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Definition: Aleppo from Philip's Encyclopedia

(Halab) City in NW Syria; Syria's second-largest city (after the capital Damascus. Like Damascus, it has claims to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. A part of Syria since 1924, Aleppa has a 12th-century citadel, the Great Mosque (715), and a covered bazaar more than 800m (2625ft) long. Industries: cotton products, silk weaving, dried nuts and fruit. Pop. (2005) 2,505,000.


Summary Article: Aleppo
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Ancient city in northwest Syria, situated on the River Kuweik on the edge of the Syrian Desert; population (2008 est) 2,900,000 (agglomeration). It is the administrative centre of the governorate of Aleppo; population (1996 est) 3,694,000. Silk and cotton goods, leather, grain, carpets, tobacco, and metalwork are produced. Chief industries are silk, cotton, and wool textile manufacturing, and the manufacture of soaps, dyes, and leather. There has been a settlement on the site for at least 4,000 years.

History The first known mention of Aleppo is from the 2nd millennium BC where it appeared as Khallab or Khallav, since when it has had an unbroken existence. After the Muslim conquest it was a provincial capital till 944, when it became independent and remained so till about 1015; the Crusaders tried in vain to capture it. It became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and was a great trade centre between Europe and Asia, exporting silk, cotton, and woollen goods to the East. The discovery of the Cape route to India damaged its trade; an earthquake in 1812, a plague in 1827, and cholera in 1832 added to its ruin. But it recovered from its misfortunes, and before 1914 was still an important centre of trade. After separation from Turkey in 1919 its trade suffered because Turkey refused to deal with it and appropriated all the water of the Kuweik. The province of Aleppo was united with Damascus to form Syria under a French mandate which was ended in 1946.

Features There is an impressive citadel and gate tower. The Halawiya college was formerly the cathedral; there are many bazaars. The university (founded in 1961) was formerly part of the University of Damascus.

Communications Aleppo is connected by railway to Damascus, as well as to Istanbul, Baghdad, and Beirut; it also has an airport and is a terminus of the currently non-functioning oil pipeline to Iraq.

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