West Azerbaijan

West Azerbaijan (آذربایجان غربی in Persian) is one of the 28 provinces of Iran. Population: 2,000,000 (1990). Area: 37,500 sq.km.

It should not be confused with the west part of the republic of Azerbaijan.

Religion

Most follow Shiite Islam; however, there are numerous Christian minorities such as the Assyrians which have historically lived on the west shore of Urmieh lake as well as Armenians which are scattered throughout the province. Notably the city of Maku in northern West Azerbaijan was the only city in Iran (before World War II) where Christians comprised the majority.

Ethnicity

Most residents of the province are ethnic Azeris who have lived for centuries in the region known as Azerbaijan which stretches from the Republic of Azerbaijan in the former Soviet Union to the province of Zanjan in Iran. There is also a large Kurdish minority living mostly in the southern and western part of the province.

Lifestyle

In the city of Urumieh many residents have a high standard of living in comparison with the Third world. There are plenty of parks, coffee shops, cinemas, and internet cafes throughout the city. There are hundreds of small vilages in the province as well, most of which have running water and electricity as well as television and telephone sets.

Major cities

(as of 1990)

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