|Old City of Damascus|
Bab Tuma (Arabic: باب توما, meaning: "Thomas’ Gate") is a borough of Old Damascus in Syria, one of the seven gates inside the historical walls of the city, and a geographic landmark of Early Christianity. It owes its name to Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
Famous residents included: Saint Paul the most notable of Early Christian missionaries (hence expressions such as “the road to Damascus experience”), Saint Thomas himself who after lending his name to the neighborhood went on to explore India. Saint Ananias, French writer Alphonse de Lamartine, Greek Orthodox theologian Saint Joseph of Damascus, founder of the Damascus Patriarcal School, Raphael Hawawini, known as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the first Orthodox Bishop of New York city (he was sent to the US in 1895 by the Czar of Russia), and Syrian-born philosopher Michel Aflaq, founder of the Ba'ath Party and ba'athist thought.
In the 16th century, following the conquest of Antioch and Alexandretta by Ottoman Turks, the borough of Bab Tuma became the seat of the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches for the Northern Levant (Syria, Lebanon and Southern Turkey).