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Friday, 27-Apr-2007 06:15 Email | Share | Bookmark
Urmia at a glance- Fotos by Saman

Originally I am from Urmia so i have different looking over this beautiful city as My HOMETOWN

Urmia (Persian: ارومیه, Azeri: Urmu, Urumiyə, Kurdish: Wurmê, Syriac: ܐܘܪܡܝܐ; previously called رضائیه, Rezaiyeh) is a district and a city located in northwestern Iran. It is also the capital of the West Azerbaijan province, situated on the western side of Lake Urmia near the Turkish border. Its population in 2005 is estimated at 602,403

The name Urmia is thought to have come from Syriac, the language of the city's Assyrian founders: Ur, meaning "cradle," and mia, meaning "water." Hence, Urmia, situated by a lake and surrounded by rivers, is the cradle of water. During the Roman era the city was called 'Rumia'

Urmia is an ethnically diverse city, with a population composed of Azeris, Kurds, Persians, and scattered groups of Armenians and Assyrians. The Kurds and Azeris comprise the majority of Urmia and the main languages spoken in the city are Azerbaijani and Kurdish while the official language at schools and government institutions remains Persian.
The city has been home to various ethnic groups during its long history. For this reason, the demographics of the city underwent numerous changes, with Kurds and Azeris currently constituting the majority of the population[citation needed]. Nonetheless, many historical documents attest to the fact that at the beginning of 20th century, the majority of the city's population was composed of Assyrians who adhered to Christianity. However, the mass exodus of Assyrians and Armenians starting in 1914 by virtue of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides and the subsequent battles between the Russian and Ottoman armies led to a drastic shift in the city's demographics. During the era of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iranian Assyrians were invited to return to the region and repopulate their villages and a few thousand did return. Since that time, most Assyrians are now centered in Tehran and other major cities.. However, the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran led many Assyrians to flee the country for the West (see Assyrian diaspora).
It appears that birth rates among Kurds have been higher than among Azeris over recent decades. This coupled with greater migration into the urban area has made the Kurds into a dominant group in Urmia . Iran's Minister of Energy, Parviz Fattah, is from Urmia
Urmia, according to many historians, is believed to be the birthplace of the prophet Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrianism.
The Columbia Encyclopedia mentions that Urmia was an important town in the region during the 9th century.
Oghuz Turks entered the area in the 11th century, in the period 1029 to 1041. At this time, the ruler of Urmia was Abul-Hayja bin Rabib al-Dawla, who was the chief of Hadhbani Kurds. He defeated the Oghuz Turks and killed 25,000 of them, when they were trying to pass through his territory .
The city was reportedly sacked by the Seljuk Turks in 1184. The Ottoman Turks made several incursions into the city, but the Safavids were soon able to regain control over the area. The first monarch of Iran's Qajar dynasty, Agha Muhammad Khan, was crowned in Urmia in 1795. Due to Urmia's relatively large Christian population growth by the end of the 19th century, Urmia also became the seat of the first American Christian mission in Iran in 1835. Another mission soon became operational in nearby Tabriz as well. It is reported that by the turn of the century, Christians composed more than 50% of the city's population. Most of them, however, fled the city during or after WWI. Currently, Muslims constitute 95% of the population

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