GANĀVA

GANĀVA, county (šahrestān) and port city on the Persian Gulf in the province of Būšehr (q.v.).

County. The county is bordered in the north by the cities of Behbahān (q.v.) and Bandar-e Māhšahr (q.v.; in Ḵūzestān) and the county of Gačsārān (q.v., in Kūhgīlūya and Boir Aḥmadī province), in the east by the counties of Mamassanī and Borāzjān (in Fārs), in the south by the port city of Būšehr, and in the west by the Persian Gulf. The county includes three districts (Central, Deylam, and Rīg), the three towns of Deylam, Rīg, and Ganāva, and four rural districts (dehestān; Wezārat-e kešvār, p. 8). A brackish river, which originates in the Gačtorš and Kolāhfarangī mountains, flows through the county before reaching the Persian Gulf at 18 km south of Bandar-e Rīg. The river Darra Gap, rising from the Band-e Pīr and Čahār Tang mountains in the south of Gačsārān, passes the town of Ganāva on the northeast and east and pours into the Persian Gulf. Principal products of the county are barley, wheat, tobacco, and dates, of which the last is exported. Handicrafts are limited to carpet-weaving and mats made out of palm-tree fibers. Animal husbandry is also practiced. The area is inhabited by sea birds; foxes and jackals are also found. The tamarisk (gaz) and lote (konār) trees are plentiful around the port of Ganāva. The region reportedly has oil deposits (Wezārat-e defāʿ, pp. 34, 35, 36; Wezārat-e jehād, pp. vāv, ze, ṭā). Oil pipelines from Gačsārān to the Ḵārk island pass through this county (OPEC, p. 109 and the map of Persia). In the past, fine ʿabās (q.v.) were manufactured here (Emām Šūštarī, pp. 40, 42).

Ganāva is inhabited by the Shiʿite Arabs of Banī Asad tribe (Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 34). The county’s population was 96,567 in 1991, of which 72 percent lived in towns and 28 percent in rural areas (Markaz-e āmār, 1993b, p. 10).

Town. The center of the county, the town of Ganāva, is located at 29° 35′ N. and 50° 31′ E. at an altitude of 8 m above sea level and about 1 km distant from the Persian Gulf. In 1991, it had a population of 48,604. The average maximum temperature reaches 36° C, and minimum 11° C; its average annual rainfall is 150 mm. The local shrine is called Emāmzāda Šāhzāda Solaymān (Wezārat-e tarābarī, 1359, p. 260; Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 35 and illustration of the shrine; Ḵosravī, p. 5; Razmārā, Farhang VII, p. 204; Markaz-e āmār, 1993a, p. 45).

Early geographers refer to the town as Jannābā/Jannāba (Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 29, 32, 34; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 42; Ebn Rosta, p. 97; Belāḏorī, Fotūḥ, p. 388; Moqaddasī, p. 52; Qodāma, p. 242; Masʿūdī, Tanbīh, p. 43), and Ganāfa/Ganaba (Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, ed. Sotūda, p. 45, 132, tr. Minorsky, pp. 74, 127, 212; Ebn al-Balḵī, p. 149; Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 130). According to Ebn al-Balḵī, the name means “stinking water” (āb-e ganda), a direct reference to its foul water. In 23/644, Oṯmān b. Abi’l-ʿĀṣ Ṯaqāfī conquered Ganāva peacefully (Balāḏorī, p. 388; Ebn al-Aṯīr, Beirut, III, pp. 39-40). Apparently, in the past the people of Ganāva were skilled in ship-building, as witnessed by Ṭabarī’s report (III, pp. 1997-98) that during the reign of al-Moʿtamed (256-79/870-92), the people of Ganāva built the ships the caliph’s brother al-Mowaffaq had ordered. A legend related by Ebn al-Faqīh (pp. 195-96), attributes the foundation of the town to a son of the mythical king Ṭahmūreṯ, called Fārs (Ebn al-Faqīh, pp. 195-96) and Jannābā (Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 130). In the 4th/10 century Ganāva, a large flourishing town in the Arrajān (q.v.) district (kūra), was considered the emporium of Fārs. Pearl fishery was carried on and the government ran brocade-manufacturing workshops there, the products of which were exported (Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 34, 153; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 49; Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, ed. Sotūda, p. 45). Ganāva was the birthplace of the Carmatian leader Abū Saʿīd Jannābī (q.v.). In 375/985-86 it had well-lit markets and the congregational mosque stood in the center of the town (Moqaddasī, p. 426). Qazvīnī, who visited the town in 674/1275-76, describes it as a small town on the coast of the Persian Gulf, with poor soil, poorer weather, salty lands, and brackish water (II, p. 121). In 1275/1841 under Moḥammad Shah Qājār, the port of Ganāva had a tax receipt of 1,200 tomāns (Kāzerūnī, p. 44). By the time of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah the town had fallen into ruin (Fasāʾī, ed. Rastgār, II, p. 1332).

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(Minu Yusuf-Nežād)

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