Monday, July 12, 2010
Postcard from Syria
Damascus Countryside, Country house.
Damascus lies about 80 km (50 mi) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. It lies on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea-level.
The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada which is almost dry (3 cm left). To the south-east, north and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west, Sarouja and Imara in the north and north-west.
These districts originally arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures.
In the nineteenth century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city, already the site of the al-Salihiyah district centred around the important shrine of Sheikh Muhi al-Din ibn Arabi.