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Safita Tower A rare architectural masterpiece

Tartous  (ST) Located about 250km away From Damascus, Safita is a north-western city situated to the southeast of Tartous and to the northwest of Krak des Chevaliers. The city has a population of 33,000. It is located on the top of 3 hills and the valleys in between them, on the coastal mountain ranges of Syria. It was important during the crusades, and was inhabited by the Knights Templar of the castle Chastel Blanc while part of the County of Tripoli.

Home to Virgin Mary Girdle: Um Al-Zennar Church in Homs

Homs (ST)_ Very few know that Um Al-Zennar church in Homs  is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the whole world, and is home to the girdle of the Virgin Mary. The church building dates back to 59 A.D., when it was only a cellar underground, used for secret worship due to fear of Roman pagan rule, then it expanded in the Christian era.

The archaeological origin of this ancient church dates back to the introduction of Christianity into Homs, in the first century A.D., on the hands of the missionary Miles. He started spreading the word about this new religion in Homs, Baalback and Rastam, at a time when Christians were facing persecution at the hands of the Jews and the Pagans. They used to meet in underground caves and practice their acts of worship in simple rites as churches and temples could not be built. This continued till Emperor Constantine took over the rule and converted to Christianity, making it the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century A.D... A matter that gave some relief to Christians, and launched Gospel extension toward internationality.

French and Portuguese touristic group visiting Palmyra

Homs (ST)_ A group of 27 tourists from French and Portuguese nationalities, visited the ancient city of Palmyra.  They were astonished by its features and monuments; they noticed as well the damage of ISIS terrorist attacks on the ancient city ruins.

French professor John Pierre said that he was thrilled to see such a rare historic monument of one of the most ancient civilizations in the world; stressing his deep sadness to see scenes of destruction by the enemies of human culture, ISIS. He also thanked Syrian authorities for their concern and interest in the restoration of ruins and monuments of Palmyra after liberation from terroristic groups.

Searching for the Roots of a Deep Faith

Syria will also have a starring role at Josp Fest

Elisabetta Povoledo has been writing about Italy for nearly three decades, and has been working for The New York Times and its affiliates since 1992. She has covered papal conclaves (two), Vatican trials (three), Italian presidents (four), Italian governments (16, in seven legislatures), and Rome’s homeless cat population .She said about Damascus that SOME 16 feet beneath the present-day street level of Damascus, the Syrian capital, just off the Street Called Straight, is a cramped, artificially lighted chapel with roughly cut stones for walls and a few modern pews as furnishings.

Damascene women had habits and traditions still being observed

Old Damascene bath houses swing between glories of old days and luxuries of present time...Old habits being revived.

Despite the speedy progress of technologies and the development of modernism, history, heritage and old habits still attract people strongly, inviting them to relive past joys and sail in pleasant atmospheres hardly found in modern innovations.