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Damascus History, Syria

Damascus is the capital as well as the largest city of Syria. It is practically one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world because the place has been perfect settlement for most empires. With that being said, Damascus is rich in culture history and heritage being under different ruler for over hundreds and hundreds of years. It has also paid witness to continuous rise and the subsequent fall of various empires.

Currently, it is a governorate in itself and is home to about 1.6 million people. The seat of government for its local governorate is the Rural Damascus or Rif Dimashq. The first documented existence of Damascus was in the time of the Arameans yet the first settlement was in the centuries of 5000 to 6000 BC. The Arameans were responsible for the building of the water network of the city by using the Barada River fully.

The city first became under the Western control during the rampaging of Alexander the Great. In 323 upon the death of Alexander, it was tossed up between the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic empires. In 64 BC, Pompey annexed the city to the Roman Empire and became an official metropolis in 222 BC.  It reached its peak when it became the capital of the Ummayad Caliphate in 661 to 750 BC.

In 750, the Abbasid took control of city; however, it was slowly relinquished to different ruler almost year after year. In 970, the Cairo-based Fatimids took over Damascus that started year of long turbulence within the city.

In the 11th century, with the arrival of the Seljuk Turks, Damascus became a capital once again. Saladin, the ruler of Egypt, took over Damascus after being momentarily held by the Crusaders. After his death, a short-lived rule by the Ayyubids was abruptly halted with Mamluks invasion of Syria.  

In early 1516, the Ottoman Empire captured the city. They stayed in power for over 400 years. The Arab revolt in 1918 led to the driving away of the Ottomans. After the world war, the city was under the rule of the allies until its full independence in the year 1946. 

There is no question about the long-standing history of Syria, its capital Damascus and the other countries that surround it. Their fates are somehow intertwined leading to a peaceful coexistence that is today. However, no amount of pictures or storytelling would equate to the actual experience of making your own little history when you are in this capital city.    

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