Farāh is a city in western Afghanistan. It is situated at 650 m altitude. The Farah River runs through it. The population is 37,400. It is the capital of Farah Province.
Farah has great historical value because it contains a citadel built by the famed Alexander the Great
. "The Citadel" is one of a series of fortresses constructed by the Macedonian Conqueror. Farah was an intermediate stop between Herat, home of another of Alexander's fortresses, and Kandahar
. It was probably the Phra mentioned by Isidore of Charax
in the 1st century A.D. In th 5th century Farah was one of the Sassanid Empire
's major strongholds on their eastern front. It was sacked by the armies of Genghis Khan
, and the survivors were transported to a position farther north, where there are still great ruins.
The city of Farah and the immediate surrounding environs maintain a solid Parsiwan/Farsiwan/Persian majority, while the countryside is divided between the Pashtun and Aimaq tribesmen (Atlas Narodov Mira, Moscow 1963). The steady migration from countryside into the city might in time change the demographics of the Farah city in the future.
There is also an immigrant Persian group inside the city per se, known as the Yazdi in Farah itself. Apparently, these are immigrants from Yazd in Iran who migrated into Farah and called a small part of the capital Yazdi). Specially people who are Shia muslims and genuine Iranian Persian by descent.
The arrival of the Pashtun tribes into the region are of relatively recent date, stretching back only into the early 19th century. But this has been a trend in all of Afghanistan where the Pashtun tribe loyal to the rulers in Kabul had been sent to distant regions of Aghanistan to act as margraves of the Kingdom of Afghanistan. Emir Abdur Rahman Khan was most active in this regard when he sent tens of thousands of Pashtun tribesmen into northern Afghanistan and the Amu Darya basin in the 1880s and 1890s to guard the borders against the Russian incursions as well as to form and military outposts for Kabul in the recently acquired territories of Badakhshan and Mazar-i Sharif.
Economy and transportation
The city is a major trading and farming center in this area.There is an airport with a gravel runway which is one of many that were constructed for the hauling of freight and passengers. However, the runway is used and protected by coalition forces to transport supplies to needy Afghans throughtout Farah Province. There are secondary roads in different directions from the city. One major road called 517 or "IED Alley" approiatly named by Coalition forces due to the high number of road side bombs, leads to Ring Road. Both Ring Road and 517 were recently built in coordination with many different ISAF/NATO countries who's workers risked their lives to help flourish and rebuild this western province. Many civilian contractors died from Taliban attacks and forgotten landmines from the Russian invasion.
An incredible situation occurred in Farah, where a 9 1/2 year old girl was severely burned. There is a book at stores called "Tiny Dancer", which explains her whole life story of how she started off as a melted human, and became herself again. To learn more about this, go to www.grossmanmed.com/zubaida.htm.