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ARABISTAN (formerly Khuzistan), a province of Persia, bounded on the S. by the Persian Gulf, on the W. by Turkish territory, on the N. by Luristan and on the E. by the Bakhtiari district and Fars. It has its modern name, signifying “land of the Arabs,” from the Arabs who form the bulk of the population, and is subdivided into the districts of Muhamrah, Fellahiyeh (the old Dorak), Ram Hormuz (popularly known as Ramiz), Havizeh, Shushter and Dizful. It has a population of about 200,000 and pays a yearly revenue of about £30,000. The soil is very fertile, but since the dam over the Karun at Ahvaz was swept away and the numerous canals which diverted the waters of the river for irrigation became useless, a great part of the province is uncultivated, and most of the crops and produce depend for water on rainfall and wells. The climate is hot, and in the low-lying, swampy districts very unhealthy; the prevailing winds are north-west and south-east, the former hot and dry from the arid districts west of Mesopotamia, the latter bearing much moisture from the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The principal Arab tribes are the Kab (generally known as Chaab) and Beni Lam, the former mostly settled in towns and villages and by religion Shi’ites, the latter nomads and Sunnites. The staples of food are dates and fish in the south, elsewhere the produce of the herds and flocks and rice, wheat and barley. Other products are maize, cotton, silk and indigo, and the manufactures include carpets without pile, coarse woollens, cottons and silk nettings. Dyeing is extensively carried on in Dizful where most of the indigo is grown.

Khuzistan (meaning “the land of the Khuz”) was a part of the Biblical Elam, the classical Susiana, and appears in the great inscription of Darius as Uvaja.

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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