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Book Chapter

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Greenwood Press


Iran lies between Iraq and, further north, Turkey to the west and Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea border Iran to the north, and thee Persian Gulf to the south. Iran covers 636,293 square miles.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, many people lived by herding animals. Some of the Kurds and the Shahsevan in the northwest, Qashqai, Bakhtiary, Lurs, and Kamseh in the southwest, Baluch in the southeast, and Turkmen in the northeast lived in nomadic camps, traveling with their animals in search of water and pastures. Beginning in the 1920s, the two Pahlavi shahs, Reza Shah and his son, Mohammad Reza Shah, worked to pacify tribespeople and bring them under the control of the central government. Now, nomads have largely been settled and live in villages or migrate to urban areas.

Chapter of

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women’s Issues Worldwide, The Middle East and North Africa


Lynn Walter
Bahira Sherif-Trask


The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women’s Issues Worldwide: The Middle East and North Africa by Lynn Walter, editor-in-chief; Bahira Sherif-Trask, volume editor. Copyright © 2003 by Lynn Walter and Bahira Sherif-Trask. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.