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Young men and women relaxing at night in Shiraz during the holy month of Ramadan, sitting with a glass of well earned chai and a water pipe of tobaco overlooking the Qur'an Gate far below. I had a well earned glass of chai too after the long climb up to the cafe. Thankfully there were stairs let into the side of the rock to make things easier. (Easier, not easy). Above the is a room which houses a Qur'an handwritten by an important scholar. By passing through the gate and therefore beneath the Qur'an you are blessed on your journey in the traditional way. Similarly, when leaving on a trip a friend will hold the Qur'an for you to kiss then raise it above your head so that you pass under it as you start out. You are thereby blessed.
Shiraz is the fifth most populated city in Iran and the capital of Fars Province. It is located in the southwest of Iran, has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for more than a thousand years.The earliest reference to the city, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, thanks to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. Shiraz was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1781, as well as briefly during the Saffavid period.Shiraz is known as the city of poets, wine and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities.