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Moving Damascus?

July 17th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Culture

There are discussions about moving the capital away from Damascus – and building a whole new city near Homs.


The IWPR says it is one of a number of ideas to reduce congestion in Damascus by taking Syria’s political and administrative away from the city. The new capital would be in the town of Hasiaa, near Homs.

Not only would it mean thousands of people moving out of Damascus, but it would prevent the rural-urban drift – where people come to Damascus looking for work. In effect, Syria would be more of a two-centred country, like the US with the New York-Washington DC divide.

The new city would be paid for by selling administrative buildings in Damascus and by selling housing in Hasiaa to employees.

The idea comes from a report by private engineer Waddah Saeb. Officials say they haven’t received any of his suggestions.


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rime // Jul 17, 2009 at 8.43 pm

    Who said the US was two-centered around a New York and DC divide? That private engineer? Is he for real? Let’s hope he remains “private.”

  • 2 Sasa // Jul 17, 2009 at 8.54 pm

    You’re right, I wasn’t trying to say the US only has two centres, just that Syria could become multi-centered. Compared to somewhere like France, which is Paris-centric.

    As for the engineer – let’s hope not. Sounds a bit like social engineering, Myanmar-style.

  • 3 Maysaloon // Jul 18, 2009 at 1.33 am

    Australia is another country where such a setup exists. The strain on Damascus is not because it is the capital, it is because the rest of the provinces are poorly administered. Dayr al Zoor and the areas around the Euphrates have become increasingly arid recently – through neglect and not because of a lack of water. Lack of investment elsewhere and the concentration of everything in Damascus is what is causing the strain.

  • 4 Yazan // Jul 18, 2009 at 8.11 am

    Hasiaa is an industrial zone in the middle of nowhere… is he serious?

    I’m all for moving the capital, and restructuring the whole demographic policies of the country, but there’s no valid options on the table.

  • 5 Wreford of Damascus // Jul 18, 2009 at 12.57 pm

    We could call it the Ninth Gate-the least continuously inhabited country in the world!

  • 6 Arima // Jul 18, 2009 at 4.03 pm

    It’s a good idea but doesn’t really solve anything…as Wassim says the problem is due to centralization- saying that though, this is a problem which faces most countries….definitely every country in the Middle East and even Europe…just compare London and the ome counties to the South West or North of England.

  • 7 abdo // Jul 21, 2009 at 7.19 am

    move it to the bekaa valley , plenty of space there and well liked !

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