Emar...Ancient Near East Portal (2)


The earliest findings up to this point were unearthed beneath the temple of Ba'al and the courtyard east of it. In three building levels following close one upon the other, Early Bronze Age dwelling-houses are more or less well preserved. The two later levels are disturbed by the foundations of the temple, which reach that far down. So far, the earliest level has yielded a small room (ca. 2 x 2.5 m). Its walls are made of pise' mixed with pebbles and covered with a thin layer of mud and lime. It contained a large and varied inventory that was crushed in situ on the floor. The inventory comprises clay vessels as well as (the upper parts of) terracotta figurines and jewelry made of mother-of-pearl and of bone.

Emar...Ancient Near East Portal (1)

The ancient near eastern town of Emar/Imar was situated on the middle Euphrates in northwest Syria, about 100 km east of Aleppo. Due to its geographical situation connecting Mesopotamia with the Mediterranean coast and with Anatolia, the town had a strategic function. Already the earliest mentioning in writing, namely in the palace archives of Ebla, ca. 2500 BC, and especially in the Mari texts from the 18th century BC, point to the town's importance as traffic junction and contact zone between the Assyro-Babylonian and the Syro-Anatolian cultural spheres.

Contrary to its importance as a commercial center, Emar was never the center of a superregional power, but was rather awkwardly positioned between rivaling states.

Khaled Ibn alWalid Mosque (2)

The Ablaq Style

The mosque has a wide court of 3647square meters, and a number of porticos and arches built along the Ablaq style, that is alternative rows of white and black color stones which is the style of architecture of Homs since old times. In the eastern part of the court there are four rooms; one is assigned for ablution, the second is used as a museum of Islamic artifacts, while the other two rooms were specialized for students of Islamic sciences. The mosque has two slender minarets built of lime white stones and decorated with simple stalactites each of them is decorated with an ottoman cone. We entered through one of the two main gates, inlaid with mother of pearl,

Khaled Ibn alWalid Mosque (1)

Khaled Ibn alWalid Mosque in Homs is a Wonder of Islamic  architecture. North of Homs' city center, and on a space relatively higher than its neighborhood, stands the Mosque of the Prophet's Companion and the Moslem commander Khaled Ibn alWalid, which enshrines his tomb and adds a sense of calm, light, and spiritual radiance to the area. The mosque is considered one of the wonders of Islamic architecture and an important historical site whose visit is always sought by Arab and foreign tourists whenever they visit Homs.

The Jaqmaq School Confines the history of Arabic Calligraphy

Just steps from the northern gate of the Umayyad Mosque, and behind he Shrine of Saladin stands the Jaqmaq Madrsa (school). Once you step in there you feel the sanctity of the place emanating from the depth of history, particularly that you are in one of the oldest and most important schools of Old Damascus.

A living history

The school was built, by Prince Saifeddin Jaqmaq, viceroy of the Mamelouk Sultan in 1419 AD, as a madrasa and later it enshrined his tomb and that of his mother. For several generations the school graduated many groups of educated people, but in 1941 its flame was extinguished by the shells of French artillery.