Iran: Racial Discrimination Plagues the Lives of Millions of Ahwazi Arabs
Characterised as lizard-eaters and camel milk-drinkers, barefooted and uncivilised nomads, Arabs in al-Ahwaz face racial discrimination in all areas of public life. In his latest report, rights activist Rahim Hamid explores how the Iranian regime tries to crush the willpower of Ahwazi Arabs to pursue their cultural practices.
As the source of 40 to 50 per cent of Iran's gross domestic product, al-Ahwaz is one of the country's most prosperous regions, with Iranian officials calling the area 'the heart of Iran's economy'. The region produces over four million barrels of oil each day, on top of wheat, barley, sugar cane, cotton and a multitude of fruits and vegetable. However, 98 per cent of the region's revenue is channelled to Persian provinces, while the local Arabs - considered a threat to the current regime - live in squalor, with open sewers and no access to running water or electricity.
Stricken by poverty, infrastructural neglect and arbitrary arrests, Arabs have no means of changing their circumstances. They are systematicallly marginalised from job opportunities, with unemployment levels in al-Ahwaz towering over the national average.
Photo: Arabs in al-Ahwaz live in poverty. Credit: Soudeh Rad
To read Rahim's full report on the daily discrimination faced by Ahwazi Arabs, click on the link below: