, in preparation for the fight against Roman rule. It is unclear as to whether Mavia herself was Christian at this time or not. Some historians report that it was during her military exploits that she met an ascetic monk who so impressed her that she converted to orthodox Christianity. All agree, however, that the conditions she set for any truce with Rome, was this monk's appointment as bishop over her people. Diyā' ad-Dīn The youngest
. Lunch is from 1 to 3 and dinner around 8pm. Syrians take a siesta in the middle of the day, from about 3 to 6, but this means that the night life is very active. You can return to the markets and public squares that you visited during the day and by 10pm they will be bustling with people selling food and treats and drinks. It is a like a street fair every night. Aleppo is a beautiful and historic city that anyone who is considering a trip to the Middle East should go see. Get in Aleppo is close to the main border crossing with Turkey. You will need a visa to enter into Syria. It is typically more convenient to secure a visa in your home country as the consulates in Turkey do not usually issue tourist visas. How you get the visa varies by country so check with a travel agent or consult. Citizens of the predominantly Arab nations, as well as Turkish citizens as of 2009, do not require a visa. At the border, most nationalities can secure a 2 week transit visa in 20–30 minutes. American passport holders, however, will have to wait between 3 to 10 hours to secure a transit visa, as the border guards must fax Damascus to check with Syrian intelligence, and may be turned away. A transit visa is US$16, payable in USD or SYP. Each border post has a branch of the Central Bank of Syria to exchange currencies. There are no facilities for credit debit cards. Travellers cheques are also not accepted. Remember that there is a departure fee of 500 SYP. Aleppo has quite extensive public transport connections with Turkish (Turkey) cities just north of the border. There are at least two daily '''bus minibus''' services from Antioch (Antakya) (3hr), costing S£250 (bus service) or S£350 (minibus). Gaziantep, on the other hand, has twice weekly '''trains''' to Aleppo (5hr, departing from Gaziantep at 8:30PM on Tuesdays and Fridays and arrive five hours later in Aleppo, at an inconvenient 1:29AM after midnight), costing €12.75 pp one-way. There is also a once-weekly train service from Mersin on Turkish Mediterranean coast (Mediterranean Turkey), also calling at Adana. Trains depart from Mersin at 11PM on Fridays and call at Adana station around midnight. They arrive in Aleppo at 8:10AM next morning and cost € 14 € 13 pp from Mersin Adana respectively. From Lebanon several daily buses leave from Beirut's Charles Helou bus station going via Tripoli and Homs. Currently the prices have inflated quite a bit due to the Syrian conflict (April 2014) Get around Taxis are everywhere, probably more taxis than people. They are easy to take and very affordable but just make sure it is a licensed taxi. Minibuses: Called "serveece", these are small white vans that drive around and you can hop on and off by signalling to the driver. 10 lira per journey. They get very full in rush hours. Rental Cars: Hertz and other rental car agencies are available in Aleppo but the driving can be very hectic and if you are not accustomed to driving in a place with few rules and almost no regard for street signs you should probably not attempt to drive on your own. See * '''The citadel''' sits on a hill in the centre of the city and is visible from almost anywhere. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, but the current structure dates from the 13th century. There are tours daily. It costs 150 SP to enter or 10 SP with a student card, as of November 2007. Once inside, there are no signs or explanations of the site so a guidebook is handy. There is a café inside the Citadel. thumb A quiet moment in the Aleppo Souq on Friday (Image:AlepSouq.jpg) * '''The Souq''': There are multiple souqs in the city including a covered section. All of the shopping you could want to do from gold and silver, boxes, clothing, fabric and soaps can be found in the various souqs. Bargaining is encouraged and if you know Arabic it will get you a much better price. * '''Bimaristan Arghan''' is a beautiful mental hospital turned into a museum. Entrance is free and you can wander around and look at exhibits, which include old medical equipment, herbs, biographies of famous Arab scientists and other interesting artifacts. The main attractions, however, are the courtyard and two separate spaces reserved for the mentally ill. * '''Saint Simeon's basilica''' (Qalaat Sam'aan): Located 30 miles outside of Aleppo this is an old church that was dedicated to the famous hermit, St Simeon the Stylite. This church was built around the pillar on which Simeon lived and prayed and became a major centre of pilgrimage. There are guided tours. The grounds are beautiful and it is nice to get away from the city for a day. The best way to get there is to hire a taxi in Aleppo to go the whole way, or more economically to take a microbus to the nearest town (Dar Ta'ze) and bargain with the driver to take you the extra 2 km to the church. * '''The Great Mosque''': There are many mosques in the city but this is the largest and most ornate. Do Walk around the city at least a few times to really get a feel for what it is like. It is a vibrant and lively place that will continually surprise you. Any amount of time spent walking around the city will reveal another historical site or point of interest. Check out the Christian section of the city to see a different part of Aleppo. If you want to shop for clothes, al-Telal street is bustling nearly every night with crowds checking out the shops and street stands piled high with every type of clothing imaginable. Buy Gold: Although the prices are as high as they have ever been, gold is still a worthwhile purchase here. There is a special gold pattern called the Aleppo weave or chain that is made only in Aleppo. All gold is sold by weight and is 22 carat. Boxes: Aleppo is also famous for its intricate inlay work that can be found in boxes of all shapes and sizes. These boxes are beautiful and can be found at almost all of the shops in the souq. A great, affordable gift to take home. Wraps Tablecloths: There are many nice wraps that can be worn as shawls or used as tablecloths that are also available everywhere in the souqs. Another good gift. thumb Sweets with pistachios (Image:AlepFustuq.jpg) Sweets: Pistachios are everywhere in Aleppo and accordingly there are many different kinds of sweets made from the pistachio. These usually come in a decorative box and are yet another good gift. Coffee and spices: It is impossible to walk through the souq without being caught up in the scent of freshly ground coffee and spices like cumin. You can also buy very ornate pots to make your coffee in. Soap: One of the most famous Aleppine products is its olive oil soap. Many factories produce this using traditional techniques. The price varies from about 70SP per kilo to as much as 400 SP or more depending on the proportion of olive and laurel oil, prices and assortment is better in the shops just in the 2 roads south of the Clock Tower rather than in the Souq's tourist traps, even if most shop keepers speak very little English (prices per kilo are clearly shown). Eat Common Syrian street food like falafels and shwarma are excellent and available throughout the city. In the souks you will also find tiny restaurants with a few stools serving up dishes like Fuul (pronounced “fool”), a bean soup served with fresh bread, onions and mint. If you are adventurous, look for the men frying curry-flavoured pancakes near the entrance to the souk. The pancakes are wrapped in bread and topped with hot sauce. Also try and buy some of the freshly made pita bread that is sold everywhere as it is delicious. For breakfast, a fresh glass of juice (40 SP for a large glass of mixed juice, 50 SP for takeaway) and cheese sandwich (15 SP) can be had from the juice stands near the clock tower. Many cafés also serve great ice cream for a treat. If you are tired after a day of wandering around the souk, try one of the cafés near the base of the citadel. They offer light snacks and drinks, including a wide range of coffees and refreshing glasses of minted lemonade. Travellers on a strict budget should be prepared to eat very similar meals everyday as there is not a lot of variety in the diet at the cheaper end of the range. There are plenty of good restaurants around and meals are very affordable. In the Christian Quarter (El Jedeide) district * WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo
as "severely lopsided", with opposition-controlled neighbourhoods overwhelmingly hit. "Before and after" photographs from Aleppo neighbourhoods of Ard al-Hamra, Tariq al-Bab, and Jabal Badro have shown the destruction where missiles have slammed into residential areas.
and 14th centuries constructions, such as caravanserais, caeserias, Quranic schools, hammams and religious buildings are found in the old city (Old City of Aleppo). The quarters of the Jdeydeh (Al-Jdayde) district are home to numerous 16th and 17th-century houses of the Aleppine bourgeoisie, featuring stone engravings. Baroque architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries is common in the Azizyeh quarter, including the ''Villa Rose''. The new ash-Shahbaa quarter is a mixture
-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Jaqmaq Jaqmaq (AD 1438 to 1453). During his reign, he stabilized the Mamluk state and economy, consolidated the northern boundaries of the Sultanate with the Ottoman Empire, engaged in trade with other contemporaneous polities, and emerged as a great patron of art and architecture. In fact, although Qaitbay fought sixteen military campaigns, he is best remembered for the spectacular building projects that he sponsored, leaving his mark as an architectural patron on Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, Alexandria, and every quarter of Cairo. Consolidation of power Following the defeat of Suwar, Qaitbay set about purging his court of the remaining factions and installing his own purchased Mamluks in all positions of power. He frequently went on excursions, ostentatiously leaving the Citadel (Cairo Citadel) with limited guards to display his trust of his subordinates and of the populace. He traveled throughout his reign, visiting Alexandria, Damascus, and Aleppo, among other cities, and personally inspecting his many building projects. In 1472 he performed the Hajj to Mecca. He was struck by the poverty of the citizens of Medina and devoted a substantial portion of his private fortune to the alleviation of their plight. Through such measures Qaitbay gained a reputation for piety, charity, and royal self-confidence. Petry, ''Twilight'', 73-82. Today Qaitbay is perhaps best known for his wide-ranging architectural patronage. At least 230 monuments, either surviving or mentioned in contemporary sources, are associated with his reign. In Egypt, Qaitbay's buildings were to be found throughout Cairo, as well as in Alexandria and Rosetta; in Syria he sponsored projects in Aleppo and Damascus; in addition, he was responsible for the construction of madrasas and fountains in Jerusalem and Gaza, which still stand — most notably the Fountain of Qayt Bay and al-Ashrafiyya Madrasa. On the Arabian peninsula, Qaitbay sponsored the restoration of mosques and the construction of madrasas, fountains and hostels in Mecca and Medina. After a serious fire struck the Mosque of the Prophet (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi) in Medina in 1481, the building, including the Tomb of the Prophet, was extensively renewed through Qaitbay's patronage. Meinecke, ''Mamlukische Architektur'', II.396-442. The written history of the site may begin under the name '''Alakhtum''', with tablets from Mari (Mari, Syria) in the 18th century BC, when the city was part of the kingdom of Yamhad (modern Aleppo). A dossier of tablets records that King Sumu-epeh sold the territory of Alakhtum to his son-in-law Zimri-Lim, king of Mari, retaining for himself overlordship. After the fall of Mari in 1765 BC, Alalakh seems to have come once again under the authority of Yamhad. King Abban of Aleppo bestowed it upon his brother Yarim-Lim, to replace the city of Irridi, which Abban destroyed after it revolted against Yarim-Lim. Donald J. Wiseman, Abban and Alalah, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. 12, pp. 124-129, 1958 A dynasty of Yarim-Lin's descendents was founded, under the hegemony of Aleppo, that lasted to the 16th century (according to the short chronology) at which time Alalakh was destroyed, most likely by Hittite king (Hittites) Hattusili I, in the second year of his campaigns. Overview The Karaite Jewish community of Jerusalem purchased the codex about a hundred years after it was made. M. Nehmad, ''Keter Aram Tzova'', Aleppo 1933; Fragment of ancient parchment given to Jewish scholars During the First Crusade, the synagogue was plundered and the codex was transferred to Egypt, whose Jews paid a high price for its ransom. It was preserved at the Rabbanite synagogue in Cairo, where it was consulted by Maimonides, who described it as a text trusted by all Jewish scholars. It is rumoured that in 1375 one of Maimonides' descendants brought it to Aleppo, Syria, leading to its present name. The toponym ''A-ra-mu'' appears in an inscription at Ebla listing geographical names, and the term ''Armi'', which is the Eblaite (Eblaite language) term for nearby Aleppo, occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (ca. 2300 BC). One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC) mentions that he captured "Dubul, the ensi (ENSI) of ''A-ra-me''" (''Arame'' is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Year-Names for Naram-Sin Other early references to a place or people of "Aram" have appeared at the archives of Mari (Mari, Syria) (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC). There is little agreement concerning what, if any, relationship there was between these places, or if the Aramu were actually Aramaeans; the earliest undisputed mention of Aramaeans as a people is in the inscriptions of the Assyrian king, Tiglath Pileser I (1114–1076 BC). Lipinski, 2000, p. 25-27. - February 22, 2006 WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo
* Romania has an embassy in Damascus and 2 honorary consulates (in Aleppo and Latakia). Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Romanian embassy
of Arabic traditional and classic music with the famous Aleppine ''Muwashshahs'', ''Qudud Halabiya'' and ''Maqams (Arabic maqam)'' (religious, secular and folk poetic-musical genres). Aleppines in general are fond of Arab classical music, the ''Tarab'', and it is not a surprise that many artists from Aleppo are considered pioneers among the Arabs in classic and traditional music. The most prominent figures in this field are Sabri Mdallal, Sabah Fakhri, Shadi Jamil, Abed
soap. Aleppo Soap Soap History Construction thumb The restored square of the citadel (File:AleppoCitadel.jpg) Aleppo is one of the fastest-growing cities in Syria and the Middle East.
upright Arab musician in Aleppo, Syria with an oud circa 1915. The ancient Turkic peoples had a similar instrument called the ''kopuz (komuz)''. This instrument was thought to have magical powers and was brought to wars and used in military bands. This is noted in the Göktürk monument inscriptions, the military band was later used by other Turkic state's armies and later by Europeans. Fuad Köprülü, ''Türk Edebiyatında İlk Mutasavvıflar'' (First Sufis in Turkish
% of commercial shipping operating in Ottoman waters. Not all regions benefited from steam ships as rerouting meant trade from Iran, Iraq and Arabia now did not need to go through Istanbul, Aleppo, and even Beirut, leading to losses in these territories. Quataert (2004) (#Quataert04), p. 302; Quataert (2000) (#Quataert00), pp. 116–118. thumb 220px right Military band Military band parade (Image:Proclamation of King Faisal I as King of Syria.jpg) in Aleppo on March 8, 1920, following the coronation of King Faisal I (Faisal I of Iraq) as King of Syria. thumb right 220px "Kingdom of Syria" in 1918 (Image:FEisalKingdom.png) '''Gaziantep''', previously and still informally called '''Antep'''; ʻayn tāb WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo
in mosques, private homes, and universities, from Timbuktu to Afghanistan and modern day Pakistan. In Aleppo, for example, the largest and probably the oldest mosque library, the Sufiya, located at the city's Grand Umayyad Mosque, contained a large book collection of which 10,000 volumes were reportedly bequeathed by the city's most famous ruler, Prince Sayf al-Dawla.
'''Aleppo''' ( Russell, Alexander (1794), The natural history of Aleppo, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, pp. 1–2 Gaskin, James J. (1846), Geography and sacred history of Syria, pp. 33–34
Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (List of cities by time of continuous habitation#Middle East); it has been inhabited since perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC. ''Columbia Encyclopedia'', Sixth Edition (2010) Excavations at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the old city of Aleppo, show that the area was occupied since at least the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC; The Oxford encyclopedia of archaeology in the Near East (1997) and this is also when Aleppo is first mentioned in cuneiform tablets unearthed in Ebla and Mesopotamia, in which it is noted for its commercial and military proficiency. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (2010) Such a long history is probably due to its being a strategic trading point midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (i.e. modern Iraq).
The city's significance in history has been its location at the end of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline. At the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Aleppo ceded its northern hinterland to modern Turkey, as well as the important railway connecting it to Mosul. Then in the 1940s it lost its main access to the sea, Antioch (Antakya) and Alexandretta (İskenderun), also to Turkey. Finally, the isolation of Syria in the past few decades further exacerbated the situation, although perhaps it is this very decline that has helped to preserve the old city of Aleppo, its medieval architecture and traditional heritage. It won the title of the "Islamic Capital of Culture 2006", and has also witnessed a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks, until the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 and the Battle of Aleppo (Battle of Aleppo (2012–present)). Agha Khan restoration plans of the old city