Mazār-i-Sharīf or Mazār-e Sharīf (Persian: مزارِ شریف Persie pronunciation: [ˌmæˈzɒːr ˌi ʃæˈriːf]) is the fowert lairgest ceety o Afghanistan, wi a population o aboot 375,181. It is the caipital o Balkh Province an is linked bi roads tae Kabul in the sooth-east, Herat tae the wast an Uzbekistan tae the north. Mazari Sharif means "Noble Shrine," a reference tae the lairge, blue-tiled sanctuary an mosque in the center o the ceety kent as the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or the Blue Mosque. It is believed bi some Muslims that the site o the tomb o Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin an son-in-law o Prophet Muhammad, is in Mazari Sharif. Twelver Shi'as housomeivver, believe that the real grave o Ali is foond athin Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq, as wis disclosed bi the Saxt Twelver Shi'a Imam, Ja'far as-Sadiq. The ceety is a major tourist attraction acause o its fabulous Muslim an Hellenistic aircheological sites. In Julie 2006, the discovery o new Hellenistic remains wis annoonced. The ethnic majority in the ceety are Tajiks.
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