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The market stalls are so arranged that persons selling similar wares are in the same section of the bazaar. The fruit stalls are attractive, with their round baskets filled with great clusters of grapes, pomegranates hung from the ceiling by ropes and pulled down as you buy them, and strings of dried figs and dates. There are many candy shops, for the people are fond of sweets.
The Great Khan. In the midst of the bazaars stands the Great Khan, with its immense cupola supported on pillars built of alternate layers of black and white marble. The principal mosque,
which was once a Christian cathedral, is also an imposing building. In various parts of the city are a citadel, a palace where the ruler or pasha resides, and many schools. 1. Make a list of the chief products of Damascus. 2. Someone volunteer to make a trip through the bazaars of
Damascus for the class. If possible, read about the bazaars
of some other city, as Constantinople, and compare them. 3. Read 2 Kings 5. 1-19 for the story of the helpful Jewish maiden
who was the means of curing Naaman of Damascus of his
leprosy, and tell the story to the class. 4. Boys: Read Acts 9. 3-19 and describe your mental picture of
Paul's journey to Damascus to your classmates. Describe the view the men who journeyed with him beheld as they approached the city.
OLD ROUTES AND NEW
Three great roads lead from Damascus. One goes eastward to Bagdad, Arabia, and Persia; another southwest by Galilee to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and the Nile; and the third, or "Pilgrim Route," runs southward to Mecca.
A railroad built for pilgrims, not for dividends.—Many Mohammedans use the Damascus-to-Mecca Railroad, which was built by money given by the “faithful” all over the world. This road is supported by a special stamp tax and annual contributions. Trains start at the Gate of Allah in Damascus. The road runs parallel to the French Hauran Railroad. It crosses the Jordan Valley south of Deraa, where it leaves the rich corn lands to enter the upland country and follow the old caravan route to Mecca.
A cog railway winds over the mountains ninety miles from Damascus to Beirut. The Damascus, Palestine, and Medina Railroad connects Constantinople with Damascus and the Holy Land. Thus we see that this “Queen City of the Desert” is assured of its position on the great highway of the nations.
SOME TOWNS OF NORTHERN SYRIA
If we take the train northward from Damascus, we passthrough Baalbec, which, as its name tells, grew up around the shrine of the god Baal, whose prophets Elijah destroyed (1 Kings 18). This city contains ruins with the largest building stones ever known to man. The great blocks are joined so perfectly that a knife blade cannot be slipped between them. Some of the stones sixty-three and sixty-five feet long are in place twenty feet above the ground.
Some garden spots.-Still traveling northward, we stop at Homs, which is a market for the Bedouins. Here the Arab is seen at his best where he has not taken on the vices of civilization. Great waterwheels that make a squeaking noise as they turn supply the town with water and irrigate the adjacent gardens. One wheel sixty feet high carries the water from the Orontes River to a conduit, which conveys it to the fields. A favorite pastime of the boys of the neighborhood consists in riding round and round on this wheel, finally dropping back into the river when they are tired.
The next important station of the northbound train is Hama, or Hamath, which must have been a noted city, for Amos called it "Hamath, the great” (Amos 6. 2) seven centuries before Christ. The people here make a coarse cotton cloth stamped
with figures by block printing. This cloth is sold for mattress covers such as are to be seen in the clean little homes in the Lebanon. They have fine market gardens and prices are low. Tomatoes sell at a few cents for a dozen pounds and eggplants for a trifle in six-pound lots. The peasants cut up watermelons to feed to their sheep! There are some rich land owners in Hama, who live in fine houses with large open courts and foun
tains. As we near Aleppo, we
A city that is regaining its
former glory.—The most imBEE-HIVE HOMES NEAR ALEPPO,
portant town on this route is
Aleppo, which is a junction point for the Bagdad Railroad. This old city is surrounded by gardens. It has a castle, a Mohammedan college, many churches, several large inns, and bazaars. There are soap factories, dye works, and rope works in vast caverns outside of the city. Many rich merchants have their homes here. The Bagdad Railroad has a fine new station at Aleppo, through
a which you may some day pass as salesman for American products. Girls may go as stenographers or teachers to these northern towns, which are bound to become important centers
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood.
of business and learning as they were in the days when Paul preached at Antioch (Acts 13), where the followers of Christ were first called Christians.
1. On an outline map of southwest Asia trace the railroads men
tioned in the lesson. Locate the chief towns on each road. 2. What old trade centers will become important railroad junc
tions? Why? 3. Make a list of tne products mentioned in this chapter and
compare it with other lists you have made. 4. If you were offered a business position in Syria, in what city
would you prefer to live? State the reasons for your choice.
DEAN STANLEY says that Palestine, the geographical cradle of the children of Israel, has exercised a greater influence on civilization than has any other region of equal size on the earth. There the Jews developed their national spirit and, after many centuries of discipline, gave the world the concept of one God, monotheism. This God, Yahweh (Jehovah), was king of all the earth and righteous ruler of all the nations. The "mountains of Judah,” shut in from the busy world of trade and conquest that poured its caravans and armies through the more open region of Samaria and Galilee, was the seat of this development. The most important events of Hebrew history took place here.
A BLESSED NATION The Hebrews, or descendants of Eber (Gen. II. 14), were originally men of the desert. Their history, as narrated in their sacred books, began with the departure of Abraham from “Ur of the Chaldees" (Gen. II. 31). In Lesson IX we read of his sojourn in Haran, the “road town” from which God called him saying, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great. And thou shalt be a blessing: . . . in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.' So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him. . . . Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came" (Gen. 12. 1-5).