Ahvaz, also known as Ahwaz or Al-Ahwaz (Arabic: الأهواز or الأحواز), is a city in the southwest of Iran and the capital of Khuzestan province. Ahvaz's population is about 1,300,000 and its built-up area with the nearby town of Sheybani is home to 1,136,989 inhabitants. It is home to Persians, Arabs, Bakhtiaris, Dezfulis, Shushtaris, etc. and different languages are spoken in it, such as Persian, Arabic, the Luri dialects of Luri (Bakhtiari dialect), Dezfuli, Shushtari, etc. Iran's only navigable river, the Karun, passes by the middle of the city. It has a long history dating back to the Achaemenid period. In the ancient times, it had been one of the main centers of the Academy of Gondishapur.