On the shoulder of the desert, about 32 K.M from Hama city and 45 K.M from Homs city towards the north east, surrounded by hills and small mountains; that starts from Aleppo in the north to Homs in the south, you will find a city known for its history. Its people are very welcoming and warm hearted, the majority are educated and open minded towards other nations, culture, and religions. It is the second largest city in Hama governorate after Hama. It is Salamieh City.
Salamieh is routed in history, it was known at the Assyrian and Babylonian time around 3500 BC. Sumerians dwelled in it around 3000 BC, and it was known by Amorian around 2400 BC. Arameans lived in Salamieh around 1500 BC and then the Nabatean around 500 BC. Salamieh was joined with Afamiah city during the Greek time and it became the center of knowledge and education.
It served as the main front between the Greek and the Persian armies. During the Byzantium time it became the center of the Christian bishopric. Later it came under the Arabic leader Khaled Ibn Alwaleed and the city’s architecture and economy were prospered. Before the Islamic conquest, the Persian leader Kisra Ibrawiz attacked the city and razed it to the ground.
Archaeological Sites in Salamieh
Picture: The Roman Bath-House
There are some findings illustrate that Salamieh is as old as the Stone Age. Most of the historical areas and buildings were destroyed to be replaced by modern buildings leaving the priceless history buried under the ground.
Among the archaeological sites are: Shmeimis Citadel which is the symbol of the city, the Ancient Roman Bath-House, Imam Ismail Mosque, Salamieh's old citadel main entrance, Tal Al-Ghazaleh, Al-Mintar, Al-Basitieh, Ithrieh, tens of Roman aqueducts, Ain Al- Qasab, water canals, Gorgeious monastery (Al Khoder Mountain Now), and many sculptures and stone columns, engraved with drawings, words and symbols such as grape leaves and the cross.
Picture: Mohammad Al-Maghout
Besides the historical value, Salamieh has its high status in presenting famous people and intellectuals, writers and poets in the past and the present, the most famous intellectual was The Imam Mohammad Al-Mahdi who started his journey to build the Fatimid State from Salamieh to Tunisia to Egypt, and that is why the famous writer Taha Hussain called Salamieh as the Mother of Cairo.
The famous Mohammad Al-Maghout is a Syrian writer from the city of Salamieh, who expressed his thoughts bravely through his great plays and poems that touched the hearts of millions worldwide. Let us not to forget, Fayez Khadoor, Ismail Al Amood, Mostapha Ghalib and Anwar Al Jundi.
Now and as in the past, Salamieh will continue to present famous people, and that is through the many civil society associations that act in Salamieh and work on promoting the youth and encourage them. Associations as the Aga Khan National Council, Salamieh Friend Association and the Antiquities Association.