Al-Mazraa

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Al-Mazraa
المزرعة
Town
Al-Mazraa is located in Syria
Al-Mazraa
Al-Mazraa
Coordinates: 32°46′58″N 36°29′0″E / 32.78278°N 36.48333°E / 32.78278; 36.48333
Country  Syria
Governorate Al-Suwayda Governorate
District Al-Suwayda District
Nahiyah Al-Mazraa
Population (2004 census)[1]
 • Total 2,454
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Mazraa (Arabic: المزرعة‎, also spelled al-Mazra'a or al-Mezra'ah) is a village in southern Syria, administratively part of the al-Suwayda Governorate, located 12 kilometers (7 miles) northwest of al-Suwayda. Nearby localities include al-Hirak, Khirbet Ghazaleh and Da'el to the west and Umm Walad and Bosra to the south. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), al-Mazraa had a population of 2,596 in the 2004 census. The town is also the administrative center of the al-Mazraa nahiyah of the al-Suwayda District which consists of 12 villages with a combined population of 16,627.[1]

History[edit]

In the mid-19th-century, al-Mazraa was described by traveler Josias Leslie Porter as a "small ruined village ... beside which there is a large fountain."[2] It was inhabited by Ghawr Arabs who encamped at the site.[3]

During the Druze revolt against the Ottomans to protest consctiption into the Ottoman army, the Ottoman general Mustafa Pasha led his army to al-Mazraa where he faced the forces of Ismail al-Atrash, the Druze chieftain. Although Atrash's men inflicted heavy casualties on Mustafa Pasha's army, the Ottomans eventually captured the town after receiving reinforcements. Consequently, in October 1862 al-Atrash negotiated an agreement with the Ottoman authorities, whereby al-Atrash would collect taxes from the Druze and Bedouins of the Hauran on behalf of the authorities in return for Druze exemption from conscription.[4]

The town was the site of the Battle of al-Mazraa during the Great Syrian Revolt against the French occupation. The French forces, under the leadership of Genenral Roger Michaud, consisted of five battalions of infantry, three squadrons of cavalry, in addition to armored cars and artillery. They were attacked, on 2 August 1925, by 500 Druze and Bedouin horsemen, led by Sultan Pasha al-Atrash. The rebel assault forced the French Army into full retreat and the battle turned into a rout. The victory at al-Mazraa was a turning point in the course of the rebellion, inspiring Syrian nationalists in the country's capital and the countryside to join the Druze in their revolt.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Al-Suwayda Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. ^ Porter, 1855, p. 212.
  3. ^ Socin, 1912, p. 174.
  4. ^ Weismann, 2005, p. 154.
  5. ^ Provence, 2005, pp. 63-64.

Bibliography[edit]