Queen Zenoubia



In A. B. Daniel's book "Zenoubia's Legend", issued by the Parisian Cleric Publishing House, 2005, we can read many details of the life of Queen Zenoubia who ruled the Arabian Kingdom of Palmyra between 266 and 272AD, continued the march of her assassinated husband, King Uzaina, in liberating Syria from the Romans. Palmyra, in Zenoubia's term, reached the culmination of its power and prosperity.

In one of the chapters of his book, Daniel wonders about the nature of this woman who occupied the hearts of her people and the pages of books written about her story. He said: "Was Zenoubia, Queen of Palmyra, a real woman of flesh and blood? She was of sharp intelligence and rare bravery, of charming beauty and great power. Yes she was a queen, but not like other queens. She obliged the Roman Empire to kneel down in respect to her although she was in her thirties. All we know with certainty about Zenoubia is that in 260AD she was the wife of Uzaina, (Udanat) the famous king of Palmyra, who defeated the Persians and was appointed by the Roman Emperor Galliano, in 262, Commander in Chief of the Orient which was under the Roman Rule. In ten years time this king could build a new empire, Palmyra, which extended from the Mediterranean in the west to the Euphrates in the east and to Egypt in the west.

Souk al-Hamidiya

 A Contemporary eye witness on events and traditions

 Souk al Hamidiya is the most famous historical bazaar in the heart of Damascus. It  extends north east inside the old city, from the tips of the western wall of the Damascus citadel, to reach al Miskiye ; that is, from al Nasr street to Bab al Breed near the columns of the temple of Jupiter.

The souk was built in two stages:

The first stage was finished during the rule of sultan Abdul Hamid I, when Mohammad Pasha al Azem was the govorner of Damascus. The souk started from al Darwishia and ended in al Asrouniyeh. This stage was finished in 1780, after which the souk was named the “new bazaar“.

Bosra ash-Sham

Bosrah or Bozrah, is one of the oldest cities in the province of Dara‘a and one of the rich cities in archaeological sites in Syria. It is 137 km south of Damascus. It was built in the region of Hawran, the southern gate of Syria, and was inhabited since old times by Arab tribes. Bosra was mentioned in the Egyptian Tall al Amarneh Correspondences, 14th.century B.C. The many relics of Bosra, carved from the black basalt stones, narrate endless stories about the peoples who passed over its land: stone age people, Canaanites, Aramites, pharaoic Egyptians, Assyrians, Kaldanians, Persians, Greeks, Arab Nabateans, Romans, Byzantines and Arab Ghassanids. Castles, temples, theatres, baths, churches, monasteries and many statues, mosaics,and aqueducts are eternal witnesses on the great feats of our ancestors who settled on its land. Every step on the ground of Hawran will reveal an archaeological surprise to the scholar and to the tourist as well.

Cherubim Monastery

Strong will, relentless efforts and generosity, gave life back to a ruined convent

The Cherubim Monastery stands like an eagle at the top of the Qalamoun chain of mountains, 2000m above sea level, 37km from Damascus and 7km from Saidnaya. From its balconies you can see the ŒGhouta˜ of Damascus and the mountains of southern Syria, the town of ŒDmeir˜ to the east and ŒBa’albak˜ and the ŒBeka’a Valley˜ of Lebanon to the west.

The monastery consists of a church, a shrine, a lodge for the monks, a guest house, a center for the youth and, until two years ago, an orphanage.

Citadels of Inner Syria

Qala’at Ibn Ma‘n : sits atop a precipitous volcanic cone to look at the city of Palmyra ( the ruins, as well as the new constructions of the city). The date of the first building is unclear but it is certain that the Lebanese prince Emir Fakhr al Din al Ma‘ani built the present edifice in the 17th century.

Qala’at Abi Hsain : The ruins of an ancient citadel in the village of Bsamas, Ariha south of Idleb . It was built during the Roman­ Byzantine period .