Document Type : جغرافیای تاریخی خراسان بزرگ
The aftermaths of the First World War (1914-1918) which originated in Europe, gradually influenced many countries including Iran. Although the Iranian central government declared its neutrality to avoid entanglement in the First World War, the allied powers, dismissed Iran’s stance and imposed military occupation on considerable parts of Iran’s territory, including Mashhad. The presence of these occupying forces in Iran damaged national security and economy; moreover, it led to famine and incidence of several diseases causing the death of numerous people in Mashhad. Mashhad was initially occupied by Russian forces, though, after the Bolshevik Revolution, Russian forces left Mashhad and British forces replaced them. During this period a serious famine occurred in Mashhad and people encountered critical life. Meanwhile, national and foreign charities began to control the economic problems and reduce life pressure. The present research aims to seek the role of national and foreign charities in resolving the famine crisis in Mashhad during the years of World War I. A descriptive-analytical approach was adopted for the historical research methodology along with the use of documentary and press sources; the findings revealed that both national charities like Dar-ul-Ajazah And Dar-ul-Masakeen, along with foreign charities like Caucasian Huscar community, American mission, and British consulate, through providing shelter, collecting donations and feeding a large population of poor and needy people, had a significant effect on decreasing, controlling, and partly eliminating the famine crisis in Mashhad during world war I.
Keywords: Iran, Qajar period, First World War, Mashhad, Famine, Charity institutions