One of the earliest documents referring to the Kurdish people is a Sumerian epigraph dating from the third millennium BC. BC which refers to the "Corduene" (or Korduene), an ancient region north of Mesopotamia.


With an area of ​​more than 24,998 km², the province of Kermanshah represents 1.5% of the total area of ​​the territory of Iran. Its population is 1,952,434, according to the 2016 national census. Located west of Iran, Kermanshah province is located at south of Kurdistan province, west of Hamadan province, north of the provinces of Lorestan and Ilam. To the west, Kermanshah shares a 330-km border with Iraq.

Also located in the region of Zagros, a large part of the area of ​​Kermanshah is covered with mountains. Hezarkani is the highest peak in the province, which rises to 3420 m. Its plains are located at the foot of the mountains and small or large valleys of Zagros. This province has a varied climate: cold areas in the high mountains (Paveh or Songhor), hot zones (Ghasr-e Shirine), and temperate zones (Kermanshah or Eslamabad Gharb).

With the provinces of Kurdistan in the north and the province of Ilam in the south, Kermanshah is among the predominantly Kurdish provinces of Iran. Indeed, 92.5% of its inhabitants belong to different Kurdish ethnic groups (Kalhor, Zanganeh, Sandjabi, Gouran ...). Kurdish is therefore the main language of the inhabitants of Kermanshah. The rest of the population speaks Farsi (Kermanshah dialect), Arabic, and Turkish (Songhor). It should also be noted that in other Iranian provinces, Kurds represent significant percentages of the local population; this is the case of North Khorasan (46.1%), West Azerbaijan (21.7%) and Hamedan (10.3%).

Cave of hunters near Bistoun

 

The majority of the inhabitants of Kermanshah province are Twelver Shiites, but there are also religious minorities (Sunni, Yarsan, Jewish and Christian). With the exception of the city of Songhor, the Kurds are the majority in all 31 cities of the province. Persian speakers immigrated to this province two centuries ago (mostly from Hamedan, Arak, Isfahan or Semnan), hence the appearance of a Persian dialect specific to Kermanshah.

Kurdish, the Indo-European language of the Iranian language family, is divided into several dialects, the main ones being Sorani, Kurmanji and Zazaki. The inhabitants of the province of Kermanshah mainly speak another Kurdish dialect called Kurdish of the South, sometimes assimilated to the Kalhor dialect.

One of the earliest documents referring to the Kurdish people is a Sumerian epigraph dating from the third millennium BC. BC which refers to the "Corduene" (or Korduene), an ancient region north of Mesopotamia.

Scientific research indicates that almost all areas of Kermanshah province have been man-made without interruption since the Stone Age. Historical monuments show that the province of Kermanshah was one of the important centers of settlement in the central region of Zagros. The discoveries made in 1949 by the American anthropologist Carleton S. Coon, in the Grotto of hunters near Bistoun (Behistoun) attest to a human presence in this region 70,000 years ago, when scholars call the Mousterian, that is to say, the most important cultural period of the Middle Paleolithic.

 

Prehistoric sites of Godin

In the fourth millennium BC, Kermanshah was an important trading center, frequented by Elamite merchants from Susa and Mesopotamian merchants. In the prehistoric sites of Godin (near Kangavar) and Tchogha Gavaneh (near Eslamabad Gharb), archaeologists have discovered vestiges of ancient markets.

Very valuable monuments from the Achaemenid period (around 550-330 BC) can be visited in Kermanshah province. The famous Persian Royal Way crossed this region. This 2693-kilometer road, built under Darius I (522-486 BC), connected Susa in Iran to Sardis (eastern Anatolia). The inscription of Behistun (Bistun) is a monumental relic in the department of Harsin, which describes the conquests and victories of Darius I in three languages: Old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian.

During antiquity, the Kermanshah region was the link between Mesopotamia and the Iranian plateau. It kept its importance under the Sassanid empire (224-651). To the northwest of the city of Kermanshah, one can visit Tagh-e Bostan, a Sasanian site that indicates the importance of the city before the appearance of Islam.

During the Islamic period, Kermanshah and Hamedan were two major poles of western Iran. Under the Safavid and Afsharid empires, the western regions of Iran, including Kermanshah, gained strategic and military importance due to Ottoman expansion into Mesopotamia and Kurdish areas.

The Kurdish areas were divided into two parts - one under Iranian rule and the other under Ottoman rule - and Kermanshah became a barracks town, especially during the reign of Nader Shah (1736-1747).

Population kurde des provinces

 

Kermanshah became a battleground between the great powers during the First World War despite the neutrality of the Iranian government. In 1915, Russian troops attacked Iran and invaded the city of Hamedan. Their goal was to fight against the Ottoman troops who were waging war against the British armies in Mesopotamia. In spite of the resistance of the Iranian forces installed in Kermanshah (and helped by the Germans), the Russian soldiers took the city on February 13, 1916. Nearly a thousand Iranian gendarmes of the province of Kermanshah had to ally themselves with the German-Ottoman troops for defend the region against the Russians. The city of Kermanshah remained under Russian occupation until February 1917.

Despite Iran's neutrality during the Second World War, Kermanshah province was once again occupied by US-British forces for four and a half years.

The province of Kermanshah, divided into fourteen departments, has 31 towns and nearly 2800 villages. Nearly 60% of the province's industrial units are concentrated in its capital. The Kermanshah oil refinery is Iran's second-oldest refinery after Abadan refinery. The capital of the province, Kermanshah, has 946,651 inhabitants (2016 census), and is ninth on the list of the most populous cities in the country.

Tagh-e Bostan



The city of Kermanshah is also an important university hub of Western Iran, and includes the following universities:

- Razi University:With more than 13,000 students, Razi University is the largest institution of higher learning in the province. Students continue their studies at different levels (DEUG, BA, MSc, PhD) in the faculties and institutes of this university (basic sciences, natural resources and agronomy, engineering and techniques, sports sciences, literature and human sciences, social sciences , chemistry, mining and petroleum, management, art and architecture).

- The University of Medical Sciences: Founded in 1968, the University of Medical Sciences Kermanshah is the oldest university in the province and has several faculties and departments (medicine, health sciences, paramedical sciences, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry). More than twenty hospitals in the province collaborate directly with this university.

- Kermanshah Technical University:This university was founded in 2007 to train the necessary human resources in factories and industrial centers in the western regions of Iran.

- Azad University Kermanshah: Founded in 1988, it is one of the most important centers of higher education in Kermanshah province, with more than 14,000 students.