al-Qaraya
القريا

al-Qaraya (القريا) doesn’t have ancient ruins as many other nearby sites, but it has significant importance in Syria’s more recent history. al-Qaraya (القريا) is the hometown of Sultan Basha al-Atrash (سلطان باشا الاطرش), one of the most well-known and influential figures in modern Syrian history. Today, the home of Sultan Basha al-Atrash (سلطان باشا الاطرش) remains preserved and can be visited, along with a recently constructed tomb and memorial. The town of al-Qaraya (القريا), while predominantly Druze, also has small Christian population and church.

Sultan Basha al-Atrash (سلطان باشا الاطرش) was the most prominent leader in the Great Syrian Revolt (1925-1927) and is celebrated as one of the greatest heroes in the struggle for Syrian independence. He was known for his secularism, and his speeches and publications were entirely devoid of religious symbols. He strongly rejected French attempts to divide Syria, demanding national unity. He was also known for his simple lifestyle and his humility, and refused to accept any political office after independence of Syria in 1946. He died on March 26, 1982 from a heart attack, and his funeral was reportedly attended by more than a million people.

 

Getting There: Getting to al-Qaraya (القريا) is fairly simple, with frequent buses and microbuses traveling between the town and the regional capital of al-Suweida (السويداء).

Coordinates: 32°32’35.33″N / 36°35’55.62″E

Transliteration Variants: al-Qarayya, al-Qrayya

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