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Tehran

 

Tehran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.3 million and surpassing 14 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is Iran's largest city and urban area, and the largest city in Western Asia.In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tehran has been the subject of mass migration of people from all around Iran.

The city is home to many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. However, modern structures, notably Azadi (Liberty) Tower and the Milad Tower, have come to symbolise the city. Tehran is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. Throughout Iran's history, the capital has been moved many times, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran although it has been Iran's capital for about 220 years. Although a variety of unofficial languages are spoken, roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian. The majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persians. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Tehran was an unimportant village and part of the area of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rey (which in the Avesta occurs in the form of Rhaga), now a part of the city of Tehran, which took over its role after the destruction of Rey by the Mongols in the early 13th century.An important historical city in the area of modern-day Tehran, now absorbed by it, is known as Rey, which is etymologically connected to the Old Persian and Avestan Rhages. The city was a major area of the Iranian speaking Medes and Achaemenids. Tehran became the capital of Iran in 1778.
In the Zoroastrian Avesta, Videvdad, i, 15, Ragha is mentioned as the twelfth sacred place created by Ahura-Mazda. In the Old Persian inscriptions (Behistun 2, 10–18), Ragha appears as a province. From Ragha, Darius the Great sent reinforcements to his father Hystaspes (Vishtaspa), who was putting down the rebellion in Parthia (Behistun 3, 1–10).The Damavand mountain located near the city also appears in the Shahnameh as the place where Freydun bounds the dragon-fiend Zahhak. Damavand is important in Persian mythological and legendary events. Kayūmarṯ, the Zoroastrian prototype of human beings and the first king in the Shahnameh, was said to have resided in Damāvand. In these legends, the foundation of the city of Damavand was attributed to him. Arash, the archer who sacrificed his body by giving all his strength to the arrow that demarcated Iran and Turan, shot his arrow from Mount Damāvand. This Persian legend was celebrated every year in the Tiregan festival. A popular feast is reported to have been held in the city of Damavand on 7 Šawwāl 1230, or in Gregorian calendar, 31 August 1815. During the alleged feast the people celebrated the anniversary of Zahhak's death. In the Zoroastrian legends, the tyrant Zahhak is to finally be killed by the Iranian hero Garšāsp before the final days. In some Middle Persian texts, Rey (Ragha) is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster[13] although modern historians generally place the birth of Zoraster in Khorasan. In one Persian tradition, the legendary king Manūčehr was born in Damavand. During the Sassanid era, Yazdegerd III in 641 issued from Rey his last appeal to the nation before fleeing to Khorasan. The sanctuary of Bibi Shahr-Banu situated in modern Tehran spur and accessible only to women is associated with the memory of the daughter of Yazdegerd who, according to tradition, became the wife of al-Husayn b. Ali, the third Shi'ite Imam. Rey was the fief of the Parthian Mihran family and Siyavakhsh the son of Mihran the son of Bahram Chobin resisted the Arab invasion. Because of this resistance, when the Arabs captured Rey, they ordered the town to be destroyed and ordered Farrukhzad to rebuild the town. In the 10th century, Rey is described in detail in the work of Islamic geographers.[11] Despite the interest of Baghdad displayed in Rey, the number of Arabs there was insignificant, and the population consisted of Persians of all classes. The Ghuzz Turks laid Rey to waste in 1035 and in 1042, but the city recovered during the Saljuqid and Khwarazmian era.[11] The Mongols laid Rey to complete waste and according to Islamic historians of the era, virtually all of its inhabitants were massacared. The city is mentioned in later Safavid chronicles as an unimportant city.
The origin of the name Tehran is unknown. Tehran was well known as a village in the 9th century, but was less well-known than the city of Rhages (Rey) which was flourishing nearby in the early era. Najm al-Din Razi known as Dayya gives the population of Rey as 500,000 before the Mongol invasion. In the 13th century, following the destruction of Rey by Mongols, many of its inhabitants escaped to Tehran. In some sources of the early era, the city is mentioned as "Rhages's Tehran". The city is later mentioned in Hamdollah Mostowfi's Nuz'hat al-Qulub (written in 1340) as a famous village.There is also a shrine there, dedicated to commemorate Princess Shahr Banu, eldest daughter of the last ruler of the Sassanid Empire. She gave birth to Ali Zayn al Abidin, the fourth holy Imam of the Shia faith. This was through her marriage to Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. A nearby mountain is also named after her. However, some sources attribute the shrine to the goddess of water and fertility, Anahita, claiming it was renamed in Islamic times to protect it from any possible harm after the conversion of Iranians to Islam.Don Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Castilian ambassador, was probably the first European to visit Tehran, stopping in July 1404, while on a journey to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan) the capital of Timur, who ruled Iran at the time. At this time, the city of Tehran was unwalled.In the early 18th century, Karim Khan Zand ordered a palace, and a government office to be built in Tehran, possibly to declare the city his capital, but later moved his government to Shiraz. Tehran finally became the capital of Iran in 1795, when the Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan was crowned in the city. It remains the capital to this day.In the 1920s and 30s, the city essentially was rebuilt from scratch under the rule of the Shah of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi. Reza Shah believed that ancient buildings such as large parts of the Golestan Palace, Takieh-ye Dowlat, the Toopkhaneh Square, the city fortifications and the old citadel among others should not be part of a modern city. They were systematically destroyed and modern buildings in the pre-islamic Iranian style, such as the National Bank, the Police Headquarters, the Telegraph Office and the Military Academy were built in their place. The Tehran Bazaar was divided in half and many historic buildings were destroyed in order to build wide straight avenues in the capital. Many Persian gardens also fell victim to new construction projects.During World War II, Soviet and British troops entered the city. Tehran was the site of the Tehran Conference in 1943, attended by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.In the 1960s and 70s Tehran was rapidly developing under the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Modern buildings altered the face of Tehran and ambitious projects were envisioned for the following decades. The majority of these projects were continued after the Islamic revolution of 1979 when Tehran's urbanization had reached its peak, and the new government started many other new projects, such as Milad Tower.During the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq War, Tehran was the target of repeated Scud missile attacks and air strikes.The city of Tehran (not to be confused with the larger, Metropolitan Tehran) had a population of approximately 7.8 million in 2006. With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Tehran is home to diverse ethnic and linguistic groups from all over the country. The native language of the city is the Tehrani accent of Persian and the majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persian. However, historically, the original native dialect of the Tehran–Rey region is not Persian, which is linguistically Southwest Iranian and originates in Fars in the south of the country, but a (now extinct) Northwest Iranian dialect belonging to the Central Iran group. and Azerbaijanis about 25%[26] to 1/3, and other ethnic Minority groups included (Kurds, Arabs, Baluch, Armenians, Bakhtiari, Assyrians, Talysh), and more. According to a 2010 census conducted by the Sociology Department of Tehran University in many districts of Tehran across various socio-economic classes in proportion to population sizes of each district and socio-economic class, 63% of people in Tehran were born in Tehran, 98% know Persian, 75% identify themselves as ethnic Persian, and 13% have some degree of proficiency in a European language .North Tehran is a wealthy region in Tehran. North Tehran consists of various smaller districts from north east to North West; such as Zaferanieh district, Jordan, Elahieh/Elahyeh, Kamranieh, Ajoudanieh, Farmanieh, Darrous, Gheitarieh, etc. North Tehran is known as an area of liberal Iranians who wear more moderate clothing and have more secular ideas.
Food
Tehran has many modern and chic restaurants, serving both traditional Iranian and cosmopolitan cuisine. The most popular dish of the city is the chelow kabab (kabob/kebab is originally a Persian word meaning grilled or roasted meat). However, Western-style fast food is becoming popular, especially within the younger generation. Pizza, sandwich and kebab shops make up the majority of other food outlets in the city.
Tehran is a relatively old city; as such, it has an architectural tradition unique to itself. Archaeological investigations and excavations in Tehran demonstrate that this area was home to civilizations as far back as 6,000 years BC in the village of Rey which is now incorporated into the city. Tehran served only as a village to a relatively small population for most of its history, but began to take a more considerable role in Iran after it was made the capital in the late 18th century. Despite the occurrence of earthquakes during the Qajar period and before, some buildings still remain from Tehran's era of antiquity. Today Tehran is Iran's primate city, and has the most modernized infrastructure in the country; however, the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the demolition of buildings of cultural significance have caused concerns. The Azadi Tower has been the longstanding symbol of Tehran. It was constructed to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, and was originally named "Shahyad Tower"; after the Iranian revolution, its name changed to "Azadi Tower," meaning "Freedom Tower." The recently constructed Milad Tower may eventually replace the Azadi Tower as Tehran's new symbol. The Milad complex contains the world's sixth tallest tower, several restaurants, a five star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park. Traditionally a low-rise city due to seismic activity in the region, modern high rise developments in Tehran have been undertaken in order to service its growing population. There have been no major quakes in Tehran since 1830.
The tallest residential building in Iran is a 54-story building located North of Youssef Abad district, the Tehran International Tower. It is architecturally similar to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in the Paradise community of Clark County, Nevada, United States. Appealing to the principle of vertical rather than horizontal expansion of the city, the Tehran International Tower is bound to the North by Youssef Abad, to the South By Hakim Highway, to the East by Kordesstan Highway and to the West by Sheikh Bahai Highway, all of which facilitate access to various parts of the city.
The statue of Ferdowsi
Tehran saw a drastic change in its ethno-social composition in the early 1980s. After the political, social and economic consequences of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 and the years that followed, some Iranian citizens, mostly Tehranis, left Iran due to mounting political, social and religious pressure. Many Iranians moved to countries such as Canada, the United States, France, Sweden and other European countries. The highest Iranian emigration has been to the United States, France, Germany, Sweden and Canada.
With the start of the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988) following an Iraqi invasion, a second wave of inhabitants fled the city, especially during Iraqi air offensive on the capital. With most major powers backing Iraq at that time, economic isolation caused even more reasons for the inhabitants to leave the city (and the country). Having left all they had and having struggled to adapt to a new country and build a life, most of them never came back when the war was over. During the war, Tehran also received a great number of migrants from the west and the southwest of the country bordering Iraq. The unstable situation and the war in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq prompted a rush of refugees into the country who came in millions, with Tehran being a magnet for modest workers who helped the city to recover from war wounds, charging far less than local construction workers. Many of these refugees are being repatriated with the assistance of UNHCR but there are still sizable groups of Afghan and Iraqi refugees in Tehran who are reluctant to leave, being pessimistic about the situation in their respective country of origin. Afghan refugees are mostly Persian-speaking Hazara or Tajiks, speaking a dialect of Persian, and Iraqi refugees, who are mainly Shia Muslim Mesopotamian Arabic-speakers often of Iranian origin.The majority of Tehranis are followers of Twelver Shia Islam, which is also the state religion. Religious minorities include followers of various sects of Sunni Islam, Mystic Islam, Christianity (including the adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Roman Catholic Church, Chaldean Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Iranian Protestant churches like Jama'at-e Rabbani (assemblies of God), Armenian Evangelical Church, and the Presbyteran Church), Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and some from the Bahá'í Faith. Tehran also has very small number of third generation Iranian Sikh community that has a gurudwara visited by Indian Prime Minister in 2012.

 

 

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CONTACT INFORMATION

AMIR H. HESHMATI
MANAGING DIRECTOR
PARDIS GASHT PARVAZ TOUR & TRAVEL AGENCY
NO. 88, UNIT 2,  MOTAHARI AVENUE
TEHRAN, IRI 1566774945
TEL.: +98 21 88417129
FAX: +98 21 88435057
MOB.: +98 912 1492756 (24/7)
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