Damascus is the capital of Syria and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, with some excavations showing the city was inhabited as early as 8,000 to 10,000 B.C. The city became the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate and has been important to Arab culture since. Within the walls of the Old City, UNESCO says there are 125 protected monuments, including the Umayyad mosque, still one of the largest mosques in the world.
There had been concerns about the Old City of Damascus due to a population decrease, in which residents moved out of older buildings to newer housing, leading to some abandoned areas. Fighting in the Syrian capital has also caused serious concern. When rebels entered the Old City in 2012, the government shelled it. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»