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Qum (pronounced as “ghom” and rarely as its Arabic form “qumm”) is a city located 150 kilometers south of Tehran and the second most important religious center in Iran, enshrining the tomb of Fātima, the sister of the eighth Shi'ite Imam, ‘Alī al-Riḍī (d. 202 AH/817 CE), and containing a number of important seminaries connected with prominent Shi'ite scholars. The city, which has grown from a small provincial town to the capital of the central province, is home to a number of ethnic and linguistic groups that continue to settle in its traditional and religiously vibrant setting. Although the natural environment is in general unfavorable in terms of weather, water, and vegetation, with the introduction of modern techniques of agriculture and water drawing and distribution, ...

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