Khuzestan Province, with an area of 64055 square kilometers, is the tenth province of Iran in terms of area. Lorestan, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh & Boyer-Ahmad, Ilam, Bushehr, the Persian Gulf and Iraq border it. The province includes 27 counties from among them Ahvaz, Dezful, Andimeshk, Izeh, Behbahan and Hendijan are the largest ones. The center of Khuzestan is Ahvaz city. The Arab, Lur and Fars are the residents of this province, each of them speaking in their own language (or dialect). Zagros Mountains cover the northern areas of the province, and the southern regions are hills and plains. Therefore, in highlands, the province has a mountainous climate, and in the lower regions, the arid desert climate is seen.
The land of Khuzestan was somehow similar to Elam government and the ancient city of Susa is an indication of its greatness. Shapur I of Sassanid dynasty built the famous Band-e Shushtar and Gundeshapur city. This educational center had an international reputation with professors from Greece, Egypt, India and Rome who taught there. After the seizure of Khuzestan by the Arabs, the region was invaded and ruined for a while. The city of Ahvaz which is one of the oldest cities in Iran and one of the most important cities of Khuzestan, was called “Hormoz Ardeshir” in ancient times. The city experienced its boom in the time of Ardeshir the first king of Sassanid dynasty and became the capital of the Susiana (Khuzestan) instead of Susa. After the invasion, Arabs called it “Soq-Al-Ahvaz”, which means the Khuzi market (Hozi). The Khuzi were a local ancient tribe of warriors and the name of the province is taken from them as well. When Nasser-al-Din Shah of Qajar Dynasty took the throne, the peace returned to Khuzestan and by his command, Naseri port (Ahwaz Novin) was built for to develop shipping industry in Karun River, it was built next to old Ahvaz. Khuzestan suffered irreparable damages after the Islamic Revolution and during the imposed war of Iran.
The important ancient works and natural attractions of the province include Karun, Karkheh and Dez rivers that annually attract many tourists to Khuzestan province. Shrine of Khezr, Ashkoft Kul-e Farah (Izeh), Shahsavar ancient site and Shevi Waterfall are among the prominent attractions of the province. Watching the religious rituals of the Mandaean who follow John the Baptist and live along the Karun River is also one of the unique tourist attractions of Khuzestan. The three sites of Chogha Zanbil holy temple from the Elamite civilization, the ancient city of Susa and the Shushtar Hydraulic Structures have been registered at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Khuzestan handicrafts include Carving on Gold and Silver, Woodcarvings, Handmade Fabric, Mat Weaving and Abba Making. Different kinds of dates and southern fishes are souvenirs of the province. Halawi, Gantar, Barhi are some famous kinds of date in the region. Fish and shrimp are the main ingredients of most Khuzestani dishes due to their closeness to the sea. Samosa, Falafel, Qaliyeh Mahi, Fried Shrimp, Shushtari rice and Hariseh are the most notable local foods of the province.