Monday, March 26, 2007

Damascus trivia

Did you know why Burj al Roos (Tower of heads), Hay al Krad (Kurdish neighbourhood) and al Muhajreen (the migrants) are called so?

Well apparently, Burj al Roos got it's name after the infamous Timurlang sacked Damascus in 1400. All artisans were sent to Samarkand while the rest of the inhabitants were put to the sword. The area of Burj al Roos is where all their heads were piled into a tower.

Hay al Krad is called thus for being where the Kurdish soldiers of the Mamelukes were kept in barracks, while the name al Muhajreen was given to the area settled by refugees from Eastern Europe. These had been escaping ethnic cleansing by the advancing Christian Europeans who had begun pushing back the Ottoman empire.

If anybody knows any other tid-bits of information please feel free to share or at least correct me if I've said absolute rubbish!

1 comment:

The Syrian Brit said...

I actually think Burj Al Roos has an equally macabre but more recent source for the name.. I belive it refers to the massacre of Damascus Christians at the hands of the Ottoman 'Waaly', in reprisal for their rising in sympathy with their Lebanese counterparts..
Unless somebody knows any different?..