Ahvaz (Persian: اهواز, translit. Ahvāz or Ahwaz) is a city in the southwest of Iran and the capital of Khuzestan province. Ahvaz's population is about 1,300,000 and its built-up area with the nearby town of Sheybani is home to 1,136,989 inhabitants. It is home to Persians, Arabs, Lurs (Bakhtiaris), Dezfulis, Shushtaris, etc. and different languages are spoken in it, such as Persian, Arabic, the Persian dialects of Luri (Bakhtiari), Dezfuli, Shushtari, etc.
Iran's only navigable river, the Karun, passes by the middle of the city. It has a long history dating back to the Achaemenid period. In the ancient times, it had been one of the main centers of the Academy of Gondishapur.
Clockwise from top: White Bridge, Twilight view of White Bridge over Karoon River, Ahvaz Bridge over Karun River at night, Pol Sefid, Pol Hashtom, Jundishapur Medical Center and Masjid Ali Mahziar
The City of Bridges
|• Mayor||Mansoor Katanbaf|
|• Deputy Mayor||Alireza Hallaj|
|• City||815 km2 (315 sq mi)|
|Elevation||17 m (52 ft)|
|• Urban||1,184,788 |
|Time zone||UTC+3:30 (IRST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+4:30 (IRDT)|
|Area code(s)||(+98) 61|
The word Ahvaz is a modern Persianized form of the Arabic "Ahwaz" which in turn, is derived from an older Persian word. The Dehkhoda Dictionary specifically defines the "Suq-al-Ahvaz" as "Market of the Khuzis", where "Suq" is the Elamite word for market, and "Ahvaz" is a broken plural (اسم جمع) of the form "af'āl" (افعال) of the word "Huz", which itself comes from the Persian Huz, from Achaemenid inscriptions where the term first appears. Thus, "Ahvaz" in Persian means "the Huz-i people", which refers to the Khuzi original inhabitants of Khūzestān.
Ahvaz is the analog of "Avaz" and "Avaja" which appear in Darius's epigraph. This word appears in Naqsh-Rostam inscription as "Khaja" or "Khooja" too.
First named Ōhrmazd-Ardašēr (Persian: هرمزداردشیر Hormizdartazir) 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, or the city of Aginis referred to in Greek sources  where Nearchus and his fleet entered the Pafitigris.. It was founded either by Ardashir I in 230 (cf. Encyclopædia Iranica, al-Muqaddasi, et al.) or (according to the Middle Persian Šahrestānīhā ī Ērānšahr) by his grandson Hormizd I; the cities 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 Khuzestān.
The city had two sections; the nobles of the city lived in one part while the other was inhabited by merchants. 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 plural of Hûz, taken from the ancient Persian term for the native Elamite peoples, Hūja (remaining in medieval khūzīg "of the Khuzh" and modern Khuzestān "Khuz State", as noted by Dehkhoda dictionary.
During the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, Ahvaz flourished as a center for the cultivation of sugarcane and 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 Mongol invasions of the 13th and 14th centuries and subsequently declined into a 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 the original Khuzhis (Persians) and a small number of Sabians. Although most Arab migrants fled the city, a few stayed. Some minor cultivation continued, while all evidence of sugarcane plantations is still going on in Haft Teppe area in north of Ahvaz, although ruins of sugarcane mills from the medieval era remained in existence. Several ruins of water mills also still remain in Shush and Shushtar.
The seat of the province has, for the most of its history, been in its northern reaches, first at Susa (Shush) and then at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardashir (modern Ahvaz). However, later in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzestan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital. The River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz (above which, the Karun flows through rapids). The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar quickly declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day.
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 Canal further 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, the city of Ahvaz was in the hands of heshmatoddoleh Ghajar, whom acted as governor and Sarhang Reza Gholi Khane Arghoon as commander of Ghajari's army based in Khuzestan. Sheikh Khaz'al was recognised by Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar as hereditary ruler of Mohammerah, Sardar Asad Bakhtiari as the most powerful leader of Khuzestan's Bakhtiaries. He had power and authority over most regions of Khuzestan, such as Dezful, Shushtar, Izeh, even Ahvaz and Amir mojahede bakhtiari in Ramhormoz and Behbahan. At this time, the newly founded Ahvaz was named Nâseri in honour to its founder Nassereddin Shah Qajar. Afterwards, during the Pahlavi period, it resumed its old name, Ahvaz. The government of the Khūzestān Province was transferred there from Shûshtar in 1926. The Trans-Iranian Railway reached Ahvaz in 1929 and by World War II, Ahvaz had become the principal built-up area of the 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.
Iraq had pressed its claims to Khūzestān. 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.
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 champion of Iran's Premier Football League in 2005.
In 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. The Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz claimed credit for several of the bombings, including four bombs on 12 June 2005, that killed 8 people.
Ahvaz located 100 km north-east of Abadan and is accessible via following routes in addition of a single runway airport:
Ahvaz, being the largest city in the province, consists of two distinctive districts: the newer part of Ahvaz which is the administrative and industrial center, which is built on the right bank of the Karun river while residential areas are found in the old section of the city, on the left bank.
Ahvaz has a subtropical hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with long, extremely 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 °C (113 °F) sometimes exceeding 50 °C (122 °F) with many sandstorms and duststorms common during the summer period. However, in winters, the minimum temperature can fall to around 5 °C (41 °F). Winters in Ahvaz have no snow. The average annual rainfall is around 230 mm. On June 29, 2017, the temperature reached 54 °C (129 °F) which is the world's highest June temperature. Furthermore, the dew point peaked 23 °C (73 °F) which is unusually humid for the usual dry heat.
In 2011, the World Health Organization ranked Ahvaz as the world's most air-polluted city. The reason Ahvaz is so polluted is because of its oil industry. The pollution can be very dangerous, causing different types of diseases and harmful to plants.
Traditionally, Khuzestan province has been a major soccer hub in Iran. The city has two existing sport complexes: Takhti Stadium and the newly constructed Ghadir Stadium. There are several other smaller complexes for martial arts, swimming pools and gymnasiums. Also, a new privately owned stadium is currently under construction by Foolad F.C. in Ahvaz.
Football is a major part of the city's culture. The abundant enthusiasm has made Ahvaz home to three Iranian major Football clubs: Foolad, Esteghlal Khuzestan are currently playing in the Persian Gulf Pro League, and Esteghlal Ahvaz is playing in Azadegan League.
Foolad have won the league on two occasions, the 2013–2014 season and the 2004–2005 season. Esteghlal Ahvaz finished runners–up in the league in the 2006–2007 season. In 2016, Esteghlal Khuzestan won the league for the first time.
Ahvaz is also known for its universities as well as its role in commerce and industry. Ahvaz institutes of higher learning include:
Abd-ol Seyyed (Persian: عبدالسيد, also Romanized as ʿAbd-ol Seyyed) is a village in Gheyzaniyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 75, in 13 families.Ahmadabad, Ahvaz
Ahmadabad (Persian: احمداباد, also Romanized as Aḩmadābād) is a village in Esmailiyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 50, in 11 families.Ahvaz County
Ahvaz County (Persian: شهرستان اهواز) is a county in Khuzestan Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Ahvaz. At the 2006 census, the county's population (including those portions that were later split off to form Bavi County) was 1,317,377, in 274,296 families; excluding those portions, the population was 1,127,230, in 239,666 families. The county is subdivided into two districts: the Central District and Hamidiyeh District. The county has two cities: Ahvaz and Hamidiyeh.Ahvaz military parade attack
On 22 September 2018, a military parade was attacked by armed gunmen in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz. The shooters killed 25 people, including soldiers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Iran since the Chabahar suicide bombing in December 2010.
The Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility in the name of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), and the Amaq News Agency attributed it to followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Both claims were rejected by the ASMLA. An ISIL spokesman later claimed responsibility and warned of further attacks. Iran said the U.S. and the Gulf states it backed enabled the attack and it vowed revenge. The American defence secretary dismissed Iran's threat and denied U.S. involvement. Saudi Arabia also rejected and condemned the accusation.On 1 October 2018, in retaliation for the attacks, Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired missiles and carried out drone attacks in Abu Kamal of Syria targeting "militants in Syria it blamed for an attack", Sepah News reported.Azrag
Azrag (Persian: ازرگ, also known as Azrak, Azrak-e Yek, Azraq, and Azraq Hashish) is a village in Jahad Rural District, Hamidiyeh District, Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 274, in 43 families.Baricheh, Ahvaz
Baricheh (Persian: بريچه, also Romanized as Barīcheh) is a village in Gheyzaniyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 29, in 4 families.Central District (Ahvaz County)
The Central District of Ahvaz County (Persian: بخش مرکزی شهرستان اهواز) is a district (bakhsh) in Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 1,187,340, in 251,482 families. The District has one city: Ahvaz. The District has seven rural districts (dehestan): Anaqcheh Rural District, Elhayi Rural District, Esmailiyeh Rural District, Gheyzaniyeh Rural District, Kut-e Abdollah Rural District, Mosharrahat Rural District, and Soveyseh Rural District.Daghagheleh, Ahvaz
Daghagheleh (Persian: دغاغله, also Romanized as Daghāgheleh; also known as Dāgheleh and Daqāqeleh) is a village in Anaqcheh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 4,876, in 856 families.Esteghlal Ahvaz F.C.
Esteghlal Ahvaz Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال استقلال اهواز), commonly known as Esteghlal Ahvaz, is an Iranian football club based in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, that competes in the League 2. The club was founded in 1948 as Taj Ahvaz Football Club (Persian: تاج اهواز).
The football team plays their home games at the Takhti Ahvaz which has a seating capacity of 10,000. The club is owned and supported by Mohammad Maleki.
Esteghlal Ahvaz is the oldest existing football club in Ahvaz alongside Shahin Ahvaz and has a large history in Khuzestan football.Hammad, Ahvaz
Hammad (Persian: حماد, also Romanized as Ḩammād, Hammād, and Ḩamād; also known as Ḩamād-e Seyyed Sattār) is a village in Tarrah Rural District, Hamidiyeh District, Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 309, in 44 families.Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان Ostān-e Khūzestān, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Since 2014 it has been part of Iran's Region 4.As the Iranian province with the oldest history, it is often referred to as the "birthplace of the nation", as this is where the history of the Elamites begins. Historically, one of the most important regions of the Ancient Near East, Khuzestan is what historians refer to as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa. The Achaemenid Old Persian term for Elam was Hujiyā when they conquered it from the Elamites, which is present in the modern name. Khuzestan, meaning "the Land of the Khuz", refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza" or Huja, as in the inscription at the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam). They are the Shushan of the Hebrew sources where they are recorded as "Hauja" or "Huja". In Middle Persian, the term evolves into "Khuz" and "Kuzi". The pre-Islamic Partho-Sasanian inscriptions gives the name of the province as Khwuzestan.
The seat of the province has for the most of its history been in the northern reaches of the land, first at Susa (Shush) and then at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardasher, founded over the foundation of the ancient Hoorpahir by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty in the 3rd century CE. This town is now known as Ahvaz. However, later in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzistan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital. The River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz (above which, it flows through rapids). The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar quickly declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day.
Khuzestan is known for its ethnic diversity; the population of Khuzestan consists of Lurs, Iranian Arabs, Qashqai people, Afshar tribe, indigenous Persians and Iranian Armenians. Khuzestan's population is predominantly Shia Muslim, but there are small Christian, Jewish, Sunni and Mandean minorities. Half of Khuzestan's population is Bakhtiari.Since the 1920s, tensions on religious and ethnic grounds have often resulted in violence and attempted separatism, including an uprising in 1979, unrest in 2005, bombings in 2005–06 and protests in 2011, drawing much criticism of Iran by international human rights organizations. In 1980, the region was invaded by Ba'athist Iraq, leading to the Iran–Iraq War. Currently, Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran's parliament, the Majlis. Meanwhile, it has six representatives in the Assembly of Experts, including Ayatollahs Mousavi Jazayeri, Ka'bi, Heidari, Farhani, Ali Shafi'i, Muhammad Hussain Ahmadi.Maliheh-ye Yek, Ahvaz
Maliheh-ye Yek (Persian: مليحه يك, also Romanized as Malīḩeh-ye Yek) is a village in Jahad Rural District, Hamidiyeh District, Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 170, in 27 families.Sadun Sheykh Mohammad
Sadun Sheykh Mohammad (Persian: سعدون شيخ محمد, also Romanized as Sa’dūn Sheykh Moḩammad; also known as Shaikh Mohammad-e Yeké Sádoon, Sheykh Mohammad, and Sheykh Moḩammad-e Yek) is a village in Esmailiyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 95, in 17 families.Seyyed Amer, Ahvaz
Seyyed Amer (Persian: سيدعامر, also Romanized as Seyyed ‘Āmer) is a village in Anaqcheh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its existence was noted, but its population was not reported.Seyyed Hasan, Ahvaz
Seyyed Hasan (Persian: سيدحسن, also Romanized as Seyyed Ḩasan; also known as Seyyed Ḩoseyn) is a village in Elhayi Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 163, in 37 families.Seyyed Sharif, Ahvaz
Seyyed Sharif (Persian: سيدشريف, also Romanized as Seyyed Sharīf) is a village in Jahad Rural District, Hamidiyeh District, Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. As of the 2006 census, its population was 70 in 14 families.Shahrak-e Azadi, Ahvaz
Shahrak-e Azadi (Persian: شهرك ازادي, also Romanized as Shahraḵ-e Āzādī) is a village in Jahad Rural District, Hamidiyeh District, Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 100, in 14 families.Tall Asvad, Ahvaz
Tall Asvad (Persian: تل اسود) is a village in Esmailiyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 467, in 83 families.Tavaher
Tavaher (Persian: طواهر, also Romanized as Ţavāher; also known as Sādāt, Sādāt Nejāt, and Sādāt Tavāher) is a village in Elhayi Rural District, in the Central District of Ahvaz County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 435, in 67 families.
|Climate data for Ahvaz (1951–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.0
|Average high °C (°F)||17.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.3
|Average low °C (°F)||7.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−7.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||48.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||4.9||3.6||3.6||2.8||0.8||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||2.9||4.5||24.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||71||61||51||41||28||22||24||28||29||38||53||69||43|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||174.7||193.2||214.1||233.8||284.4||326.2||336.1||331.2||301.8||263.5||209.5||176.4||3,044.9|
|Source: Iran Meteorological Organization (records), (temperatures),