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Thus they were known as al-Akrad (the Kurds) and al-Muhajirin (the migrants). From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial centre began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centred on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow.Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was initially the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall on it.The same network was later improved by the Romans and the Umayyads, and still forms the basis of the water system of the old part of the city today.The city would gain pre-eminence in southern Syria when Ezron, the claimant to Aram-Zobah's throne who was denied kingship of the federation, fled Beqaa and captured Damascus by force in 965 BC.Poorer areas, often built without official approval, have mostly developed south of the main city.Damascus used to be surrounded by an oasis, the Ghouta region (الغوطة al-ġūṭä), watered by the Barada river.Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not even exist.
A Europeanised residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah.
One of these kingdoms was Aram-Damascus, centred on its capital Damascus.
they established the water distribution system of Damascus by constructing canals and tunnels which maximized the efficiency of the river Barada.
From top left to bottom right: Maktab Anbar, General view, Umayyad Mosque Yard, Minaret of the Bride, Midhat Pasha Souq, mount Qasioun, city view, Mar Taqla monastery, Nur ad-Din mausoleum, Mar Taqla monastery fresco, nightview, Umayyad Square, city view, Tekkiye Mosque Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750.
After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad.
Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.