Arāk – اراک
|• Mayor||Mohammad Ebrahim Abbasi|
|Elevation||1,718 m (5,636 ft)|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRDT (UTC+4:30)|
Arak (Persian: Arāk – اراک, IPA: [æˈɾɒːk] ( listen)), also known as Soltan Abad (سالطان آباد – Soltān Ābād), is the capital of Markazi Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 526,182, in 160,761 families.
It is a major industrial city in Iran, hosting many industrial factories inside and within few kilometers outside the city, such as the factory of Machin Sazi and the Aluminum Factory of Arak. These factories produce nearly half of the needs of the country in steel, petrochemical, and locomotive industries.
As an industrial city in a developing country, Arak is subject to the issue of air pollution.
During the Seljuk era, a region comprising the whole territory of Media (north-western Iran) and the lower part of Mesopotamia was referred to as Iraq; with the Median part called ʿErāq-e ʿAǰam, meaning "Iraq of the Ajam," and the Mesopotamian part called ʿErāq-e ʿArab, meaning "Iraq of the Arab."
The modern-day city of Arak was founded during the Qajar era. Named Soltan Abad at the time, it was founded in 1808 by Yusef Khan e Gorji, a pro-Iranian warlord who was given refuge by the Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan, following a territorial dispute with his cousins who were supported by the Russian empress Catherine the Great.
Between 1795 and 1797, Yusef Khan e Gorji, renamed Yusef Khan e Sepahdar by the Shah, settled his army in the fertile but poorly-controlled territory that would become the modern-day Arak. Hostile tribes in the region had operated autonomously from the Qajar rule. With the Shah's approval, Yusef Khan diverted the main river to drive out the hostiles and build the war fortress of Soltan Abad to act as a buffer. According to historians, Yusef Khan built the city with the aid of effluents.
Until 1892, the town remained a military base and fortress. The fortress of Soltan Abad had a thick wall surrounded by 7-meter-deep moats. Eight towers were constructed around the town and the governmental building was established in its northern part.
In 1891, shops, gardens, and government buildings of Soltan Abad were repaired by the order of the deputy governor Etemad os Saltane (Mirza Hasan). Large parts of the city were formerly annexed as personal property to the pre-existing army commanders, and were then ultimately turned over to the state around 1918–1922.
Beginning by the last quarter of the 19th century, the city achieved major developments in carpet industry, and eventually became Iran's most important center of carpet production for export markets, continuing up until at least 1940.
Under the reign of Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty, modern factories for vegetable oil, soap, sugar beet, and wool industries were established in Arak. The city also became an important station for the Trans-Iranian Railway, a major railway project directed by Reza Shah which was completed in 1938.
In 1972, two major state-owned enterprises were established in the city, including an aluminum smelter and a heavy engineering plant. The aluminum smelter was built under the Regional Cooperation for Development project of the Central Treaty Organization, in cooperation with the company of Reynolds and Reynolds; and the engineering plant was processed with equipment and technical advice from the Soviets, in return of the gas sales to the Soviet Union.
Arak is surrounded by mountains in the south, west, and east, and its average altitude is 1750m above sea level.
The weather of the city is hot and dry in summer, windy and cool in autumn, cold and snowy in winter, and mild in spring. Its maximum temperature may raise up to 35 degrees Celsius in summer and fall to below -25 degrees Celsius in winter. The average rainfall is around 350mm and the annual relative humidity is 46%.
|Climate data for Arak|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.0
|Average high °C (°F)||4.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−28
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||54.7
|Average rainy days||10.8||9.8||11.4||9.4||7.1||1.1||0.9||0.6||0.6||4.3||6.1||8.9||71|
|Average snowy days||7.6||6.4||3.2||0.5||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||0.7||4.6||23.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||72||67||55||46||40||28||27||27||27||40||56||67||46|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||150.8||160.6||196.0||222.1||287.5||350.4||338.3||329.4||305.1||262.3||188.5||160.8||2,951.8|
|Source: NOAA (1961-1990) |
The city is served by the International Airport of Arak, which is located north of the city. The airport was opened in 1938, and is one of the oldest airports of Iran.
Buses provide the bulk of local public transport.
Arak is one of the main industrial cities of Iran, possessing many plants for heavy industries, especially for the metal and machinery industries, including:
- Machin Sazi e Arak and Azar Ab factories (producing heavy machinery such as boilers and chemical reactors)
- Wagon Pars Company (train manufacturer)
- Iranian Aluminium Company
- HEPCO (Heavy road construction vehicles)
- Navard Aluminum
- Iran Combine Manufacturing Company (Combine-Sazi e Iran)
- Arak (Shazand) Oil Refinery Company
- Arak (Shazand) Petrochemical Company
- Heavy Water Production Plant of Arak
- Power plant and a low power (less than 40 megawatts) heavy water nuclear power plant (IR-40)
Agriculture and handicrafts
The main agricultural products of the city are grain, barley, and fruits including grape, apple, walnut, and almond. Arak also exports hand-knotted carpets which are generally referred to as Sarouk rugs. Saruq is a small village outside the city of Arak, and its name is used in order to prevent confusion with rug from the modern-day country of Iraq.
Parks and gardens
- Nezam Lashgar Garden (Garden of Esmaeili)
- Amir Kabir Park
- Jangali Park
- Kelale Mountain Park
- Arak Zoo
- Madar Park
- Soltan Abad Museum
- Four Seasons Bathroom
- Museum of Artifacts (Hassan Pour Museum)
- Museum of Famous People (The Hall of Fame of Arak)
- Grand Museum of Arak
- Amir Kabir Entertainment and Sports Complex
- Tufan Entertainment and Sports Complex
- Shahin Horse Riding Complex
- Arak University
- Arak University of Medical Sciences
- Amirkabir School of Technology
- Arak University of Technology
- Azad University of Arak
- Payam-e-Noor University of Arak
- Tarbiat Moalem University of Arak(Teacher Training University)
- The Old Bazaar of Arak
- Doab Bridge (built over the Shara River)
- Mostowfi Mansion
- Gerdoo Valley (known for its walnut trees and ranges)
Statesmen and politicians:
- Sharaf Khan Bidlisi (1543-ca. 1600), Kurdish historian and prince of Bitlis, born in Karahrūd, Arak
- Ghaem Magham Farahani (1779–1835), Prime Minister, born in Farahan District, Arak
- Amir Kabir (1807–1852), Prime Minister, born in Hezaveh District, Arak
- Morteza Gholi Bayat (1890–1958), Prime Minister (1944–1945)
- Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882–1967), Prime Minister (May 1951–July 1952; August 1952–1953), was born in Tehran; his father was from Ashtiyan, north-eastern Arak.
- Ata'ollah Mohajerani (1954–), one of the ministers of the cabinet of Khatami
Literary, painting, and photography figures:
- Parvin E'tesami (1907–1941), the Iranian Poet, was born in Tabriz; her father was from Ashtiyan, north-eastern Arak.
- Behjat Sadr (1924–2009), an eminent Iranian painter
- Kader Abdolah (1954–), the Dutch Writer Laureate
- Jahangir Razmi (1947–), the 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner photographer
- Mohammad Khazaeli
- Wahid Shams Kolahi (1965–), Electrical engineering
Cinema and television artists:
- Reza Badiyi (1930–2011), director of episodes of many popular American television series, including Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible, The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, Falcon Crest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the episode Out of Mind, Out of Sight), Nikita, and etc.
- Yervand Manaryan (1924–), Iranian-Armenian actor
- Pouri Banayi, (1940–), famous Iranian actress before the 1979 Revolution (1965–1979)
- Golchehreh Sajadiye (1954–), Iranian actress
- Mehran Modiri (1967–), well known Iranian entertainer, TV presenter, actor, film director, and comedian
- Manijeh Hekmat (1962–), Iranian film director
- Mostafa Azizi (1962–), Iranian TV producer
- Niki Karimi (1971–), Iranian actress
- Shaghayegh Farahani (1972–), Iranian actress
- Bahareh Rahnama (1973–), Iranian actress
- Sahar Zakaria (1973–), Iranian actress
- "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1390 (2011)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2013-11-12.
- http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/840807 تصویب نامه در خصوص تقسیمات کشوری در استان مرکزی شماره۴۰۷۶/ت۴۸۶۸۶ک
- Arak, Iran can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3053519" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
- Boesch, Hans H. (1 October 1939). "El-'Iraq". Economic Geography. 15 (4): 329. doi:10.2307/141771.
- "ʿERĀQ-E ʿAJAM(Ī)". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
- de Planhol, X. (1986). "ARĀK". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 3. pp. 247–248.
- "Arak: Modern Town and Industry". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
- http://rajanews.com/detail.asp?id=154355 تبدیل یک شهر دیگر به کلان شهر-سه شنبه، 25 تير -رجانیوز1392 15:57
- "Arak Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arak.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arak.|
- de Planhol, X. (1986). "ARĀK". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 3. pp. 247–248.