Homs: A Revolutionary Syrian City in Ruins /1/

This post is part of GlobalVoices special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12

Among the many Syrian cities and towns making news headlines today is Homs, a city which dates back to 2300BC. The colossal damage months of shelling has done can be seen in the destruction of historic buildings and architecture, hundreds of thousands of refugees and thousands of martyrs.

Homs in history

The city with 4300 years old (the earliest settlement 2300 BC), HOMS, historically known as Emesa (an assemblage of the locally revered sun god), is the third largest city in Syria and a sister of Belo Horizonte city in Brazil. Homs has a list historic landmarks as the mosque Khalid ibn al-Walid, roofed souks, and contains world heritage sites as the Krak des Chevaliers and Citadel of Salah Ed-Din, ones of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world.

Few people might know that the Holy Belt of saint Mary is within the treasurers of Um al-Zennar Church while the 5th-century Church of Saint Elian, contain his own tomb.

The Damage of (Um Al-Zennar) Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt in Homs, Syria. Source: Archaeo life Blog.

Historically, Homs was a city of funny and weird mysteries. In December 1260, Hulagu was defeated at the First Battle of Homs. Mongols did not enter the city of Homs, unlike other Syrian cities and other cities in the east, while there is a myth saying that scorpions can’t live in Homs due to high rate of mercury in its soil. Orontes River is passing the city which is the only river that runs from the south northwards while its streets almost free of beggars, actually due to the efforts of the good people and effective social services run by the community.

A rare video of the Syrian city of Homs shared by IBN HOMS on Youtube, marks the images between 1880 and 1950.

Homs under attack

Although the city had given 3 Syrian Presidents of Atassi family, and hometown of Assad´s family wife (Alakhras), but “Homsi” protests were among the first Syrians to take streets in thousands to protest against Syrian regime. Ever since, the city suffered a heavy shelling months despite a call to Save Syria’s Threatened Heritage Sites including the Historic district of Bab Al Dreib. YouTube user Saif Hurria is reporting [English] the collapsed buildings and the massive destruction in Jourat alshiah neighborhood.

And tumblr user salt-and-filfil posted a photo to compare Jourat alshiah neighborhood between 1930-2012.

Homs city before Assad, 1930- Homs city after Assad, 2012. Source: salt-and-filfil on Tumblr.

About Rami Alhames

I'm a Syrian Brazilian, Freelance Translator and Social media contributor @GlobalVoices @GVinArabic, Meedan, in Portuguese, Arabic and English.
This entry was posted in Arab Spring, Arabic, Culture & Life, English, History, Photos, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s