Breaking News

Setting Up National Company to Manage Hotels, Tourist Facilities

 

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Minister of Tourism eng. Hala Al-Nasser said that the ministry is planning to set up a national company to manage private hotels and tourist facilities which were run by foreign companies earlier and that the ministry needs an investor who has the appropriate financial potential to cover the cost.

 During a meeting held here yesterday with a number of representatives of trade and vocational unions, the minister pointed out that the ministry had received many offers from some investors, but it prefers one of its unionist or vocational partners to contribute to the perfect management of these hotels and facilities.

She explained the importance of cooperation between the ministry and the vocational unions and associations and of benefitting from the expertise of qualified national cadres so as to face the consequences of the aggression Syria has been suffering from in the tourism sector. She pointed to the ministry's desire to benefit from local investments in boosting tourism and to provide good tourist services.

The Minister also called for speeding up the construction of new tourist facilities and reviewed contracts signed previously with foreign companies. She said all investment projects, which will be put for investment by the ministry, can be debated in accordance with the laws and regulations.

For his part, Director of Tourism Projects at the Ministry, Ghiath Al Farrah, reviewed a number of sites owned by the Ministry of Tourism and ready for tourist investment in a number of Syrian governorates and discussed the costs of implementing these projects.

Representatives of vocational unions and associations expressed their desire to study the projects offered for tourism investment and present them to the boards of trade and vocational unions so as to evaluate their economic feasibility.

SH/Kh

 

Ar-Rasafeh:

 known in Roman times as Sergiopolis, was a city located in Syria. It is an archaeological site situated south-west of the city of Ar-Raqqah and the Euphrates. The site dates back to the 9th century BC, when a military camp was built by the Assyrians. During Roman times it was a desert outpost fortified to defend against the Sassanids. It flourished as its location on the caravan routes linking Aleppo, Dura Europos, and Palmyra was ideal. Ar-Rasafeh had no spring or running water, so it depended on large cisterns to capture the winter and spring rains. Ar-Rasafeh was planted right in the path of the Persian-Byzantine wars, and was therefore a well-defended city that had massive walls that surrounded it without a break. It also had a fortress. In the 4th century, it became a pilgrimage town for Christians coming to venerate Saint Sergius. Sergius was a Roman soldier who was persecuted for his Christian faith. Sergius was brought to Ar-Rasafeh for his execution, and there he became a martyr for the city. A church was built to mark his grave, and the city was renamed Sergiopolis .

History of Ar-Rasafah

The site dates to the 9th century BC, when a military camp was built by the Assyrians. During Roman times it was a desert outpost fortified to defend against the Sassanid Persians, and a station on the Strata Diocletiana. It flourished as its location on the caravan routes linking Aleppo, Dura Europos, and Palmyra was ideal.

Ar-Rasafeh was planted right in the path of the Roman–Persian wars, and was therefore a well-defended city that had massive walls that surrounded it without a break. It also had a fortress.

In the 4th century, it became a pilgrimage town for Christians coming to venerate Saint Sergius, a Christian Roman soldier said to have been martyred in Ar-Rasafeh during the Diocletianic Persecution. A church was built to mark his grave, and the city was renamed Sergiopolis. Indeed, it became the "most important pilgrimage center in Byzantine Oriens in [the] proto-Byzantine period", with a special appeal to the local Arabs, especially the Ghassanids.

In the 8th century, the Umayyad Caliph Hischam ibn Abd al-Malik (r. 724–743) made the city his favoured residence, and built several palaces around it, when the news of Holagu's crimes in Bagdad reached the inhabitants of Ar-Rasafeh, they left for Salamieh and deserted the area. Ar-Rasafeh remained with its huge buildings to tell about its glory.

Butheina Alnounou

Straight Street

Straight Street is the Roman street that runs from east to west in the old city of Damascus. It was visited by St. Paul as recorded in the book of Acts and contains several interesting sights from the Roman, Christian and Islamic periods.

Under the Greeks, the old city of Damascus was designed after the grid pattern designed by Hippodamus. Under Roman rule, the Via Recta(straight street), was widened and became a colonnaded thoroughfare (cardo). These columns can still be seen today.

The east end of Straight Street is at Bab Sharqi, the Roman gate of the Sun. Like other monumental gates, it has a large central arch for horse-drawn vehicles and two smaller arches on either side for pedestrians. There is a minaret above the northern arch, which was built at the time of Nuri ed-Din, in the 13th century,according to Sacred-destination.

 In Roman times, Straight Street was 26 meters wide and 1,570 meters long, lined on both sides with covered porticos containing shops. The present road follows the same line, starting at Bab Sharqi in the East, crossing the whole width of the ancient city of Damascus, and coming out at the end of Suq Madhat Pasha, 20 meters to the North of Bab Jabyeh on the western side. The present road is narrower than the ancient one, and about 4 meters above its original level.

Almost 700 meters to the west of Bab Sharqi is a Roman monumental arch that was excavated and rebuilt in 1947 by the Syrian Department of Antiquities. It is here that the intersection of Straight Street and the north-south Cardo Maximus has been located. On the right-hand side in ancient times stood a Byzantine church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and called Mariamyeh. Today, on the same site, stands a church which serves as the Seat of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate.

The eastern section of the street from the Bab Sharqi gate to the monumental arch is called Sharee al Mustaqueem, which is the Arabic word for 'straight', but it is also known as the Suq et-Tawil, which means 'the large market'. After the arch and all the way to the western end, the street is called Suq Madhat Pasha, and is lined with shops selling textiles, cotton, domestic articles, spices, imported objects and other interesting items. It forms a part of the large commercial complex of Suq el Hamidyeh.

About 450 metres from the western entrance of Madhat Pasha Street, in a stretch covered with a large metal dome, is a small mosque with a balcony in the form of a pulpit that serves as a minaret, called Jakmak or Sheikh Nabhan Mosque..

At the west end of Straight Street is the Arab Gate of the Water Trough, Bab al-Jabiye. This is where the Roman Temple of Jupiter once stood. The Mosque of Hisham (built in 1427), with fine stalactite design, is a bit further on. It is believed that the theater built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC was in this area.

Also nearby is St. Paul's Chapel, said to be where St. Paul fled by being dropped in a basket through a window in the wall.

M.W

DOLMEN GRAVES

 DAMASCUS, (ST) : Quneitra is rich in archaeological sites, Golan is full of  Dolmen  graves  which date back to the old Bronze Age.

According to Tishreen Daily, The word "Dolmen" is derived from  Ancient British language. It consists of the word ( DoL) which means table and the word ( men) which means stone.

These graves, located in the Occupied Golan, are circulated ones designed with a special  architectural style , height of 95 cm , thickness of 30 cm and length of 160 -210 cm .

At least seven distinguished samples of  Dolmen Graves have been discovered.

 Archaeologists pointed out that this large amount of tombs date back to the First Bronze Age ( 3000 – 3150 ) B.C.

H.SH   

Al-Dalieh: Charming Beauty Created by Nature

Being an attractive tourist resort, al-Dalieh village in Lattakia has witnessed remarkable tourist movement as a large number of people, mostly from the Syrian coastal area, visit it both in summer and winter to enjoy its beautiful nature.

Al-Dalieh, which is about 65 km away from Lattakia and about 800-1150m above the sea level, has got distinguished tourist and archaeological attractions enabling it in the future to be "a city hewn in the rock". During the French occupation of Syria, the area was used by Syrian revolutionaries as a burial site and as a hiding place so as to fight the occupation soldiers.

At the heart of the village, there is a large yard called "Sheikh Abdullah yard", which dates back to more than 400 years. Villagers and their visitors from other villages used to gather in the yard to celebrate social festivities and national occasions like the Evacuation Day in April 17th of every year. This feast is called by people of the Syrian coast as "al-Rabee'”.

Al-Dalieh is one of the Syrian coast villages which have so far maintained some traditional crafts as a means for living.

The "oven bread" baking profession, is among the naturally created jobs in the village. It is the grandparents' profession. Women, in particular, have contributed significantly to preserving the oven bread industry and to transferring it from one generation to another. In the past, most skillful girls in bread baking, were the luckiest and the soonest to marry. 

The straw industry is also among the famous folk household crafts in the village. It is often practiced by housewives during their leisure time and is considered as a source of living for the people of the area. One can rarely find a woman who doesn't master this craft in the village.

Amal Farhat