"Love and Peace for Syria" Motorcycle Rally Toured Syrian Provinces to Encourage Tourism

With the participation of 100 local and Arab motorcyclists the Syrian Motorcycle Club has recently organized “the Rally of Love and Peace for Syria” under the patronage  of the Ministry of Tourism.

The four-day rally started from the resort of Yafour in the countryside of Damascus to Omayyad Square, Ma’arat Sidnaya  and Maaloula and continued to Homs province where bikers visited Wadi Al-Nasara and Crac Des Chevaliers and then continued their way to Lattakia province to visit important tourism sites including the town of Samra passing through Wadi Qandeel, Captain Wissam Rabah, Supervisor of the rally, told Syriatimes e-newspaper during the rally's tour in Lattakia.

 He said “the rally aims at reactivating the tourism movement which is now witnessing gradual recovery after eight years of brutal war on Syria”.

Captain Rabah underscored that with security being restored to most Syrian areas by the Syrian Arab Army, the bikers visited a number of archeological and the most important tourism landmarks and attractions in Syria.

Amrit ...... The Story of the Phoenician Creativity on the Mediterranean Coast

(ST)- From the Syrian coast on the Mediterranean, Phoenicians have created the greatest achievements of civilization through the history of mankind. Amrit, which is located near the city of Tartous on the coast of the eastern Mediterranean, is a vivid example showing the story of this Phoenician creativity to the whole world.

Amrit, which means in the Canaanite language architecture and construction, was one of the most prominent cities of the Canaanite coast in the Levant.

It was described as one of the most important cities of the East which was thriving in a way similar to the cities of the Greek coast on the Aegean Sea.

Amrit is the only integrated Phoenician city in the world. It is one of the most important archaeological sites along the Syrian coast. It has had a significant cultural contribution that is still represented by its varied antiquities and artifacts.

Architectural Description

Among the prominent monuments in Amrit are Tel Amrit, the Temple, the sacred basin and the burial chambers.

 Amrit's deep-rooted monuments are really of great historical significance. They represent tourist attraction. The Temple, for example, which is carved in a rocky layer overlooking the slop of the right bank of Amrit River, dates back to the 6th century BC. It is an architectural wonder.

The construction of the burial chambers in Amrit was influenced by the Egyptian pharaoh, Greek and Persian art of building and a proof of the depth of its economic and cultural relations with those civilizations in the east, north and south.

Amal Farhat


Marking World Environment Day, Workshop on Protecting Environment and Coastal Heritage Held in Lattakia

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated worldwide on June 5th in different ways with the purpose of drawing attention to the threats facing environment.

The Green Hills Association for Coastal Environment Protection in Lattakia province has recently held the fourth workshop on environment and coastal heritage at Dar Al-Assad for Culture.

The four-day environmental and scientific  event was held in cooperation with the Lattakia’s directorates of  Culture, Environment, Tourism, Antiquities and Museum, Social Affairs and Labor as well as with the School Theatre Ensemble in Lattakia province and the Youth Environmental Researchers Club (EYRC) at Tishreen University.

Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt, Historic Landmark of Civilization and Humanity

(ST) - Um Az-Zinnar Church, (Saint Mary's Holy Belt), is a historical Syriac Orthodox Church in Homs. The church is built over an underground church dating back to 50 AD. It is the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archbishopric. It is called so, because the church contains the venerated Holy Girdle that is supposed to be a part of the belt of Saint Mary, mother of Jesus.
The church is one of the oldest and most important features of the ancient city of Homs. It is located in the neighborhood of Bustan Diwan, which is one of the alleys of old Homs. Visitors can not visit Homs without visiting the church.

The church is famous for its unique architectural style, as the black basalt stone was used in the construction, as well as the stone vaults.
The church was built as a small underground basement in the first century AD. The current church is built over an ancient archaic church which is believed to date back to the Byzantine era. The hall is rectangular like, the roof is a long dome that ends with flat roof and the ceiling is built on six nodes and six pillars.

In the mid-fifties of the last century, while browsing a manuscript in April 1953, a leather with several papers was found in. After opening these papers, it was discovered that it is a collection of manuscripts consisting of 46 letters written in Krishoni and Arabic, dating back to 1852 from the Diocese of Homs to the sons of the Mardin diocese. When the church was demolished to be renovated, the Lady's belt was found in the sacrificial vessel in the altar. At the unveiling of the sacred table, a stone plaque was found that was also written in Krishoni. Below the plaques there is an old stone jar covered with a circular copper plate. The girdle was carefully wrapped in the jar.
The landmark Um Az-Zinnar Church sustained severe damage at the hands of terrorists who had ravaged the Old City before they were forced out by the Syrian army.
The Virgin's belt was taken out and kept in a safe place, until the city was liberated from terror, to begin the restoration work of the church. The Virgin Mary's belt and icon were restored to the church on August 15, 2014.

Amal Farhat - Homs


Syrian Jazira: Birthplace of Civilizations

(ST) -References and history books say that this part of the world between the Euphrates and Tigris is called al Jazira, (in Arabic the Island) because it is situated between two great rivers. This Jazira is divided between Syria and Iraq, and the part between the Euphrates and al Khabour, one of the tributaries of the Euphrates, is called Syrian Jazira, a place described by one of the renowned historians as the land between "Mudhar" and "Diyar Bakr", of fresh air, fertile soil, prosperous with great cities and strong forts and citadels".

The history of Syrian Jazira is closely linked to the history of Mesopotamia which was divided into Sumer and Akkad in the south east, Elam in north east, and Amoro, the Amorites, in south west, and Subarto in north west. Al Kabour river was in the kingdom of Subarto which extended from the city of Elam in Mesopotamia to the Taurus Mountain range.

The clay boards discovered in the royal archives of Assure Banipal mentioned the kingdom of Subarto, birth place of successive civilizations since it fell to the Hittites who gradually annexed it to their land, then to the Mitannis who established a state in the Syrian Jazira and built a capital called "Washukanni" at the sources of River Khabour. The Assyrians, later, destroyed Washukanni but couldn't settle it because of the strong and continuous resistance of the Hittites and other peoples. This long conflict paved the way to the Aramites to establish a new strong kingdom in the Syrian Jazira, over the ruins of the Mitanni kingdom. One of the Aramite lords built the city of Guzanna, of Tell Khalaf, to be the state's capital. Again the Assyrians returned to the region, in a new campaign, and their king, Teglat Falasser I, could occupy Guzanna, but for a short time, because the Mitannis resumed their power, and established a new Aramaic kingdom under "Abi Salmo" chief of Guzanna, who gave the name of his capital to the new state.