while the Azeris speak in a language closer to Turkish than Farsi. In the most remote areas, traditional costumes are still worn, especially in the Kurdish villages.
A first route allows to reach Tabriz from the Turkish border by skirting Lake Orumiyeh. Then, crossing the Azeri region leads to Ardabil. This tour runs along the Caspian Sea passing through Rasht and Chalus, before approaching Qazvin, Soltaniyeh and Zanjan. A second route passes through the central plateau, the ancient "royal road" of Kurdistan and the historic cities of Kermanshah and Hamadan, before descending to the thousand-year-old sites of Susa, Shushtar and Choqa Zanbil. From Ahvaz, one can easily reach Bushehr, then Shiraz, along the Persian Gulf.
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