Introduction of Ahvaz:
As the capital of Khuzestan province, Ahvaz is located in southwestern Iran with an altitude of about 25 meters above sea level. This city is situated among the plains which form a wide area of the province. Lack of vegetation in these regions leads to a hot and dry climate and puts this city among the hottest regions in Iran. There are approximately 1.112 million people living in this city. It’s one of the metropolises, and besides, tourist attractions of Iran.
Karun, the largest river of Iran originating from Zagros Mountains, passes through Ahvaz and divides this city into western and eastern parts. The western part is mostly a residential area and the eastern part consists of economic and trade centers. Karun is the only navigable river in Iran. Various dams are built on this river to provide electricity and drinkable water for people in this region.
Some ethnic groups like Arabs and Bakhtiaris are settled in Ahvaz. During different periods of time, some other groups have also been living in this city such as Jews, Christian catholic bishops, Assyrians, and etc.
As you may know, Iran is well known for its large oil deposits. More than half of this oil is exploited in Khuzestan province. In addition to oil installations, other large industrial factories have made this city as one of the most important industrial centers of Iran. Ahvaz is also a principal transit route connecting different parts of the country to major ports in Abadan, Khorramshahr, Mahshahr, and Imam Khomeini Port. This connection is made through roads, airways, and railroads.
History of Ahvaz
The name is originated from Khuzi, the name of a race who were indigenous inhabitants of Khuzestan province. They were the descendants of the Elamites.
Ahvaz has currently a prominent position among the big cities of Iran and is one of the tourist attractions of the country. But, it’s got through very challenging periods of time throughout its history.
This city prospered largely since Shapur I, the second king of Sassanid Empire, made huge progress in rebuilding it on both sides of Karun. The eastern part was regarded as a commercial center and the western part as the seat of the governor and the nobles. During the Arab Invasions in 7th century AD, the western part was destroyed.
In pre-Islam era, Ahvaz was a flourishing town. It was one of the capitals of Parthian Empire as well as one of the major textile industry centers in Sassanid period. It had the role of one of the major commerce centers due to being located on the shores of Karun.
In post-Islam era and after the Zanj Rebellion in the late 9th century, Ahvaz suffered to the extent that the capital of province moved to Shushtar. This tough situation continued until Safavid period when the city turned into a small village. And at its worst, it was just a small borough in 19th century.
But the opening of Karun to international trade in 1888 changed the scenario. Naser al-Din Shah Qajar made use of this opportunity to boost trade and economy. By his order, a port was built on the eastern side of Karun with the name of Bandar-e Naseri (Naseri port). Following the construction of this port, Ahvaz was renamed Naseriyeh and kept its name until the beginning of Pahlavi period. Then the ancient name was revived.
During those days, maritime trade with the farthest well-known commercial ports in India, Africa, and Far East was taken place. Some years later, caravanseraies and markets were also built in the city. So, after all, it achieved its initial flourishing situation and the capital of province moved to Ahvaz again.
The primary source of development in this region was maritime trade. Afterward, the beginning of oil exploitation at Masjed-e Solayman in 1908 was a new impetus for development. One of the main oil installations was founded in Ahvaz. The city served as a station for the pipeline to Abadan as well. The next source of development was construction of Trans-Iranian railroad which reached the town in 1929.
Having its own story full of ups and downs, today, the eastern part of Ahvaz is still the principal heart of the city.