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Official ShiaChat A-Z Virtual Travel Thread

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Salaam everybody:

The beauty of today's technology is that we can travel anywhere from the comfort of our own screens. We have many new places to explore, on the grand, figurative ShiaChat autobus!

The goal of this travel log is simple, each new post must add a new destination, in alphabetical order.  I will do A, then you do B, then the next person does C, and so on.  When we finish the alphabet, we'll start back at A again! How many times can we circumvent the world?

Please provide the place (bolded is preferred) and provide picture(s) of the destination if you wish. It can be a country, a state, a city, a landmark, a museum, a park, a building, whatever you like, but it has to be a REAL life location (nothing fictional). And only public places please. Also its highly encouraged to post a wikipedia or other link, so we can read more about the place, or provide a brief description.

I'll start with Akita, Japan:

Mount Taihei, Kubota Castle, Akita-Araya Wind Farm, Hitotsumori Park, Akita Skydome, Akita Museum of Art, Akita Akarengakan Museum, Akita City Gymnasium


The economy of Akita remains heavily dependent on agriculture (particularly rice cultivation), forestry and mineral extraction. Akita contains one of the most important oil fields in Japan. Oil refining, woodworking, metalworking, and the production of silk textiles are the main industries. Akita is also home to two regional banks that serve Akita prefecture and the greater Tōhoku region: Akita Bank and Hokuto Bank.

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Bratislava, Slovakia.

Slovak capital is little known, little travelled, and underacppreciated but it's a quiet lovely place to visit for a weekend city break. Tourists approach it as an optional appendage to their visit to Vienna. Multiple trains leave Vienna to Bratislava every day. Tourists visiting Vienna like to do a day trip to Bratislava which, if I'm not mixing things up, takes less than two hours one way. I decided to stay the night and was amply rewarded.

The views of Danube are beautiful, specially when seen from the Hrad castle on the hill (pic below). There's a nice walking trail around and about the castle that leads down to the town centre where you can enjoy a walk in the thoroughfare, eat at open air places in the summer, pay a visit to decrepit churches, pop into museums and synagogues, and just spend your time people gazing if you're solo. I was travelling solo.

Some pics I took.




Edited by Marbles

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Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas is Venezuela's cultural capital, with many restaurants, theaters, museums, and shopping centers. The city is home to an array of immigrants from but not limited to: Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Middle East, Germany, China, and Latin American countries.[31][32][33][34]


Este de Caracas.JPG

Fachada Mezquita Ibrahim Al-lbrahim.JPG

The Mosque Ibrahim Ibin Abdul Aziz Al-Ibrahim or Caracas Mosque is a mosque in the El Recreo district of Caracas. it is the second largest mosque in Latin America after the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. Mirroring modern Venezuela's religious tolerance and its oil realpolitik the construction of the mosque began in 1989 by Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim. The mosque designed by architect Zuhair Fayez occupies an area of 5000 m², its minaret is 113 metres high and the dome is 23 metres high. Construction of the mosque was completed in 1993. The mosque can hold around 3500 worshipers. Rising higher between the Catholic Cathedral a few blocks away and the Caracas Synagogue, the minaret is the highest in the Americas.[1]

"It is like a dream come true for us," Hassan Majzoub, president of Venezuela's Islamic Center, said of the four-year project, culminated in March 1993 with the inauguration of the Caracas Islamic Center.

Mr. Majzoub, a shopkeeper who emigrated from Lebanon in 1968, acknowledged that the 100,000 Muslims in Venezuela were easily surpassed in number by Muslims in Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

Edited by magma

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Ew, south Korea.

Ekbatan (i.e. Ekbatan Village, a construction project that was originally on the outskirts of Tehran but was then consumed by Tehran)













Ekbatan is huge. What you see in these pictures are just a small fraction of its entirety. It has its own hospitals, mosques, stores, gyms, everything...

Right next to it is another project, Apadana Village. But that one is uglier and not as big. I like Ekbatan much more.

I always loved these type of construction projects ever since I was a kid.

Edited by baradar_jackson

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Wa'alaykum As Salam wb. 

Figuig, Morocco 

"The town is built around an oasis of date palms, called Tazdayt, meaning "palm tree" in the Berber language, surrounded by rugged, mountainous wilderness. Modernization has somewhat raised the standard of living, and drawn much of the town's population away, so that it is now struggling to reach stability. The town has a population of some 13,000." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figuig




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^ Look at you making reservations! I had something in mind with M about my hometown. I'm sure @habib e najjaar is gonna tell her about her hometown too right? So might we do it M(a) and M(b)?

As for now...

Galle, Srilanka.

....is situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. It is the fifth largest city in Sri Lanka after the capital Colombo, Kandy, Jaffna and Negombo.

Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.


Galle Mosque and Dutch Lighthouse



Layout of Galle Fort below.



@Hasan0404 your turn has come.

Edited by Marbles
inserted a pic

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23 hours ago, habib e najjaar said:

Nobody touch M. It's taken. (Err if I forget about this topic then OK but I will still post my favorite M cities.)


Which M city do you want to post? Mombasa? Mashhad?


Or no... Meibod?

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Hingol National Park is located along the Makran coast in southwestern Baluchistan,Pakistan. It lies within sections of Lasbela District, Gwadar District, and Awaran District. The Gulf of Oman is to the south.











Edited by Hasan0404

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16 hours ago, Zaair Guide said:

Tomb of Omer e Khayam

Tomb of Fariduddin Attar

Sir, your descriptions have got mixed up. First one is Attar's; the second belongs to Khayyam.

You have confused the locations too. Both tombs are in Neshapur not Isfahan.

Edited by Marbles
Added a line

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Marbels your are right about the images. I got them swaped while pasting. The second part of confusion is quite simple as 


Neyshabur (Persian: نيشابور‎‎, also Romanized as Neyshābūr)[1] is a village in Nakhlestan Rural District, in the Central District of Khur and Biabanak County, Isfahan Province, Iran.


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Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta, officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta), is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, (though Jakarta is also a province) and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.

Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre, and with a population of 9,761,407 as of December 2012,[7] it is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia.[8] The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek (a name formed by combining the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi), is the second largest in the world, yet the metropolis's suburbs still continue beyond it.

Established in the fourth century, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies (known as Batavia at that time). Today, the city has continued as the capital of Indonesia since the country's independence was declared in 1945. The city is currently the seat of the ASEAN Secretariat.

Jakarta is listed as a global city in the 2008 Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) research.[9] Based on survey by Brooking Institute, in 2011 economic growth in Jakarta ranked 17th among the world's 200 largest cities, a jump from its 2007 ranking of 171. Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok.[10]


From top, left to right): Jakarta Old Town, Hotel Indonesia Roundabout, Jakarta Skyline, Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Monumen Nasional, Merdeka Palace, Istiqlal Mosque

Merdeka Square Monas 02.jpg220px-Jakarta-Panorama.jpg

The National Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Nasional, abbreviated Monas) is a 132 m (433 ft) tower in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, symbolizing the fight for Indonesia. It is the national monument of the Republic of Indonesia, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence.


Edited by magma

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Kazan, Russia

"Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia."



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Lima, Peru.

"When fog bundles its colonial facades and high rises, Lima's enchantments come across as all too subtle. After Cairo, this sprawling metropolis is the second-driest world capital, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs. To enjoy it, climb on the wave of chaos that spans from high-rise condos built alongside pre-Columbian temples, and fast Pacific breakers rolling toward noisy traffic snarls. Think one part southern Cali doused with a heavy dose of America Latina.

But Lima is also sophisticated, with civilization that dates back millennia. Stately museums display sublime pottery; galleries debut edgy art; solemn religious processions recall the 18th century and crowded nightclubs dispense tropical beats. No visitor can miss the capital’s culinary genius, part of a gastronomic revolution more than 400 years in the making.

This is Lima. Shrouded in history, gloriously messy and full of aesthetic delights. Don’t even think of missing it. "

Top things to do in Lima.


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Mombasa (/məmˈbɑːsə/; Kenyan English[mɔmˈbɑːsə]) is a city on the coast of Kenya. It is the nation's second-largest city,[2] after the capital Nairobi, with an estimated population of 1.2 million people in 2014.[1][2] 

A regional cultural and economic hub, Mombasa has an extra-large port and an international airport, and is an important regional tourism centre. Located on the east coast of Kenya, in Mombasa County and the former Coast Province, Mombasa's situation on the Indian Ocean made it a historical trading centre,[3] and it has been controlled by many countries because of its strategic location.

Most of the early information on Mombasa comes from Portuguese chroniclers writing in the 16th century. In 1331, the famous Moroccan scholar and traveller Ibn Battuta also visited the area during his travels to theSwahili Coast and made some mention of the city, although he only stayed one night. He noted that the people of Mombasa were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous. Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built."

The exact founding date of the city is unknown, but it has a long history. Kenyan school history books place the founding of Mombasa as 900 A.D. It must have been already a prosperous trading town in the 12th century, as the Arab geographer Al Idrisi mentions it in 1151.

In the late pre-colonial period (late 19th century), it was the metropolis of a plantation society, which became dependent on slave labour (sources contradict whether the city was ever an important place for exporting slaves) but ivory caravans remained a major source of economic prosperity. Mombasa became the major port city of pre-colonial Kenya in the Middle Ages and was used to trade with other African port cities, the Persian Empire, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and China.[6] 16th-century Portuguese voyagerDuarte Barbosa claimed, "[Mombasa] is a place of great traffic and has a good harbour in which there are always moored small craft of many kinds and also great ships, both of which are bound from Sofala and others which come from Cambay and Melinde and others which sail to the island of Zanzibar."[7]During the pre-modern period, Mombasa was an important centre for the trade in spices, gold, and ivory. Its trade links reached as far as the Indian subcontinent and modern-day China and oral historians today can still recall this period of local history. History shows that there was trade links between Mombasa and Cholas of South India. Throughout the early modern period, Mombasa was a key node in the complex and far reaching Indian Ocean trading networks, its key exports then were ivory, millet, sesamum and coconuts.

Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, receiving a chilly reception in 1498. Two years later, the town was sacked by the Portuguese. In 1502, the sultanate became independent from Kilwa Kisiwani and was renamed as Mvita (in Swahili) or Manbasa (Arabic). Portugal attacked the city again in 1528. In 1585 the Ottoman Turks led by Emir 'Ali Bey caused revolts in Mombasa against the Portuguese landlords; only Malindi remained loyal to Portugal. Zimba cannibals overcame the towns of Sena and Tete on the Zambezi, and in 1587 they took Kilwa, killing 3,000 people. At Mombasa the Zimba slaughtered the Muslim inhabitants; but they were halted at Malindi by the Bantu-speaking Segeju and went home. This stimulated the Portuguese to take over Mombasa a third time in 1589, and four years later they built Fort Jesus to administer the region. Between Lake Malawi and the Zambezi mouth, Kalonga Mzura made an alliance with the Portuguese in 1608 and fielded 4,000 warriors to help defeat their rival Zimba, who were led by chief Lundi.

With the capture of Fort Jesus in 1698, the town came under the influence of the Sultanate of Oman, subordinate to the Omani rulers on the island of Unguja, prompting regular local rebellions.



Fort Jesus: Located in Old Town Mombasa.


The Tusks. 


After Nyali Bridge.



Mombasa Island.




The beach. Since it is an Island we are surrounded by beaches and the Indian Ocean.



Tsavo West National Park.


Aside from the beaches, if you want to enjoy the great Kenyan Safari, it is only between 2-4 hours away from the city!



EDIT: I forgot to post the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mombasa

Edited by Tonks

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North Pole, Alaska ( seasonally appropriate)

The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole.

The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole is home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, is a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.

Its biggest attraction is a gift shop named Santa Claus House, the modern-day incarnation of a trading post established in the town's early days. The Santa Claus House is known for the world's largest fiberglass statue of Santa Claus outside.

While the real North Pole has no terra firma many travelers discovered this town as an ideal way to finally visit the home of Santa Claus. This revelation made this small town in Alaska a must visit during the holidays causing the town to create more and more Santa Claus themed attractions. Many elaborate ideas have been brought up from some of the country's largest amusement park companies however nothing ever came to fruition.

Prior to Christmas each year, the USPS post office in North Pole receives hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus, and thousands more from people wanting the town's postmark on their Christmas greeting cards to their families. It advertises the ZIP code 99705 as the ZIP code of Santa. A community program also responds to letters addressed to 1 Santa Claus Lane. [3]

Christmas-themed streets in North Pole include Santa Claus Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane, and Kris Kringle Drive. Street lights in the city are decorated in a candy cane motif, and many local businesses have similar decorations. The city's firetrucks and ambulances are all red, while the police cars are green and white. The city also has an all-female flat-track Roller Derby league, the North Pole Babes in Toyland (NPBT) whose athletes have Christmas and/or North Pole inspired Skater names.






Edited by LeftCoastMom

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Orumiyeh is the capital of West Azerbaijan province in Iran, and the second largest city in Iranian Torkustan (after Tabriz).


On the wikipedia page it says the nickname of Orumiyeh is "Iran's Paris." Don't pay any heed to that; most shahrestans in Iran have some similar retarded nickname which most likely started as jokes. For example, the nickname of my hometown is "Little Greece." 


In any case here are some purdy pictures.








Nature of Orumiyeh:


Edit: sorry can someone pix the pictures?

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Puebla, Mexico

 Puebla City, is the seat of Puebla Municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Puebla, and one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico.[2] A colonial era-planned city, it is located southeast of Mexico City and west of Mexico's main Atlantic port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two in Central Mexico.

Being both the fourth largest city in Mexico and the fourth largest Metropolitan area in Mexico, the city serves as one of the main hubs for eastern Central Mexico. Many students come from all over the country. The city is also important because of its industry, with the world's largest Volkswagen factory outside of Germany located in the Municipality of Cuautlancingo.[7] As a result, many suppliers have opened factories in the city of Puebla.




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