The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          


Pictures From The Syrian History

The first Syrian National Football Team, during the a qualifying game in Turkey in 1947

Nuri Ibish, a youth leader and politician in Syria, during a football match in Damascus in 1910. Along with some friends Ibish introduced football to Damascus in 1910 and by 1912 the game had become very popular in Syria. A Ottoman-Syrian football team was created called al-Helal

The first official football match was held on the outskirts of Damascus in the Mezzeh district in 1919, under the patronage of King Faysal I, the post-Ottoman ruler of Syria. It was between the Syrian team and troops from the British Army stationed in Syria after World War I. The Syrian team won by 4 points and Faysal rewarded each player with a gold watch

A picture of third-class train passengers in Syria in 1908. This was on the Hijaz Railway connecting Damascus to Medina. The first train had reached Medina coming from Damascus on August 22, 1908

A photograph of an American tourist in Syria in 1870. The A

Queen Hazima, wife of King Faysal I, the first and only queen in modern Syrian history

merican Flag is hoisted over his caravan.

A Jewish family in Damascus, pictured in their ancient Damascene home, in Ottoman Syria in 1901.

A poster announcing the arrival of the Syrian Reverend Barakat to preach about Christianity in the United States in 1896. It reads “A thrilling experience” and adds “the first as of yet the only minister preaching in this country from Damascus.” The cost of attendance was 20 cents and the ceremony was held in Iowa

Crowds gathered on Victoria Bridge in Damascus in the 1870s. They are picnicking on the banks of the River Barada, probably on a Friday. This bridge was removed in 1925 but the spot is still called Victoria Bridge. It was named after the nearby Victoria Hotel, which was also removed. The hotel was the largest tourist hotel in Syria, owned by Ahmad Izzat al-Abid, the private advisor to the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II. The area seen in the picture is now completely covered in a broad avenue named Shukri al-Quwatli Street

A barber shop in old Damascus. This picture was taken in 1900.

The Hijaz Railway Station in Damascus during World War I. The station was not build until after 1912 but the Damascus-Medina railroad had been created in 1908. The Hijaz Station has been designed by the Spanish architect Fernando de Aranda, who combined Western and Oriental elements. The building is still considered one of the most beautiful in Syria

town in the Syrian interior, by the Syrian Greek Orthodox clergy of Hama. The picture was taken in Ottoman Syria at the turn of the 20th century. Tsar Nicolas II had strong influence in the Greek Orthodox Church under the Ottoman Empire. He continued to act as its protector until he was toppled by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917

Syrian schoolchildren in New York during World War I, in 1914

A Syrian businessman in the United States decides to go back to "Damascus Turkey" after Sultan Abdul Hamid granted the Ottoman citizens a new constitution in 1908. (From the collection of Dr. Jean Otrakji).

Rushdi al-Shama, the deputy for Damascus in the Ottoman Parliament who was executed for his views on Arabism by Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria, on May 6, 1916

Abd al-Hamid al-Zahrawi, an Arab nationalist from Homs, who served as a deputy in the Ottoman Empire and chaired the first Arab Congress in Paris in 1913, calling for reforms in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. He was executed by Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria, on May 6, 1916

Rafiq Sallum, a journalist and early advocate of Arab nationalism, who was executed by Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria, on May 6, 1916

Shukri al-Asali (1868-1916), the editor of al-Qabas newspaper in Damascus. Asali became a deputy in the Ottoman Parliament, and supported the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP) when they revolted against Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1908. He fell out with the CUP, joined al-Fatat, the leading underground movement in Ottoman Syria, and was executed in public in Damascus on May 6, 1916 by Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria

Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria during World War I

The pioneer journalist Mary Ajamy, a nursing student from AUB, who founded the first women s magazine in Syria in 1910 called al-Arus (The Bride)).

Abd al-Rahman Pasha al-Yusuf, a deputy for Damascus in the Ottoman Parliament who led the Muslim pilgrims from Damascus to Mecca every year on the annual pilgrimage. Yusuf was one of the most influential men in Ottoman Syria, due to his wealth and connections in Istanbul, and the religious duties bestowed upon him by Sultan Abdulhamid II

Faris al-Khury, the Christian deputy in the Ottoman Parliament in 1913, who was to become prime minister of Syria in the 1940s and 1950s

Faris al-Khury, while serving as deputy in the Ottoman Parliament, was also an instructor at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut, later renamed the American University of Beirut (AUB). He is pictured first from right in the third row, standing with the university faculty before Assembly Hall. Seated in the middle of the first row is AUB founder, Dr Daniel Bliss

Syrian students at Maktab Anbar in 1904. Anbar was the first school to offer a certified baccalaureate degree in Syria

Syrian students at Maktab Anbar in 1912

Armenian students cramped into crowded classrooms in Aleppo after they flooded Syrian cities upon the Armenian Massacre of 1915.

The Hamidiyyeh Market in Old Damascus in 1890, named after Sultan Abdulhamid II

The coastal city of Lattakia in Ottoman Syria at the turn of the 20th century

An imperial envoy reading a royal declaration from Sultan Mohammad Rashad V, calling on the people of Damascus to enlist in the Ottoman Army at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914

Arab doctors serving in the Ottoman Army during World War I

The military prison in Marjeh Square, created by the Ottoman Turks during World War I

Official proclamation of the Arab Revolt on June 10, 1916

Soldiers in the Arab Army during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918. They are carrying the Arab Flag of the Arab Revolt and pictured in the Arabian Desert

Prince Faysal with Colonel T.E. Lawrence, the British Officer who fought with the Arabs against the Ottoman Army during World War I.

Ottoman troops in Damascus preparing for Prince Faysals meeting with Jamal Pasha, the Military Governor of Syria

The USS Pensacola Ship arriving in Syria on January 27, 1919 carrying food and assistance to the starving people of Syria, who were greatly reduced to poverty during World War I. War had ended two month ago, and the ship was sent to the Middle East by the American Committee for Relief in the Near East, with a cargo estimated worth more than 2.500.000 USD

Prince Faysal with Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization, on January 3, 1919

Prince Faysal in the Arabian Desert, living the life of an outlaw, during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918.

The Arab Army of Sharif Husayn entering Damascus on October 1, 1918, declaring the fall of the Ottoman Empire

Prince Faysal entering Damascus on horseback on October 3, 1918

Prince Faysal, with British officials, meeting the notables of Damascus in the immediate post-Ottoman Era in October 1918

Crowds welcoming Prince Faysal to Damascus in October 1918

King Faysal of Syria in Homs in 1919. From left to right: Mohammad Said Agha al-Fayyad, Taha Pasha al-Hashemi (Faysal’s military advisor), a bodyguard, Omar al-Atasi, Ismail al-Harriri, the tribal head of Hawran, and Tahir al-Atasi, the Mufti of Homs

Crowds welcoming Prince Faysal to Aleppo in October 1918

Prince Sa’id al-Jaza’iri, the Damascus-based Algerian notable who took over government affairs when the Ottomans evacuated on September 28, 1918 and stayed in office until the Arab Army entered Damascus on October 1, 1918

Prince Said al-Jazairi, the Algerian notable living in Damascus who declared himself ruler in the immediate aftermath of the Turkish evacuation. He ruled Damascus with a group of the city notables from September 26 to October 1, 1918. He is pictured here before a portrait of his grandfather, Prince Abd al-Qadir al-Jazairi, the Algerian freedom fighter

The British Army stationed in Damascus after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in October 1918

Prince Faysal and Sir Edmond Allemby, commander of the British Army against the Ottoman Turks, in Damascus on October 1, 1918. The photos is taken at the gates of Victoria Hotel, the grandest hotel in Damascus, which was closed then destroyed under the French Mandate

Prime Minister Rida Pasha al-Rikabi, the first post-Ottoman Prime Minister of Syria. He served as Faysal\'s Prime Minister from 1918 to 1920, then went on to become the first prime minister of Jordan in 1921. He nominated himself for president in Syria in 1932 but lost the elections

Faris al-Khury, the Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Prime Minister Rida al-Rikabi (1918-1920)).

Rida al-Sulh, the Minister of Interior in the cabinet of Prime Minister Rida al-Rikabi (1918-1920). His son Riyad al-Sulh became Prime Minister of Lebanon in the 1940s

Sati al-Husari (1882-1968), the Minister of Education in the cabinet of Prime Minister Rida al-Rikabi (1918-1920). Husari introduced the modern concept of Arab nationalism into the Syrian curriculum, which is still in place until today, nearly 90 years later

Prince Faysal in full military uniform, attending the graduation of high school students at Maktab Anbar in Damascus in 1919

Mohammad Kurd Ali (1876-1952), founder and first president of the Arab Language Assemblage in 1919

Mohammad Kurd Ali with founders of the Arab Language Assemblage in 1919. Front row (left to right): Abd al-Qadir Mubarak, Saleem Anhouri, Sulayman al-Joukhadar, Mohammad Kurd Ali, Abd al-Qadir al-Mughrabi, Anees Sallum, unidentified. Back row (from left to right): Murshed Khater, Arif al-Nakadi, three unidentified men, Faris al-Khury, Asaad al-Hakim, Elias Qudsi, Issa Iskandar Maaluf

Hashim al-Atasi, president of the Syrian National Congress (modern parliament) that crowned Faysal as king of Syria on March 8, 1920. This is the earlies known photograph of Hashim al-Atasi, who became president of Syria in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s

The Police Academy in Damascus under Faysal in 1918-1920. Seated in the front row, fourth from left, is Hamdi al-Jallad, the Police Chief wearing Arab headgear, and next to him is Nicolas Shahine, the deputy Chief of Police

A hand-written letter from Rikabi to Faris al-Khury, the Minister of Finance, informing him of Faysal\'s decision to appoint him a member of the Shura Council on October 10, 1918, ten days after the Ottoman evacuation from Damascus

The Royal Palace in Damascus during the reign of King Faysal in 1918-1920

General Henri Gouraud, the French High Commissioner to Syria and Lebanon, who defeated Faysal at the Battle of Maysaloun in July 1920

General Yusuf al-Azma (1883-1920), the Minister of War and Chief-of-Staff under King Faysal in 1918-1920

General Yusuf al-Azma in military uniform as Minister of War in Syria. He was killed in battle, shortly after this photo was taken, at Maysaloun, on the Syrian-Beirut highway, while fighting the French Army, on July 24, 1920

Naziq al-Abid, the woman at the Battle of Maysaloun, on July 24, 1920

Naziq al-Abid, the pioneer woman activist in Syria, pictured in military uniform on the day of the Battle of Maysaloun on July 24, 1920. Abid had spearheaded the women’s rights movements under the Ottoman Empire, and lobbying with King Faysal in 1919-1920 to grant women the right to vote. When the French advanced on Damascus in July 1920, she volunteered for service in the Syrian Army and unveiled for combat, causing uproar in conservative districts of the Syrian capital. She tried but failed to save the life of General Yusuf al-Azma in battle, and in reward for her heroism King Faysal made her an honorary general in the Syrian Army

Subhi al-Omari, one of the officers in the Arab Army of Sharif Husayn in 1916-1918, who fought against the Ottoman Empire. He is pictured here in Arab uniform during the Arab Revolt. Omari was exiled after the French Mandate was imposed on Syria in 1920, and went on to become one of the founders of the Jordanian Army and Iraqi Army. He fought in the Battle of Maysaloun in 1920, and returned to Syria in 1943 and became Chief of Police under President Shukri al-Quwatli

Alaa al-Din Pasha al-Droubi, the last prime minister appointed by Faysal in July 1920, who allied himself with the French after the fall of Damascus and was killed for his alliance by allies of Faysal in August 1920

General Henri Gouraud inspecting the French Army that occupied Damascus on July 25, 1920

The French Army on the Syrian coast, proclaiming the French Mandate

General Henri Gouraud at his office in Damascus in 1920

General Henri Gouraud entering the Royal Palace of ex-King Faysal on July 25, 1920

The last official portrait of King Faysal I of Syria, who ruled from October 1, 1918 to July 24, 1920

Syrian coins during the era of King Faysal I (1918-1920)).

Ex-King Faysal of Syria in August 1920, pictured in Europe where he roamed for a throne after his expulsion from Syria in July 1920

Queen Hazima, wife of King Faysal I, the first and only queen in modern Syrian history


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