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Persian: zābol

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Zabol, Iran

Kuh-e Khwaja palace, Zabol, Iran

Kuh-e Khajeh palace near Zabol.

City in eastern Iran with 110,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), in the Sistan va Baluchestan province, in the Sistan region, close to the border to Afghanistan.
Zabol is near the seasonal lake of Hamun, on the Hirmand river.
The population are Persians, speaking the Sistani dialect of Persian, a dielect close to Dari, the main language of Afghanistan. Minority groups include Balochis, Pashtuns and Brahui.
Zabol today is a troubled city, very much affected by the decades of civil war in Afghanistan. Gun smuggling is now the most important part of the economy, and there are reportedly many clashes between Iranian police and independent gangs.
Zabol is relatively well-connected to other urban centres by fair roads. There is also a regional airport.
Zabol is well-known for its so-called 120 day Wind, which is a dust storm through summer, blowing from the north to the south.
There is a university, the Zabol University.

By Tore Kjeilen