Geographical Position, Kermanshah
The Kermanshah province with an area of 24,461 square kilometers is located in the west of the country. This province from the east is limited to the Hamadan province, from the north to Kurdestan province, from the west to Iraq and from the south to Ilam and Lurestan provinces. According to the latest divisions of the country in 1996, the townships of Kermanshah were Islam Abad Qarb, Paveh, Javan Rood, Sar Pol-e-Zahab, Sonqor, Sahneh, Qasr-e-Shirin, Kermanshah, Kangavar, Gilan Qarb, Harsin.
The population of the province in 1996 was about 1.8 million out of which 61.7 percent were settled in the cities and 37.7 % resided in rural areas, the rest were non-residents. The province of Kermanshah is located between Iranian Plateau and Mesopotamia Plain in the mountainous area and Zagross heights along with summits cover the whole area. Parts of the slopes of a lower incline and mountainous expansion, are low lands and alluvium plains.
In accordance with its geographical location, the province has four climatic zones:
The mountainous temperate climatic zone in the western sector, covering part of the north and east of Paveh. This area enjoys cold winters and temperate summers.
The mountainous temperate climatic zone of the eastern Zagross with towns such as Kangavar, Harsin and parts of north-eastern Kermanshah with short winters and moderate summers.
The mountainous temperate zone of central Zagross with towns such as Islam Abad Qarb, Sar Pol-e-Zahab, Qasr-e-Shirin, and the south and southwest of Javan Rood is located in this area.
The semi-desert climatic zone of the western foothills of Zagross covering the southern parts of Gilan Qarb and having a temperate climate in winter and a warm and intolerable weather in summer. In overall from climatic point of view, the Kermanshah province is divided into two regions one being the tropical zone in the west and the other the cold region in the rest of the zones.
The important winds of the Kermanshah province consist of the western winds that transfer the relative humidity of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean to the territory of this province and causing rainfall. This current blows more in winter and spring. The northern winds that blow in summer are effective in modifying the climate in part of the province and reducing the heat. The "Saam" or "Somoum" wind, blows only in the frontier zone making the climate very hot and intolerable in summers and also causing damages.
History and Culture, Kermanshah
The Goutic or Kasi migrants resided in the mountainous territory of the Zagross in the 3rd and fourth millennium BC., ultimately occupying Mesopotamia. According to the Babylonian, Assyrian and Elamite inscriptions, tribes such as Lului, Gouti, Fayeri, Amouda and Parsovariz were settled in the skirts of the Zagross. The Luluis or Lalos (the ancestors of the Lors), in the past inhabited Zahab, Shahr-e-Zoor and Soleimaniyeh. It is for the first time, that "Medes" were mentioned in the attacks of the Assyrians to the jurisdiction of the current Kurdestan.
Therefore, it is understood that the Medes were present in the skirts of the Zagross as early as the first millennium BC. Besides the Medes, there were other tribes such as Pars and Kurds in this region. The construction of the city of Kermanshah is related to Bahram Shah Sassanid, the governor of Kerman during his father's reign; hence it was named Kermanshah. The Arabs took hold of the same on their victory over the Iranians in the battle of Nahavand. In the 4th century AH., a minor Kurdish dynasty, named as Hosnaviyeh gained independence in the western sector, and ruled for a period of about 50 years. The large castle of Sermaj, which was constructed near Dinvar, was considered as a seat of power and defense and burial of valuable treasures. In the year 441 AH., Soltan Togrol Saljuqi dispatched a hundred soldiers to take possession of the Sermaj Castle, and captured it after a period of 4 years. During the Saljuqi era, Kermanshah was a thriving city and in order to confront Masoud Saljuqi, the Abbaside Caliph sent forces to this city. In the Mongol period, due to the attack of Helakoo to the city of Baqdad, the city of Kermanshah witnessed heavy damages. During the Teimoorid period, Kermanshah came under the realm of the Hamadan territory. In the 9th and 10th centuries AH., the Ottomans repeatedly attacked Kermanshah.
According to narrations of foreign travelers of the times, Kermanshah was a thriving city with several caravansaries and bridges in the Safavid era. Specially due to the great attention paid by the Safavids to religious pilgrimages, and Kermanshah being en route to Karbala and Najaf, this city thrived to a great extent. During the reign of Nader, the ancient castle of the city was demolished and a new one was constructed. Karim Khan Zand captured the city and in the Qajar period, it came to be known as a center of the western sector and also a seat of government. The son of Fathali Shah, Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatshah confronted the Ottomans from this city, and alike other cities of the country, Kermanshah played an important role in the constitutional movement.
During the World War I and II, Kermanshah came under the control of foreign powers. Today, this province is a prosperous one, and its provincial capital is the city of Kermanshah. The said province is of the Kurd residing territory of Iran and the Kurdish language has a close tie with the Persian language here, besides being similar grammatically too. The Kurdish language has various dialects, the most outstanding of which are named as, Kalhori, Urami, Sourani (Jafi), Laki and Farsi. The people of the province are of the Aryan race, and their religious beliefs play a vital part in the culture adapted by them. Great poets and writers have arisen from this region.