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Qeshm

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Qeshm : formerly also known as Kishm, is an Iranian island in the Strait of Hormuz, separated from the mainland by the Clarence Strait/Khuran in the Persian Gulf (26°50′N 56°0′E).

Geography
Qeshm from space, August 2000
Beach Qeshm Island

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Qeshm Island is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran (Persian Gulf), opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island, which hosts a 300-square-kilometre (116-square-mile) free zone jurisdiction, is 135 km long, and lies strategically in the Strait of Hormuz, just 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the Omani port of Khasab, and about 180 kilometres (112 miles) from the UAE Port Rashid. The island, at its widest point, located near the center of the island, spans 40 kilometres (25 miles). Similarly, at it narrowest point, the island spans 9.4 kilometres (5.8 miles). The island has a surface area of 1,491 square kilometres (576 square miles) and is 2.5 times the size of Bahrain. Qeshm city, located at the easternmost point of the island, is 22 kilometres (14 miles) from Bandar Abbas while the closest point of the island is but two kilometres (1 mile) from the mainland.


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The average temperature on the island is approximately 27 °C (81 °F). The warmest months are June through August, and the coldest from October to January. The average rainfall is 183.2 mm (7 3⁄16 in).

The island comprises 59 towns and villages and the population was 117,774 at the 2011 Census. The local population is involved in fishing, dhow construction, trade and services. An additional 30,000 are involved in administrative and industrial workforce and students.


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Plans have also been made to build a bridge to connect Qeshm with the rest of Iran.

History

Tomb stone in Portuguese castle, Qeshm

Historical records concerning the Qeshm island date far back into the pre-Islamic era. Names as Qeshm, Keshm, Kish and Tunb mark the lengthy stay of Ilamids in the area, several centuries BC. It is, apparently, the island called Alexandria or Aracia by Ptolemy (Book 6, Chap. IV), in the 2nd century CE and as Alexandria by Ammianus Marcellinus (xxiii.6.42) in the 4th century. On account of its strategic geopolitical situation, near the mouth of the Persian Gulf, it has been frequently attacked by invaders including Ilamids (Elamites), Umayyads, Abbasids as well as the Portuguese and the English. During Sassanian Empire administration the island was called Abarkawan.[3] According to historical records, Qeshm Island has been famous as a trade and navigation center. Its economy flourished during the Dailamites and Buyid eras, as trade vessels sailed between Qeshm Island and China, India and Africa.

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Explorer William Baffin was mortally wounded on Qeshm in 1622 during a battle against Portuguese forces who occupied the fort, known to the English as “Forte de Queixome”.

Qeshm is also a supposed site of the Garden of Eden according to Cassells Bible.



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Qeshm Mountains, Qeshm Island is abundant mountains. The surface of these mountains is covered with coral, sponge and bivalves, which itself has protected the sandy sandy soils and coral submarine marl.


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