Mashhad is the second most populous city in Iran and capital of Razavi Kborásan Province. It is located in the northeast of the country, close to the Borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the Ease. The city is named after and revered for housing the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the Imam Reza shrine and pay their tributes to Imam Reza. The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named Mashhad in "cultural capital of the Muslim world" in Asia on 24 January 2017.