Madrasa Abdullah al-Azem (مدرسة عبداللة العظم) was a religious school constructed in 1779 by Abdullah Basha al-Azem (عبداللة باشا العظم), member of the prominent al-Azem (العظم) family. Several members of this family held powerful positions in Syria and Lebanon during the Ottoman period. Abdullah Basha al-Azem (عبداللة باشا العظم) first served as the governor of Aleppo (حلب) beginning in 1794 and later transferred to Damascus (دمشق), where he was governor until 1807. He was the last of multiple members of his family to hold the position of governor of Damascus (دمشق). After brief terms as governor in Adana and Urfa (Turkey) he retired to Hama (حماة), where he passed away.
While no longer functioning as a religious school, Madrasa Abdullah al-Azem (مدرسة عبداللة العظم) has a small mosque on the southern side of the courtyard which is still used for prayer. The attractive courtyard, with its central fountain, until recently contained an antique shop. The building features double arcading in alternating black and white stone, with a more modernly constructed third story. The terrace of the building provides a nice view of the Umayyad Mosque (الجامع الاموي) to the northeast.
Getting There: Madrasa Abdullah al-Azem (مدرسة عبداللة العظم) is located in the old city of Damascus (دمشق), approximately one hundred meters west of Qasr al-Azem (قصر العظم) and less than fifty meters east of Nur al-Din al-Shahid Mosque . From the eastern end of Souq al-Hamidiyeh (سوق الحميدية), at the remains of the Roman temple, walk south through the market until reaching Nur al-Din al-Shahid Mosque. Turn left (east) at the mosque, and Madrasa Abdullah al-Azem (مدرسة عبداللة العظم) will be on the right (south) side of the street.
Coordinates: 33°30’36.00″N / 36°18’20.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Madrasa Abdallah al-Azem
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