Saturday, 7 May 2011

Dare Generation Diary: Remembering Rachel Hoffman: Third Anniversary

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Remembering Rachel Hoffman: Third Anniversary

Today marks the third anniversary of the murder of Rachel Hoffman, a former SSDP member and 23 year old graduate of Florida State University. Rachel was murdered by two drug dealers after the Tallahassee Police Department pressured her to become an informant in an undercover sting operation, promising to keep her safe, only to lose track of her.

Despite only finding 4 ecstasy pills and a few ounces of marijuana in her home, the police department asked Rachel to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of cocaine, and a handgun (which was contrary to department policy as it opened the opportunity for the suspected criminals to explain the presence of the gun), using $13,000 cash in a buy-bust operation. She was murdered with the very gun police had sent her to buy. Rachel's lawyer, family, or the state prosecutor were never informed about the operation and after her murder, the Tallahassee Police Department held a press conference to blame her for her own death.

Three years later, this tragic loss of life must serve as a reminder of the need for reform of drug policies nationwide. It must remind those in defense of such policies that they simply don't work. More than that, it must help us all to change our mindsets about the relationship between people and drugs. This drug war has grown so large and seemingly unstoppable that its supporters no longer seem to care about measuring it's success. Rachel was labeled as a being some sort of drug kingpin despite only a few ounces of marijuana being found in her home. Now she's gone and the two drug dealers that murdered her are behind bars for life. If the drug war works, and this is what is called success, then no one should be able to find and use marijuana in Florida anymore right? We all know that's not true.

Margie Weiss, Rachel's mom, fought hard for the introduction and passage of Rachel's Law to help prevent more young people from being taken advantage of by police as informants. The law passed in 2009 and established minimum standards that law enforcement must meet when dealing with informants. Under Rachel's Law, law enforcement must "take into account a person's age and maturity, emotional state and the level of risk a mission would entail." It also prohibits police from promising informers more lenient treatment. 

The Purple Hatters Ball, a music festival to benefit the Rachel Morningstar foundation and celebrate Rachel's life and energy is taking place next weekend in Live Oak, FL. Named after the bright purple top hat Rachel would wear to concerts, the festival features lots of great live music and embraces Rachel's passion for life.

We wish the best for the Hoffman family and thank them for their strength and determination to bring change to Florida's criminal justice system.

Tehran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article is about the Iranian capital city. For other uses, see Tehran (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E / 35.69611°N 51.42306°E / 35.69611; 51.42306

—  Metropolis  —


Coordinates: 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E / 35.69611°N 51.42306°E / 35.69611; 51.42306
Country  Iran
Province Tehran
County Tehran
 - Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
 - City Council Chairman: Mehdi Chamran
 - Urban 730 km2 (281.9 sq mi)
 - Metro 1,274 km2 (491.9 sq mi)
Elevation 1,200 m (3,900 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Density 10,327.6/km2 (26,748.3/sq mi)
 Urban 8,429,807
 Metro 13,413,348
 - Population Rank in Iran 1st
  Population Data from 2006 Census and Tehran Municipality.[1][2] Metro area figure refers to Tehran Province.
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 - Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Area code(s) 021
This article contains Persian text, written from right to left with some letters joined. Without proper rendering support, you may see unjoined Perso-Arabic letters written left-to-right, instead of right-to-left or other symbols instead of Perso-Arabic script.

Tehran (Persian: تهران Tehrān Tehrani Persianpronounced [tehˈɾɒːn]), sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran (I.R.) and Tehran Province. With a population of 8,429,807;[3] it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.

In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to mass-migration of people from all around Iran.[4] However it is suggested that 5 million should migrate out of the city. The city is home to many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. Contemporary Tehran is a modern city featuring many tall structures, of which the Azadi (Freedom) Tower and the Milad Tower have come to be symbols of Tehran itself. Internationally Tehran was in 2008, the least expensive capital in the world and only the second least expensive city globally based on Cost-of-living index, in addition to presenting the best value for money in the world.[5][6][7][8][9] Furthermore globally it stands 19th by city population,[10] 56th by the size of its GDP and 29th by the population of its metropolitan area.[11] Due to long history of Iran, there have been many instances of capital city relocations over the ages and Tehran, currently is the 32nd national capital of Iran. The native language of the city is the Tehrani dialect of Persian, with 98% nativespeakers [12] and the majority of people in Tehran identify as Persians.[13][14] In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Tehran was called Ray which in the Avesta occurs in the form[15] of Ragha.



[edit] History

The original Parliament Building built in the 1920s.

Shams ol-Emāreh was Tehran's first tallest building, built between 1865 and 1867.

Green Palace at the Sadabad Palace complex.

Tehran in 1985 and 2009.

Tehran historically was known as Ray which is etymologically connected to the Old Persian and Avesta Rhaga.[16] This city was a major area of the Iranian speaking Medes and Achaemenids. In the Zoroastrian Avesta, Widewdat, i, 15, Ragha is mentioned as the twelfth sacred place created by Ahura-Mazda.[17] In the Old Persian inscriptions (Behistun 2, 10-18), Ragha appears as a province. From Ragha, Darius the Great sent reinforcements to his father Wishtaspa when the latter was putting down the rebellion in Parthia (Behistun 3, 1-10).[17] Damavand mountain located near the city also appears in the Shahnama as the place where Freydun bounds the dragon-fiend Zahak. Damavand is important in the Persian mytho­logical and legendary events.[18] Kayūmarṯ, the Zoroastrian prototype of human beings and the first king in the Shahnama, was said to have resided in Damāvand.[18] In these legends, the foundation of the city of Damavand was attributed to him.[18] Arash, the archer who sacrificed his body by giving all his strength to the arrow that demarcated Iran and Turan; shot his shot his arrow from Mount Damāvand.[18] 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 1230/31 August 1815, during which the people celebrated the anniversary of Zahhaks death.[18] In the Zoroastrian legends, the tyrant Zahak is to finally be killed by the Iranian hero Garšāsp before the final days.[18] In some Middle Persian texts, Ray (Ragha) is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster[19] although modern historians generally place the birth of Zoraster in Greater Khorasan. In one Persian tradition, the legendary king Manūčehr was born in Damavand.[18]

During the Sassanid era, Yazdagird III in 641 issued from Rayy his last appeal to the nation before fleeing to Khurasan.[17] 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 Yazdagird who, according to tradition, became the wife of al-Husayn b. Ali, the third Shi'ite Imam.[17] Rayy was the fief of the Persian Mihran family and Siyawakhsh the son of Mihran the son of Bahram Chubin resisted the Arab invasion.[17] Due to this resistence, when the Arabs captured Rayy, they ordered the town to be destroyed and ordered Farrukhan b. Zaynabi b. Kula to rebuilt the town.[17] In the 10th century, Rayy is described in detail in the work of Islamic geographers.[17] Despite the interest of Baghdad displayed in Rayy, the number of Arabs there was insignificant, and the population consisted of Persians of all classes.[17][20] The Ghuzz Turks laid Rayy to waste in 1035 and in 1042, but the city recoverd during the Saljuqid and Khwarizmid era.[17] The Mongols laid Rayy to complete waste and according to Islamc historians of the era, virtually all of its inhabitants were massacared.[17] The city is mentioned in later Safavid chronicles[17] as an unimportant city.

The origin of the name Tehran is unknown.[21] Tehran was well known as a village in the 9th century, but was less well-known than the city of Rhages (Ray) which was flourishing nearby in the early era. Najm al-Din Razi known as Dayya gives the population of Rayy as 500,000 before the Mongol invasion. In the 13th century, following the destruction of Ray 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 of 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.

An Opposition parade in Tehran, 1979.

View of Mount Damavand as seen from the Dizin ski resort.

In the 1920s and 30s, the city essentially was started 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 with pre-islamic Iranian style, such as the National Bank, Police Headquarter, Telegraph Office and 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 examples of Persian Gardens also became targets to new construction projects.

During World War II, British and Soviet troops entered the city. Tehran was the site of the Tehran Conference in 1943, attended by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

In the 1960s and 70s Tehran was rapidly developing under the reign of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Modern Buildings altered the face of Tehran and ambitious projects were envisioned for the following decades. The majority of these projects were stopped by the Islamic Revolution 1979, with few elements of them, such as the Milad Tower, being built under the new regime decades later.

During the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq War, Tehran was the scene of repeated Scud missile attacks and air strikes

[edit] Climate

Tehran features a semi-arid, continental climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). Tehran's climate is largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Alborz Mountains to its north and the central desert to the south. It can be generally described as mild in the spring and autumn, hot and dry in the summer, and cold in the winter. As a large city with a significant differences in elevation among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly north as compared to the flat southern part of Tehran. Summer is usually hot and dry with very little rain, but relative humidity is generally low and the nights are cool. The majority of the light annual precipitation occurs from late-autumn to mid-spring, but no one month is particularly wet. The hottest month is July (mean minimum temperature 26°C, mean maximum temperature 36°C) and the coldest is January (mean minimum temperature -1°C, mean maximum temperature 8°C).[22]
Although compared with other parts of the country Tehran enjoys a more moderate climate, weather conditions can sometimes be unpredictably harsh. The record high temperature is 43°C and the record low is -15°C. On January 5 & 6, 2008, after years of relatively little snow, a wave of heavy snow and low temperatures shocked the city covering it in a thick layer of snow and ice, forcing the Council of Ministers to officially declare a state of emergency and calling the following two days (January 6 and 7) off for the capital.[23]

[hide]Climate data for Tehran
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.6
Average high °C (°F) 7.9
Average low °C (°F) -1
Record low °C (°F) -15
Precipitation mm (inches) 34.6
Sunshine hours 166.6 172.7 210.9 267.0 287.8 348.2 366.4 351.4 327.4 278.6 147.4 141.2 3,065.6
Source: [24]

A snowy day in Tehran.

Pollution in Tehran.

[edit] Demographics

Population of Tehran

The city of Tehran had a population of approximately 7,8 million in 2006.[25] With its cosmopolitan air, Tehran houses diverse ethnic and linguistics groups from all over the country and represents the ethnic/linguistic composition of Iran (though with a different percentage). The native language of the city is the Tehrani dialect of Persian and the majority of people in Tehran identify are Persians.[14][26] Minority groups include Azeri, Kurds, Baluch, Armenian, Bakhtiari, Assyrian, Talysh, etc. According to a 2010 census conducted by the Sociology department of Tehran university in many districts of Tehran across various soci-economical classes in proprotion to population sizes of each district and soci-economic class, 63% of people in Tehran were born in Tehran, 98% know Persian, 67% identify themselves as ethnic Persian, 13% understand to some level some European languages.[27]

Tehran saw a drastic change in its ethno-social composition in early 1980s. Following the political, social and economic consequences of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 and onwards, many Iranian citizens, mostly Tehranis left Iran due to mounting political, social and most importantly religious pressure. Many Iranians fled 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 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 Islam Mesopotamian Arabic-speakers of Iranian origin.

The majority of Tehranis are believed to be moderate followers of Twelver Shia Islam which is also the state religion but it cannot be confirmed independently for lack of independent statistics. Religious minorities include followers of various sects of Sunni Islam, Mystic Islam, Zoroastrianism, Bahá'í Faith, Judaism, and Christianity (including the adherents of the Assyrian Church of the East, Armenian Apostolic Church, Roman Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Iranian Protestant churches, Kelisa-ye Khanegi-ye Iraniyan, Armenian Evangelical Church, Jama'at-e Rabbani (Assemblies of God), Armenian Brotherhood Church, Russian Orthodox Church, and the Presbyterian Church) plus agnostics and atheists. Despite being the seat of a theological government and the fact that most important religious unions and academies of the country are based in Tehran, half of the city (northern area) remains the most liberal in the nation, a fact that attracts many young people from elsewhere to study in the capital.[citation needed]

[edit] Capital relocation

Plan to move the capital has been discussed many times in prior years. In 2010, the government of Iran announced that "for security and administrative reasons" the plan to move capital from Tehran has been finalized.[28] The Majlis named Shahroud, Esfahan and Semnan as three of main candidates to replace Tehran as the capital. There are plans to relocate 163 state firms to the provinces and several universities from Tehran to avoid damages from a potential earthquake. President Ahmadinejad suggested that 5 million residents should migrate out of Tehran.[28][29] As a starting point, Iranian authorities are relocating all defense-related industries out of the capital.[30]

[edit] Location and subdivisions

Tehran county borders Shemiranat county to the north, Damavand county to the east, Eslamshahr, Pakdasht, and Ray counties to the south, and Karaj and Shahriar counties to the west.

[edit] Neighborhoods and districts of Tehran

Municipal Districts of Tehran

The city of Tehran is divided into 22 municipal districts, each with its own administrative centers.

Within these 22 districts, Tehran contains the following major neighborhoods:

Abbas Abad, Afsariyeh, Amaniyeh, Amir Abad, Aryashahr, Bagh Feiz, Baharestan, Darakeh, Darband, Dardasht, Dar Abad, Darrous, Dehkadeh Olampik, Ekhtiyariyeh, Ekbatan, Elahiyeh, Evin, Farmanieh, Fereshteh, Gheitariye, Gholhak, Gisha, Gomrok, Hasan Abad, Jamaran, Jannat Abad, Javadiyeh, Jomhuri, Jordan, Lavizan, Mehran, Narmak, Navab, Nazi Abad, Niavaran, Park-e Shahr, Pasdaran, Piroozi, Punak, Ray, Sa'adat Abad, Sadeghiyeh, Seyed Khandan, Sohrevardi, Shahrara, Shahr-e ziba, Shahrak-e Gharb, Shemiran, Tajrish, Tehranpars, Tehransar, Vanak, Velenjak, Yaft Abad, Yusef Abad, Zafaraniyeh, etc.

For a map of the relative locations of the neighborhoods and the full list, see List of the localities around Tehran.

[edit] Older neighborhoods

Tehran's old city fabric changed dramatically during the Pahlavi era. Some of the older remaining (Qajar era) districts of Tehran are: Oud-lajan, Sangelaj, Bazaar, Chaleh Meydan, Dowlat, Pamenar. Chaleh Meydan is the oldest neighborhood of the aforementioned. Districts during Pahlavi era are: Sepah str. (Imam Khomeini), Toopkhaneh, Laleh-Zaar str. (the architecture of this street was European style) & Eslambol str. (shopping center of northern Tehran). Other old districts are : Doushan-Tappeh, Doulab, Sabzeh-Meydan, Seyed Khandan, Zarab-Khaneh, Galou-Bandaak.

[edit] Food and restaurants

See also: Cuisine of Iran

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 grill). However, Western-style fast food is becoming popular, especially with the younger generation. Pizza, sandwich and kebab shops make up the majority of other food outlets in the city.

[edit] Economy

Tehran is the economic centre of Iran.[31] About 30% of Iran’s public-sector workforce and 45% of large industrial firms are located in Tehran and almost half of these workers work for the government.[32] Most of the remainder of workers are factory workers, shopkeepers, laborers, and transport workers. Few foreign companies operate in Tehran because of the Islamic government's relations to the west. But before the Islamic revolution many foreign companies were active in this region. Today many modern industries of this city include the manufacturing of automobiles, electronics and electrical equipment, weaponry, textiles, sugar, cement, and chemical products. It is also a leading center for the sale of carpets and furniture. There is an oil refinery near Ray, south of the city. Tehran has four airports, including Mehrabad International Airport, Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ghal'eh Morghi airfield and Doshan Tapeh airbase.

Tehran relies heavily on private cars, buses, motorcycles, and taxis, and is one of the most car-dependent cities in the world. The Tehran Stock Exchange, which is a full member of the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) and a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock exchanges in recent years.[33]

[edit] Transportation

[edit] Cars

According to the head of Tehran Municipality's Environment and Sustainable Development Office, Tehran has a capacity for 700,000 cars but currently more than 3 million cars are on the roads in the capital.[34]

[edit] Airport

Tehran is served by two airports. Mehrabad Airport, an old airport which doubles as a military base is used for domestic and pilgrimage flights. This airport is located in the Western part of the city. Imam Khomeini International Airport, located 50 kilometers (31 mi) south of the city, handles almost all international flights.

[edit] Metro

See also: Tehran Metro

Tehran has one of the cleanest and most convenient metro systems, in terms of accessibility to different parts of the city, in the region.[citation needed] The feasibility study and conceptual planning of the construction were started in 1970s. In 2001, the first two of the eight projected metro lines were opened. Tehran Metro has four operative lines and is 120 km long with another two lines under construction. Tehran has the longest metro line in the Middle East and currently the fourth longest in Asia.[citation needed]

[edit] Train

Tehran also has a central train station with connecting services round the clock to various cities in the country. Tehran-Europe train line is active.

[edit] Bus

Tehran's transport system includes conventional buses, trolleybuses and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Buses have served the city since the 1920s. There are four bus terminals that also provide connections at low rates.[clarification needed] The terminals are located on the South, East, West, and Bei-haghi Park-Drive.

The trolleybus system opened in 1992, using a fleet of 65 articulated trolleybuses built by Skoda.[35] This was the first trolleybus system in Iran and remain's the country's only such system.[35] In 2005, trolleybuses were operating on five routes, all starting at Meydan-e-Emam-Hoseyn (Imam Hossein Square)[36] and Imam Hossein station of the Tehran Metro Line 2. Two routes running northeastwards operate almost entirely in a segregated busway located in the middle of the wide carriageway (along Damavand Khiyaban), stopping only at purpose-built stops located about every 500 metres, effectively making these routes trolleybus-BRT (but they are not called such). The other three trolleybus routes run south from Meydan-e-Emam-Hoseyn and operate in mixed-traffic. Both route sections are served both by limited-stop services and local (making all stops) services.[36]

Tehran Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was officially inaugurated in 2008 by Tehran's mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. BRT has three lines with 60 stations in different areas of the city. As at 2011, BRT had a network of 100 kilometers which transports 1.8 million passengers on a daily basis. The city has also developed a bike share system which includes 12 stations in one of Tehran’s districts.[37]

[edit] Highways and streets

The metropolis of Tehran enjoys a huge network of highways (280 km) and of interchanges, ramps, and loops (180 km) (panoramic view here). In 2007 there were 130 kilometers of highways and 120 kilometers of ramps and loops under construction.[38]

While the center of the city houses the government ministries and headquarters, the commercial centers are more located toward Valiasr Avenue (formerly known as Pahlavi Avenue), Taleghani Ave, and Beheshti Ave further north. Although administratively separate, Rey, Shemiran, and Karaj are often considered part of the larger Tehran metropolitan area.

Hemmat Freeway.

Also this is a list of Tehran streets named after international personalities:

[edit] Air Pollution

Tehran and the Alborz Mountains seen on a day of relatively clean air.

Tehran suffers from severe air pollution and the city is often covered by smog making breathing difficult and causing widespread pulmonary illnesses. It is estimated that about 27 people die each day from pollution-related diseases.[39] According to local officials, 3,600 people died in a single month due to the hazardous air quality.[40] 80% of the city's pollution is due to cars.[41] The remaining 20% is due to industrial pollution. Other estimates suggest that motorcycles alone account for 30% of air and 50% of sound pollution in Tehran.[42]

In 2007 Iran imposed fuel rations but the plan has met little success in reducing the pollution levels. In 2011, with the improvements in the public transport system and the rise in fuel prices due to the new subsidies reform plan, the Government is hoping to be able to improve the problems of pollution and traffic.[43]

The air pollution is due to several different reasons.

  • Economical: most Iranian industries are located on the outskirts of Tehran. The city is also overrun with old and aging cars which do not meet today's emission regulations. Furthermore, Iran's busiest airport, Mehrabad International Airport, is located in the west of the city;
  • Most people are then obliged to either use private cars or hire taxis. This has created severe traffic congestion;
  • Geographical: Tehran is bound in the north by the massive Alborz mountain range that is stopping the flow of the humid Caspian wind. As a result, thermal inversion that traps Tehran's polluted air is frequently observed. The lack of humidity and clouds makes Tehran a very sunny city. The UV radiations then combined with the existing pollutants significantly raise the level of the ozone. In fact one of the urban landmarks in central Tehran is a giant air quality gauge.[44] Furthermore, the reportedly poor quality of Iranian-manufactured gasoline may also be contributing to the pollution.[45]

Skyline of Tehran at night

The government, however, is engaged in a battle to reduce the air pollution. It has for instance encouraged taxis and buses to convert from petrol engines to engines that run on compressed natural gas. Furthermore, since 1979 the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has set up a "Traffic Zone" (طرح ترافیک) covering the city center during peak traffic hours. Entering and driving inside this zone is only allowed with a special permit. The government is also trying to raise people's awareness about the hazards of the pollution. One method that is currently being employed is the installation of Pollution Indicator Boards all around the city to monitor the current level of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). The board also displays the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), which is a general indication of air quality based on the measurements of the above-mentioned five pollutants. The Pollution Indicator Boards classify the level of each pollutants as either safe, hazardous or dangerous.

[edit] Education and research

Tehran is the largest and most important educational center of Iran. Today there are nearly 50 major colleges and universities total in Greater Tehran.

Since the establishment of Darolfonoon in the mid-19th century, Tehran has amassed a large number of institutions of higher education. Some of these institutions have played crucial roles in the unfolding of Iranian political events. Samuel M. Jordan, whom Jordan Avenue in Tehran is named after, was also one of the founding pioneers of the American College of Tehran. Among major educational institutions located in Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, is the most prestigious technological university of Iran and University of Tehran is the largest and oldest state university in Iran and one of the oldest in Central Asia and Middle East.

Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Shahid Beheshti University (Melli University), K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Shahed University and Tarbiat Modarres University are other highly ranked universities of Iran located in Tehran.

Tehran is also home to Iran's largest military academy, and several religious schools and seminaries.

[edit] Sport

See also: Sport in Iran

Tehran was the first city in the Middle East to host the Asian Games. The 7th Asian Summer Games in 1974, was held with the participation of 2,363 athletes and officials from 25 countries.

Azadi Stadium is the 4th biggest football stadium in the world and the 1st in the Middle East.

Tehran is also the site of Iran's national football stadium on Azadi Sport Complex with 100,000 seating capacity. Azadi Football Stadium is biggest stadium in Iran and Middle East and one of the biggest in the World. Many of the top matches of Iran's Premier League are held here. In 2005, FIFA ordered Iran to limit spectators allowed into Azadi stadium because of a fatal crush and inadequate safety procedures. Other stadiums in Tehran are Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium, Takhti Stadium, and Shahid Shirudi Stadium, among others.

The ski resort of Dizin is situated to the north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains. Tochal Ski Resort is the world's fifth highest ski resort, at over 3,730 metres (12,240 ft) at its highest 7th station. The resort was completed in 1976 shortly before the overthrowing of the Shah.

Here, one must first ride the eight kilometre (five mile) long gondola lift which covers a huge vertical and is probably the longest line in the world.[46] The 7th station has three slopes. The resort's longest slope is the south side U shaped slope which goes from the 7th station to 5th station. The other two slopes are located on the north side of the 7th station. Here, there are two parallel chair ski lifts that go up to 3,900 metres (12,795 ft) near Tochal's peak (at 4,000 m/13,125 ft), rising higher than the gondola 7th station. This altitude is higher than any of the European resorts.

From the Tochal peak, one has a spectacular view of the Alborz range, including the 5,671 metre (18,606 ft) high Mount Damavand, a dormant volcano.

At the bottom of the lifts in a valley behind the Tochal peak is Tochal Hotel, located at 3,500 metres (11,483 ft) altitude. From there a T lift takes skiers up the 3,800 metres (12,500 ft) of Shahneshin peak, where the third slope of Tochal is.

Tochal 7th station has skiing eight months of the year. But there are also some glaciers and year-round snow fields near Tehran where skiing began in 1938, thanks to the efforts of two German railway engineers. Today, 12 ski resorts operate in Iran, but the most famous are Tochal, Dizin, and Shemshak, all within one to three hours of Tehran.

[edit] Football

In Football (soccer), Tehran is the host to four major football clubs in Iran's Premier Football League, namely:

Club Sport Founded League Head Coach
Esteghlal F.C.[47] Football (soccer) 1945 Iran Pro League (IPL) Parviz Mazloumi
Persepolis F.C.[48] Football (soccer) 1963 Iran Pro League (IPL) Ali Daei
Steel Azin F.C. Football (soccer) 2007 Iran Pro League (IPL) Mohammad Khakpour
Naft Tehran F.C. Football (soccer) 1950 Iran Pro League (IPL) Hossein Faraki

[edit] Main sights

Khalvat Karimkhani.

Azadi Tower.
See also Architecture of Tehran

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 Rayy 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.[49] Today Tehran is Iran's primate city, and has the most modernized infastructure in the country; however, the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the demolition of buildings of cultural significance has caused concerns.[50]

The Azadi Tower has been the longstanding symbol of Tehran. It was constructured 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 fourth tallest tower, several restaurants, a five star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park.[51] 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.[52]

The tallest residential building in Iran is a 54-story building located North of Youssef Abad district, the Tehran International Tower. It is architecturally designed similar to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in the Paradise community of Clark County, Nevada, United States.[53] 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.[53]

[edit] Tourism and attractions

See also: Tourism in Iran

The Achaemenid collection of The National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

Tehran, as Iran's showcase and capital city, has a wealth of cultural attractions. The Peacock Throne of the Persian Kings (Shahs) can be found in Tehran's Golestan Palace. Some of the well-known museums are National Museum of Iran, Sa'dabad Palaces Complex, Glassware and Ceramics Museum of Iran, The Carpet Museum of Iran, Tehran's Underglass painting Museum, Niavaran Palace Complex, and Safir Office Machines Museum. The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art features the works of great artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The collection of these paintings were selected by the former Empress Farah Diba.[citation needed]

Tehran is also home to the Iranian Imperial Crown Jewels, also called the Imperial Crown Jewels of Persia, it is claimed to be the largest, most dazzling and valuable jewel collection in the world. The collection comprises a set of crowns and thrones, some 30 tiaras, numerous aigrettes, jewel-studded swords and shields, a vast amount of precious loose gems, including the largest collections of emeralds, rubies and diamonds in the world. It also includes other items collected by the Shahs of Iran during the 2,500 year existence of the Iranian Kingdom. The Imperial Crown Jewels are still on display in the Iranian Central Bank in Tehran.

Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) Is known to the International Publishing World as the most important publishing event in Asia and the Middle East.[54]

[edit] Recreation

Laleh Park's southwestern entrance with a statue of Biruni, a medieval Persian astronomer.

The most popular social activity, especially among the younger generation is cinema. Most cinema theatres are located downtown. The Azadi Cinema was inaugurated in 2008. It is the largest cinema theatre in Tehran with ten salons. The Eram Zoo and Eram City Game are also popular meeting points, especially for families with children. A new larger zoo is planned for 2010.

Artists often mingle at the House Of Artists. Theatre Shahr was opened in 1962. It is the largest theatre in Tehran and the Middle East. Tehran TV 1, Tehran Cinema TV, Omid TV and Tehran Show TV are among the most popular TV stations in Tehran. Tehran TV2, Tehran TV3 and Tehran Sport are planned to be launched in 2010.

The following table shows some places for outdoors activities in Tehran:

Tochal Ski resort Darband hiking trail Chitgar Park Niavaran Park Sa'ei Park Daneshju Park Goft-o-gū Park
Mellat Park Laleh Park Jamshidieh Park Shatranj Park Darabad hiking trail Darakeh hiking trail Jahan-e Kudak Park
Azadi sports complex Enghelab Sports Complex and Golf course Latyan Lake Lavizan Forest Park Vardavard Forest Park Khajeer National Park Kavir National Park
Tar Lake Amir Kabir Lake Lar Protected Natural Habitat Varjeen Protected Natural Habitat Pardisan Tangeh Savashi Farahzad

Statue of Abu Rayhan Biruni in Laleh Park  

Azadi Cinema  

City Theatre  

Museum of Contemporary arts  

[edit] Religious Centers

There are many religious centers scattered around in the city from old to newly built centers. There are mosques, churches, and synagogues where followers of these religions can practice their faith.

The Friday prayer in Tehran is usually hosted by University of Tehran which is led by a Friday prayer leader and on special occasions by the Supreme Leader of Iran. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in the prayers, during which the city of Tehran comes to a standstill.

[edit] Sister cities

[edit] Events

  • The 7th Asian Games were held from September 1, 1974 to September 16, 1974 in Tehran, Iran. The Azadi sports complex was made for the Games. The Asian Games were hosted in the Middle East for the first time. Tehran, the capital of Iran, played host to 3,010 athletes coming from 25 countries/NOCs, the highest number of participants since the inception of the Games.[64]
  • The 1976 AFC Asian Cup was the sixth edition of the Asian Nations Cup, the football (soccer) championship of Asia (AFC). It was hosted by Iran. The field of six teams was split into two groups of three. Iran won their third title in a row, beating Kuwait in the final 1-0.
  • The firstWest Asian Games was first organized in Tehran from 19 to 28 November 1997. It was considered the first of their kind. The success of the games led to the creation of the West Asian Games Federation (WAGF) and the intention of hosting the games every two year.[65]
  • Tehran was the host city for the 4th West Asian Games in 2010.

Panoramic view from Tehran

Panoramic view from Tehran at night

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Statistical Center of Iran - 2006 Census[dead link]
  2. ^ "Microsoft PowerPoint - Day1_2_Network, Transit & Travel Demand Modelling in Iran Using EMME2" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  3. ^ "World: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ By Les Christie, staff writer (2007-03-06). "World's most expensive cities - Mar. 5, 2007". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  6. ^ "Survey: Eight of ten most expensive cities are in Europe". World Economies. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  7. ^ "World's most expensive cities (EIU)". City Mayors. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Tehran remains least expensive city in the world among 124 surveyed cities". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  9. ^ "Top 10 Cheapest Cities In The World". 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  10. ^ "World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision Population Database". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  11. ^ "World's largest urban areas in 2006 (1)". City Mayors. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  12. ^ Mareike Schuppe, "Coping with Growth in Tehran: Strategies of Development Regulation", GRIN Verlag, 2008. pp 13: "Besides Persian, there are Azeri, Armenian, Jewish and Afghani communities in Tehran. The vast majority of Tehran's residents are Persian-speaking (98.3%)"
  13. ^ "Chand Darsad Tehranihaa dar Tehran Bedonyaa Amadand"(How many percent of Tehranis were born in Tehran)-Actual census done by the University of Tehran - Sociology Deparment, accessed December, 2010 [1][2][3][4][5]
  14. ^ a b Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, Peter McDonald, Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, "The Fertility Transition in Iran: Revolution and Reproduction", Springer, 2009. pp 100-101: "The first category is 'Central' where the majority of people are Persian speaking ethnic Fars (provinces of Fars, Hamedan, Isfahan, Markazi, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Yazd and Tehran..."
  15. ^ George Erdösy, "The Indo-Aryans of ancient South Asia: Language, material culture and ethnicity", Walter de Gruyter, 1995. pg 165: "Possible western place names are the following: Raya-, which is also the ancient name of Median Raga in the Achae- menid inscriptions (Darius, Bisotun 2.13: "a land in Media called Raga") and modern Ray south of Tehran "
  16. ^ Chahryar Adle, Bernard Hourcade, "Téhéran: capitale bicentenaire", Institut français de recherche en Iran, 1992. pg 22: [6]
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k V. Minorsky, C.E. Bosworth, "Al-Rayy", Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, vol 8:471-473
  18. ^ a b c d e f g A. Tafazolli, "In Iranian Mythology" in Encyclopaedia Iranica
  19. ^ Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Sarah Stewart, "Birth of the Persian Empire", I.B.Tauris, 2005. pg 37
  20. ^ (Bulddan, Yackubl, 276)
  21. ^ Behrooz, Samira; Karampour, Katayoun. A Research on Adaptation of Historic Urban Landscapes ; The Case of The Historical City of Tehran. Tehran Historical City Office.
  22. ^ "Climate of Tehran". Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  23. ^ Heavy Snowfall in Tehran (in Persian)[dead link]
  24. ^
  25. ^ [7][dead link]
  26. ^ "Chand Darsad Tehranihaa dar Tehran Bedonyaa Amadand"(How many percent of Tehranis were born in Tehran)-actual census done by University of Tehran sociology deparment accessed December, 2010 [8][9][10][11][12]
  27. ^ "Chand Darsad Tehranihaa dar Tehran Bedonyaa Amadand"(How many percent of Tehranis were born in Tehran), accessed December, 2010 [13][14][15]
  28. ^ a b "For Security and Admnistrative Reasons: Plan to Move Capital From Tehran Finalized". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  29. ^ "Iran Moots Shifting Capital from Tehran". 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  30. ^ "No Operation". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  31. ^, accessed: June 2009.
  32. ^ "Slide 1" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  33. ^ BBC:
  34. ^ "'Tehran's overpopulation will cause ecological ruin'". 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  35. ^ a b Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia, pp. 57 and 99. Yateley, Hampshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.
  36. ^ a b Trolleybus Magazine No. 265 (January–February 2006), pp. 16–17. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  37. ^ Turquoise Partners: Iran Investment Monthly (February 2011)Retrieved April 30, 2011
  38. ^ Tehran[dead link]. An Educational Website about Tehran
  39. ^ هر روز 27 تهرانی به دليل آلودگی هوا می ميرند. September 18, 2006
  40. ^ Iran smog 'kills 3,600 in month'. BBC News Online. January 9, 2007
  41. ^ "Car exhaust fumes blamed for over 80% of air pollution in Tehran". 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  42. ^ "Motorcycles Account for 30% of Air Pollution in Tehran". 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ The Huffington Post, "Tehran Air Pollution Keeps Iran's Capital Shut Down Amid 'Unbreathable' Smog", 12 December 2010
  45. ^ The Economist, "The smoggiest of all capitals", 1 January 2011, p. 40.
  46. ^
  47. ^ Esteghlal F.C. Official Website. Esteghlal F.C.
  48. ^ Persepolis F.C. Official Website. Persepolis F.C.
  49. ^ Tehran Capital City of Iran. Tehran
  50. ^ The Style of Tehran. Library of Congress. Retrieved 04-13-2008.
  51. ^ Milad Tower Official Website. Milad Tower
  52. ^ "Women to blame for earthquakes, says Iran cleric". The Guardian. 2010-04-19. 
  53. ^ a b Tehran International Tower Website. Tehran International Tower Website
  54. ^ tibf. Retrieved June 2009.
  55. ^ The Official Web Site of The City of Los Angeles - Error Handler
  56. ^
  57. ^ [16][dead link]
  58. ^ "Sister Cities of Manila". © 2008-2009 City Government of Manila. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  59. ^ "Каталог организаций — Минский городской исполнительный комитет". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  60. ^ "Tehran, Havana named sister cities". 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  61. ^ "Beijing's Sister Cities". 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  62. ^ [17]
  63. ^ [18][dead link]
  64. ^ 7th Asian Games[dead link]. Asian Games
  65. ^ West Asian Games. West Asian Games

[edit] External links

[show] Articles Related to Tehran
[hide]v · d · eMain neighbourhoods of Tehran


Geographic locale
[show]v · d · eCultural Attractions of Tehran
Milad Tower at Night.JPG

Castles and Forts

Arzhang fort in Taleqan · Iraj Fort in Varamin · Gol e Khandan Fort in Rudehen from Sassanid era · Rashkan Fort in Ray from Parthian era · Tabbarok Fort from Abbasid era · Sorkheh-Hesar Fort from Seljuqi era · Kei-Qobad Fort in Taleqan from Ismaili era · Gabri Fort from Parthian era in Ray · Ghal'eh Dokhtar Tang Goseel near Karaj from Seljuqi era · Harun Prison from Sassanid era · Bagh e Melli foreign ministry compounds

Famous Houses

Etehadiyeh House (Qajar era) · Amir Bahador House (Qajar era) · Emam Jom'eh House (1863CE) · Amin ol-Soltan House (Qajar era) · Shaqāqi (Kushak) House (Qajar era) · Emārat e Bāgh e Ferdows (Qajar era) · Emārat Farmaniyeh (Qajarid era) · Shahid Modarres House · Vothuq House (1837CE) · Moshir o-Dowleh Pir Nia House · House of Nima Yooshij · House of Mohammed Mossadegh · House of Ayatollah Taleghani · House of Ghavam o-Dowleh · House of Imam Khomeini · House of Mahmoud Hessaby

Archeological sites

Cheshme Ali Teppe (5th millennium BCE) excavated by Jacques de Morgan · Shoghali Teppe (6th millennium BCE) · Qeytariyeh Cemetery (2nd millennium BCE) · Teppe Meel (excavated by Jacques de Morgan)believed to be the temple of the legendary ancient leader Bahram Gur · Vavan Teppe of Sassanid era · Ghareh Teppe (6th millennium CE) excavated by the British Burton Brown · Ozbaki Teppein Hashtgerd


Iran National Library · The Milad Tower · Darolfonoon · Morvarid Canon of the Afsharid dynasty era · Tughrul Tower of Seljuqi era · Grand Bazaar (1523CE) · Pol e Rumi from the Safavid era (today a property of the Embassy of Turkey· Alborz High School · Firouz Bahram High School · Stodan Of Zoroastrian located in Aminabad area

[show]v · d · eCounties of Tehran Province
[show]v · d · eCapitals of Asia
West and Southwest Asia Central Asia East Asia
1 Often considered part of Central Asia  2 Commonly known as Taiwan  3 Full name is Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte  4 Formal   5 Administrative  6 See Positions on Jerusalem for details on Jerusalem's status  7 Entirely in Southwest Asia but having socio-political connections with Europe  8 Transcontinental country  9 Entirely in Melanesia but having socio-political connections with Southeast Asia
[show]v · d · eWorld's fifty most-populous urban areas
[show]v · d · e
Locator map Iran Tehran Province.png

Andisheh  · Boomhen  · Damavand  · Eslamshahr  · Firuzkuh  · Golestan  · Kilan  · Lavasan  · Malard  · Nasimshahr  · Pakdasht  · Parand  · Pardis  · Pishva  · Rey  · Robat Karim  · Roudehen  · Shahr-e Qods  · Shahriar  · Tajriysh  · Tehran  · Varamin  ·

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