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Al-Mukharram al-Fawqani
Al-Mukharram is located in Syria
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 34°49′N 37°5′E / 34.817°N 37.083°E / 34.817; 37.083Coordinates: 34°49′N 37°5′E / 34.817°N 37.083°E / 34.817; 37.083
Country  Syria
Governorate Homs
District Al-Mukharram
Subdistrict Al-Mukharram
Elevation 600 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2004)[1]
 • Total 6,202
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)

Al-Mukharram (Arabic: المخرم‎), also known as Mukharram al-Fawqani (Arabic: المخرم الفوقاني‎ or Makhem Fuqani) is a small city in central Syria, capital of the al-Mukharram District, administratively part of the Homs Governorate, located 45 kilometers northeast of Homs. Nearby localities include Umm al-Amad, Ayn al-Niser and al-Mishirfeh to the west, al-Mukharram al-Tahtani to the northeast, Salamiyah to the north, Barri Sharqi to the northeast, Jubb al-Jarrah and Masudiyah to the east, Furqlus to the south and al-Haraki to the southwest.

According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), al-Mukharram had a population of 6,202 in the 2004 census. It is the administrative center and largest locality in the al-Mukharram nahiyah ("subdistrict") which consisted of 30 localities with a collective population of 32,447 in 2004.[1] The inhabitants of al-Mukharram and the localities of its district are predominantly members of the Alawite community,[2] particularly from the Khayyatin tribal confederation.[3][4]


In 1838 al-Mukharram was classified as a khirba ("ruined" or "abandoned" village") in the District of Salamiyah.[5] The modern town was founded in 1882, during late Ottoman rule, although its inhabitants struggled to make a living off the semi-arid region. Al-Mukharram is spread over a large area in the Syrian Desert and its chief agricultural products are olives and almonds.[6] The latter has become the object of celebration, with residents holding an annual "Almond Festival" since 2010.[7]

In 1960, al-Mukharram was still an impoverished village populated by Alawite sharecropper families employed landlords based in Homs. Under these circumstances, the Syrian Army provided an attractive alternative for the men of the village to advance socially and economically.[2] Various figures from the town have served in high-ranking positions in the Syrian military and security apparatus, including Muhammad Umran, former Defense Minister (early 1966),[8] whose father had been a religious shaykh and a local leader of the town. Other notable Syrian military figures from al-Mukharram include Ahmed Said Salih, the former chief of Political Security (1970-1987) and then deputy Interior Minister, Adnan Badr Hassan, the former Chief of Political Security (1987-2002),[9] and Abd al-Karim al-Razzuq the late 1970s commander of the missile corps and the air defense forces.[10]

In 1968, al-Mukharram became the capital of the district that has since bared its name, taking the place of Jubb al-Jarrah, the former district center.[6] Although the village's population was only 2,170 in 1970, well below the government-designated threshold required to become a district seat, the close relationship between the residents and the security establishment allowed for al-Mukharram to be promoted to is current role, according to anthropologist Fabrice Balanche.[2]


  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Homs Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. ^ a b c Balanche, Fabrice (2006). La région alaouite et le pouvoir syrien (PDF) (in French). Karthala Editions. ISBN 2845868189. 
  3. ^ Batatu, 1999, pp. 185-186.
  4. ^ Batatu, 1999, p. 154.
  5. ^ Smith, 1841, p. 177.
  6. ^ a b Ibrahim, Shadi. Al-Mukharram: An Oasis in the Heart of the Desert. E-Homs. E-Syria. 2010-05-10.
  7. ^ Mattar, Kinan. First Almond Festival in Al-Mukharram. E-Homs. E-Syria. 2010-05-06.
  8. ^ Batatu, 1999, p. 147.
  9. ^ Batatu, 1999, p. 222.
  10. ^ Batatu, 1999, p. 220.