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Contents / Sanliurfa
With its millennia-old past, its traditional fabric and its living traces of ancient legends, Urfa is a city that represents the history of civilization...

“More than three thousand years ago, far away in the distant east, in Mesopotamia, God spoke to a man who was living with his flocks: ‘Leave your land, your father and your family and go to the land that I will show you.’” So begins the story of Abraham, Father of Prophets, in the book of Genesis. Abraham, of the lineage of Noah, who came with his father Terah from the city of Ur to settle in Harran, set out from here for the the ‘Promised Land’ of Canaan.

Ur, one of the earliest cities of Mesopotamian civilization, is situated near Basra at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. But it harbours in its history several more cities of the same name. The place in northern Mesopotamia known to the Aramaic tribes as Urhai, in other words today’s Sanliurfa, also appears in certain sources as the ‘Ur’ of ancient times.
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