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Persian. Base, root, origin, or foundation. Refers to a certain type of grassroots, nonprofit institution organized after the 1979 Iranian revolution. Although a few bunyads predated the revolution, they never gained the size or social significance of postrevolutionary ones. Most engage in functions such as trade, manufacturing, banking, and social services. Some also function as vehicles for patronage, mass mobilization, ideological indoctrination, and even repression. Three types exist in contemporary Iran: public, private, and waqf (pious endowment). They are exempt from taxes and organized into an elaborate network of functional and spatial offices.

Subjects: Islam.

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