Khorasan (also spelled Khurasan and Khorassan; خراسان in Persian) is an area, located in eastern and northeastern Iran. The name Khorasan is Persian and is made up of parts which mean "where the sun arrives from". The name was given to the eastern province of Persia during the Sassanid empire.
Khorasan was the largest province of Iran untill it was divided to three provinces on September 29, 2004. The provinces approved by the parliament (on May 18, 2004) and the Council of Guardians (on May 29, 2004) are:
North Khorasan, center: Bojnourd, other counties: Shirvan, Jajarm , Maneh and Samlaghan , Esfarayen
South Khorasan, center: Birjand, other counties: Nahbandan , Sarbisheh
Razavi Khorasan, center: Mashhad, other counties: Ghouchan , Dargaz , Chenaran , Sarakhs , Fariman , Torbat-e Jam , Taybad , Ferdows , Ghayen , Khaf and Rashtkhar , Kashmar , Bardaskan , Neyshabour, Sabzevar , Gonabad, Kalat and Khalil Abad
The older Persian province of Khorasan (also known as the Greater Khorasan ) included parts which are today in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Some of the main historical cities of Persia are located in the older Khorasan: Nishapur (now in Iran), Merv and Sanjan (now in Turkmenistan), Samarqand and Bukhara (both now in Uzbekistan), Herat and Balkh (both now in Afghanistan). In its long history, Khorasan knew many conquerors and empires: Greeks, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Safavid Turks, Afghans and others.
Khorasan is also known for its famous rugs as well as its saffron which is produced in the southern cities of the province.
The major ethnic groups in this region are the Persians, Khorasani Turks, Turkmens, Kurds and Arabs. There is also a sizeable Afghan community in the province due to the influx of refugees coming from Afghanistan in recent years.
Last updated: 06-02-2005 13:13:25
Last updated: 08-17-2005 12:04:26