22 Facts About Mashhad


Mashhad), spelled Mashad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran, located in the relatively remote north-east of the country about 900 kilometres (560 miles) from Tehran.

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Mashhad was once a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv to the east.

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Mashhad is known colloquially as the city of Ferdowsi, after the Iranian poet who composed the Shahnameh.

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At the beginning of the 9th century, Mashhad was a small city called Sanabad, which was situated 24 kilometres (15 miles) away from Tus.

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Mashhad was later captured by the Uzbeks during the reign of Shah Abbas I In the 16th century the town suffered considerably from the repeated raids of the Ozbegs.

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Mashhad was retaken by the Shah Abbas after a long and hard struggle, defeating the Uzbeks in a great battle near Herat as well as managing to drive them beyond the Oxus River.

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Some believe that Mashhad was ruled by Shahrukh Afshar and remained the capital of the Afsharid dynasty during Zand dynasty until Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar conquered the then larger region of Khorasan in 1796.

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Mashhad experienced population growth after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941 because of relative insecurity in rural areas, the 1948 drought, and the establishment of Mashhad University in 1949.

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Mashhad enjoys on average just above 2900 hours of sunshine per year.

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Mashhad is one of the main producers of leather products in the region.

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Khorasan and Mashhad ranked the second in violence across the country in 2013.

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Several credit institutions have been established in Mashhad, including Samenolhojaj, Samenola'emmeh and Melal (formerly Askariye, ).

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Companies such as Smart-innovators in Mashhad are pioneers in electrical and computer technology.

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Long a center of secular and religious learning, Mashhad has been a center for the Islamic arts and sciences as well as piety and pilgrimage.

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Mashhad Hawza is one of the largest seminaries of traditional Islamic school of higher learning in Mashhad, which was headed by Abbas Vaez-Tabasi (who was Chairman of the Astan Quds Razavi board from 1979) after the revolution and in which Iranian politician and clerics such as Ali Khamenei, Ahmad Alamolhoda, Abolghasem Khazali, Mohammad Reyshahri, Morteza Motahhari, Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, Madmoud Halabi (the founder of Hojjatieh and Mohammad Hadi Abd-e Khodaee learned Islamic studies.

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The number of seminary schools in Mashhad is thirty nine and there are an estimated 2300 seminarians in the city.

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Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, named after the great Iranian poet, is located here and is regarded as the third institution in attracting foreign students, mainly from Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Central Asian republics.

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Mashhad is home to one of the oldest libraries of the Middle-East called the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi with a history of over six centuries.

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In 1569, 'Imad al-Din Mas'ud Shirazi, a physician at the Mashhad hospital, wrote the earliest Islamic treatise on syphilis, one influenced by European medical thought.

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Mashhad is served by the Mashhad International Airport, which handles domestic flights to Iranian cities and international flights, mostly to neighbouring Arab countries.

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Mashhad was supported by Mashhad's reformists as the candidate of the Fifth Assembly on 26 February 2016.

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Pahlevani and zoorkhaneh rituals have a special place in Mashhad and is one of the most important zoorkhaneh in Iran in Mashhad.

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