Monday, September 06, 2004

Afghan Immigrants in Iran Forced to Leave Yazd�s Historical Fabric

Afghan Immigrants in Iran Forced to Leave Yazd�s Historical Fabric: "Afghan Immigrants in Iran Forced to Leave Yazd’s Historical Fabric
Following some urban problems such as deteriorating health of residents and insecurity, Afghan immigrants in the Iranian central city of Yazd have received a one-month deadline to quit its historical fabric, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.



In line with a grand plan to restore the ancient city, the long-tolerated immigrants must evacuate the city by September 21, said Mohammad Reza Seyyed Husseini, provincial head of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization in Yazd.

“Unfortunately the historical fabric of Yazd has seen the emigration of native residents and immigration of alien and foreign people instead,” he asserted.

Officials have long warned the area has become rife with drug related crimes since some Afghans indulge in narco-trafficking.

The city of Yazd is located to the north of Ardestan, to the south of Taft in the east of Bafq and to the west of Isfahan province. Yazd is the center of the province and is located 689 kilometers from Tehran. It is located in an extensive valley facing the desert. Consequently, its weather is hot and arid in summer and cold in winter.

The city of Yazd’s first mention in historic records predate it back to around 3000 years BC when it was related to by the name of Ysatis, and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient settler of Iran. In the course of history due to its distance from important capitals and its harsh natural surrounding, Yazd remained immune to major troops' movements and destruction from wars, therefore it kept many of its traditions, city forms and architecture until recent times. During the invasion of Genghis Khan in the early 1200’s AD Yazd became a safe haven and home for many artists, intellectuals and scientists fleeing their war ravaged cities around Persia.

For a brief period, Yazd was the capital of Atabakan and Mozaffarid dynasties (14th Century AD). During Qajar dynasty (18th Century AD) it was ruled by the Bakhtiari Khans.

The City and province of Yazd hold many wonders of historic and architectural significance. A Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd holds a traditional fire which has been kept alight by Zoroastrian priests, continuously for over 1100 years.

The Fort of Naren is Iran’s largest mud brick structure predating Islam. Caravansaries, Islamic architecture including the Jamea Mosque and many other works and art forms go back over 1000 years. Yazd’s wind-towers, which act as natural cooling systems for homes and public structures, remain a marvel of world architectural design and innovation. In addition, the city sat on the path of the ancient Silk Road and was the lodging and visiting spot for many travelers and merchants. Marco Polo in his travelogues titles the city: “the noble city of Yazd”"

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