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This article is about the Iranian province; for similar uses, see Azerbaijan (disambiguation).
East Azerbaijan Province
استان آذربایجان شرقی
Location
Map of Iran with East Azerbaijan highlighted.
Info
Admin. Center:
 • Coordinates:
Tabriz
 38°04′36″N 46°16′48″E / 38.0766°N 46.2800°E / 38.0766; 46.2800Coordinates: 38°04′36″N 46°16′48″E / 38.0766°N 46.2800°E / 38.0766; 46.2800
Area : 45,650 km²
Population(2006):
 • Density :
3,603,456[1]
 78.9/km²
No. of Counties: 19
Time zone: IRST (UTC+3:30)
  -Summer (DST): IRST (UTC+4:30)
Main language(s): Azeri
Persian

East Azerbaijan or East Azarbaijan (Persian: آذربایجان شرقی, Āzarbāijān-e Sharqi; Azeri: شرقی آذربایجان) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the northwest of the country, bordering Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the provinces of Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, and Zanjan. Its capital is Tabriz.

Contents

Geography

The province covers an area of approximately 47,830 km², it has a population of around four million people. According to the latest divisions of the country in 1996, the counties of this province are:Ahar, Ajabshir, Bostan Abad, Bonab, Tabriz, Jolfa, Sarab, Shabestar, Kaleybar, Maragha, Marand, Malekan, Miyana, Heris, and Hashtrood. The historical city of Tabriz is the most important city of this province, culturally, politically, and commercially. The province has common borders with the current Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan. A fine network of roads and railways connect East Azerbaijan to other parts of Iran and also to neighboring countries.

The highest peak of East Azerbaijan is Sahand Mountain at 3,722 m of elevation, lying south of Tabriz, whereas the lower lying areas are around Garmadooz (Ahar). The heights of the province may be classified into three sectors, namely: the Qara Daq Mountains, the Sahand and Bozqoosh Mountains, and the Qaflan Kooh Mountains.

Generally speaking, East Azerbaijan enjoys a cool, dry climate, being in the main a mountainous region. But the gentle breezes off the Caspian Sea have some influence on the climate of the low-lying areas. Temperatures run up to 8.9 °C in Tabriz, and 20 °C in Maraqeh, in the winter dropping to -10-15 °C at least (depending on how cold the overall year is) . The ideal seasons to visit this province are in the spring and summer months.

History

Monument of the poets, Tabriz. Dozens of Iranian poets are commemorated here. Many of Iran's great names in literature and politics hail from this province.

East Azerbaijan is one of the most archaic territories in Iran. During the reign of Alexander of Macedon in Iran (331 BCE), a warrior known as Attorpat led a revolt in this area, then a territory of the Medes, and thereafter it was called Attorpatkan. Since then this vicinity has been known as Azarabadegan, Azarbadgan and Azarbayjan.

Islamic researchers proclaim that the birth of the prophet Zoroaster was in this area, in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh (Chichesht), Konzak City. Needless to say, this province was subject to numerous political and economical upheavals, attracting the interest of foreigners. The Russians in particular have tried to exert a lasting influence in the region over the past 300 years, occupying the area on numerous occasions. The constitutionalist movement of Iran began here in the late 1800s.

Ethnic tensions in Azerbaijan can visibly trace their origins back to the colonialist policies of the Soviet Union and Imperial Russia. In a cable sent on July 6 1945 by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the local Soviet commander in Russian (northern) held Azerbaijan was instructed as such:

"Begin preparatory work to form a national autonomous Azerbaijan district with broad powers within the Iranian state and simultaneously develop separatist movements in the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, Gorgan, and Khorasan".[2]

Administrative divisions

Map Abbreviation in map County (Shahrestan)
East-Azarbaijan-Abb.PNG
A Ahar County
B Bonab County
BA Bostanabad County
H Heris County
HR Hashtrud County
K Kalibar County
Md Marand County
Mn Mianeh County
Mq Maragheh County
S Sarab County
Sh Shabestar County
T Tabriz County

Culture

Orosy window of Amir Nezam House in Tabriz
A sample of Tabriz rugs.
silver handcrafts of Tabriz
sample of Tabrizi traditional food. Shown here: Koufteh kofta Tabrizi.
Ghorabiye cookies of Tabriz

The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the language, Azari, and folklore of this region. According to Dehkhoda Dictionary, the language of Azerbaijan is originally "a branch of the Iranian languages known as Azari" (see Ancient Azari language).[3] Apart from this, the province also boasts numerous learned scholars, gnostics, several national poets such as Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, and Abdolqader Nakhjavani, to name a few, and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar. The current leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also originally comes from this region.

Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has registered 936 sites of historical significance in the province. Some are contemporary, and some are from the antiquity of ancient Persia. "Zahak Citadel", for example, is the name of an ancient ruin in East Azerbaijan, which according to various experts, was inhabited from the second millennium BC until the Timurid era. First excavated in the 1800s by British archeologists, Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has been studying the structure in 6 phases.[2]

East Azerbaijan hails from a rich compendium of Azeri traditions. Many local dances and folk songs continue to survive among the various peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Iran, Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran's greatest authors and poets:

گزیده هر چه در ایران بزرگان
زآذربایگان و ری و گرگان

All the nobles and greats of Iran,
Choose from Azerbaijan, Ray, and Gorgan.
--Vis o Ramin

از آنجا بتدبیر آزادگان
بیامد سوی آذرآبادگان

From there the wise and the free,
set off to Azerbaijan
--Nizami

بیک ماه در آذرآبادگان
ببودند شاهان و آزادگان

For a month's time, The Kings and The Free,
Would choose in Azerbaijan to be
--Ferdowsi

Notables of East Azerbaijan

Sattar Khan
Farah Diba Pahlavi.

East Azerbaijan today

East Azerbaijan province is an industrial centre of Iran. East Azerbaijan province has over 5000 manufacturing units, of which at least 800 are industrial (6% percent of national total). The value of product from these units in 1997 totalled US$374 million (373 billion rials = 4.07% of the national total). Total investments were valued at US$2.7 billion (2.4513 trillion rials) in 1997.[1]

Some of the major industries include Azerr glass industries, Maraqeh paper manufacturing, Ahar Sungun copper and nepheline syenite, the Tabriz Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, Tabriz Tractor Manufacturing Co., Azerbaijan steel, foundry and auto-part manufacturing, food industries, leather and shoe industries, and the Tabriz Machine Manufacturing Co.

Tabriz also has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of Iran, having a large share in the exports of the province. Tabriz carpets are widely known around the world and in international markets for their vibrant designs and colors. Without exaggeration, Iranian rugs owe their fame to the creative minds of the designers and the deft hands of the carpet weavers of East Azerbaijan.

At present there are about 66,000 carpet production units in the province, employing some 200,000 people. The annual production of these carpets is roughly 792,000 m², which comprises more than 70% of Iran's carpet exports. 35% of all Iranian carpets are produced in East Azerbaijan.

East Azerbaijan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran in natural minerals, with 180 mines in 1997, of which 121 units are currently in operation, and the rest are being planned.

UNESCO has two Biosphere reserves in East Azerbaijan province. One in Lake Urmia and the other at Arasbaran.

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Colleges and universities

East Azerbaijan also has some of Iran's best technical universities. The full list of major institutions are:

  1. Sahand University of Technology(WebSite)
  2. Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
  3. University of Tabriz (website)
  4. Azerbaijan University of Tarbiat Moallem, Tabriz
  5. Tabriz Islamic Arts University
  6. University of Maragheh
  7. Engineering and Technical College of Bonab[3]
  8. Faculty of Engineering and Technology,Mianeh
  9. Faculty of Engineering and Technology,Marand
  1. Payameh noor University of Tabriz
  2. Payameh noor University of Maragheh
  3. Payameh noor University of Bonab
  4. Payameh noor University of Marand
  5. Payameh noor University of Mianeh
  6. Payameh noor University of Shabestar
  7. Payameh noor University of Azarshahr
  8. Payameh noor University of Oskou
  9. Payameh noor University of Ahar
  10. Payameh noor University of hashtrood
  11. Payameh noor University of Malekan
  1. Islamic Azad University of Bonab
  2. Islamic Azad University of Tabriz
  3. Islamic Azad University of Shabestar
  4. Islamic Azad University of Maragheh
  5. Islamic Azad University of Miyaneh
  6. Islamic Azad University of Ahar
  7. Islamic Azad University of Malekan
  8. Islamic Azad University of Hashtrood
  9. Islamic Azad University of Azarshahr
  10. Islamic Azad University of Marand
  11. University College of Seraj, Tabriz
  12. University College of Rabe Rashidi, Tabriz
Tabriz art university.
  1. University College of Nabi Akram , Tabriz
  2. [University College of Daneshvaran, Tabriz]
  3. [University College of Seraj, Tabriz]

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] National Census 2006
  2. ^ Decree of the CC CPSU Politburo to Mir Bagirov, CC Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, on "measures to Organize a Separatist Movement in Southern Azerbaijan and Other Provinces of Northern Iran". Translation provided by The Cold War International History Project at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  3. ^ See also Ahmad Kasravi, Azari or The Ancient Language of Azerbaijan (Āzari yā Zabān-e Bāstān-e Āzar'bāi'jān), in Persian, third edition (Tehran, 1325 AH/1946). This text can be downloaded free of charge from the bibliography section (Ketāb Shenāsi) of: Ahmad Kasravi, 1891-1946.

External links

Sources

[1]: According to the information released by the office of the provincial governor, linked above.


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