Al-Bab

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Al-Bab
الباب
Bab Biza'ah
Al-Bab is located in Syria
Al-Bab
Al-Bab
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 36°22′21″N 37°31′4″E / 36.37250°N 37.51778°E / 36.37250; 37.51778
Country  Syria
Governorate Aleppo
District Al-Bab
Subdistrict Al-Bab
Elevation 471 m (1,545 ft)
Population (2004)
 • Total 63,069
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Bab (Arabic: الباب‎ / ALA-LC: al-Bāb) is a Syrian city administratively belonging to the Aleppo Governorate. Al-Bab is located northeast of Aleppo and has an area of 30 km². Al-Bab has an altitude of 471 meters. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), it had a population of 63,069 in 2004.[1] The majority of the city's population is Sunni Muslim.

Name[edit]

Al-Bāb in Arabic means the door. According to Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi in 1226, the name is a shortening of Bāb Bizāʻah (the gate to Bizāʻah). Bizāʻah (also Buzāʻah and Bzāʻā) is a town located about 10 kilometers east of Al-Bāb.

History[edit]

Al-Bab was conquered by the Arab army of the Rashidun Caliphate under caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. It received its name, meaning "the Gate", during Islamic rule as it served as "the gate" between Aleppo and the adjacent town of Buza'ah. The tomb and shrine of Aqil ibn Abi Talib (the brother of Ali) was located in al-Bāb, and until its rule by the Ayyubids in the 13th century, the town was populated mostly by Shias of the Ismaili sect.[2]

According to Yaqut al-Hamawi in 1226, it was a small town in the district of Aleppo. In the town were markets filled with a type of cotton product called kirbas which were exported to Damascus and Egypt. Abu al-Fida writes that al-Bab was a small town with a market, a bath, pleasant gardens, and a mosque (the Great Mosque of al-Bab).[2]

Syrian civil war[edit]

In late July 2012, during the ongoing Syrian civil war, the Syrian Army withdrew from the city of al-Bab after fighting with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).[3] The city's capture gives the FSA full control of the areas northeast of Aleppo.[4] According to opposition activists, an army garrison remains outside al-Bab and has been shelling the city since the FSA's capture.[5]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 36°22′21″N 37°31′04″E / 36.37250°N 37.51778°E / 36.37250; 37.51778