Monday, March 05, 2018


Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. A few others claiming this mantle are Beirut & Byblos (Lebanon), Jericho (Palestine), and Luxor (Egypt). The modern state of Syria is made up of several ancient Empires and Kingdoms. Damascus was the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate, before it was moved to Baghdad at the start of the Islamic Golden Age Like the shift of the Islamic capital, Constantine moved the capital from Rome to modern Istanbul (Byzantium/Constantinople) in 330AD. Before the Islamic expansion to Syria, Greek and Aramaic had been the dominant languages of the area under the Byzantine era. Aramaic was the language Jesus spoke. It was also the area from where the Patron Saint of England, St. George, came. The modern state was carved out of the Ottoman Empire as a French Mandate after World War I. Mandate's were supposed to differ from colonialism with 'the governing country acting as a trustee until the inhabitants would be able to stand on their own'. Self-determination. Syria's 'self' is pretty complicated.

Umayyad Caliphate - 750 AD

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