Mezzeh

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For the food, see Meze.
Mezzeh
Arabic: المزة‎‎
Municipality
Districts of damascus english.svg
Coordinates: 33°30′11″N 36°15′30″E / 33.50306°N 36.25833°E / 33.50306; 36.25833Coordinates: 33°30′11″N 36°15′30″E / 33.50306°N 36.25833°E / 33.50306; 36.25833
Country Syria
City Damascus
Population (2004)
 • Total 123,313[1]
Mazzeh Highway

Mezzeh (Arabic: المزة‎‎, also transcribed as al-Mazzah, el-Mezze, etc.) is a municipality in Damascus, Syria, due west of Kafr Sousa. It lies to the southwest of central Damascus, along the Mezzeh highway (also known as Fayez Mansour).

It started gaining importance when the French constructed Mazzeh Military Airport, which was the main airport in Damascus until Damascus International Airport opened. It also held the notorious Mezzeh prison until 2000. The municipality includes the Damascus University and contains many foreign embassies.[2] The current presidential palace sits atop Mount Mezzeh and overlooks all of Damascus.[3]

It is one of the most modern and expensive areas of Damascus, especially the areas along the highway.[4]

Districts[edit]

  • Al-Jalaa (pop. 3,514)[1]
  • Fe'alat al-Gharbiyah (pop. 12,393)
  • Fe'alat al-Sharqiyah (pop. 13,776)
  • Mezzeh 86 (pop. 33,191)
  • Mezzeh al-Qadimeh (Old Mezzeh) (pop. 13,555)
  • Mezzeh Jabal (Mount Mezzeh) (pop. 22,655)
  • Al-Rabwa (pop. 10,002)
  • Al-Sumariyah (pop. 14,227)

The Western and Eastern Villa districts along the highway are affluent and cosmopolitan. The primarily Alawite Mezzeh 86 district is comparatively poor and has been described as a slum.[4][5]

History[edit]

Mezzeh was originally a village outside of Damascus. It was allegedly founded between 661-750 by Yemeni migrants.[6]

Mezzeh featured prominently in the 1941 Battle of Damascus. Compton Mackenzie later described it at the time as being "a large village standing at the junction of the road from Damascus to Beirut and Quneitra".[7]

In 2012, during the Syrian civil war, residents participated in anti-government protests, resulting in arrests.[3] In March of 2012, the area experienced heavy fighting between government forces and defectors.[8][4] The Alawite Mezzeh 86 neighborhood has been targeted by bombings of civilian and military targets.[9]

Notable Buildings and Structures in Mezzeh[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Damascus governorate population 2004 census[dead link]
  2. ^ "Syria, the uprising and Mezzeh". 
  3. ^ a b "Syrian protestors fill streets of Damascus". 
  4. ^ a b c "Heavy fighting rocks Damascus neighborhood". 
  5. ^ "Alawites in the "Mezze 86" district fear reprisals". 
  6. ^ Salamandra, Christa (14 November 2004). A New Old Damascus: Authenticity and Distinction in Urban Syria. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Bloomington. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-253-11041-1. 
  7. ^ Mackenzie, Compton (1951). Eastern Epic. London: Chatto & Windus. OCLC 1412578. p115
  8. ^ "Reports of heavy firefight in Damascus". 
  9. ^ "Explosive device in Mezzeh 86 kills 3 citizens, including a journalist". 
  10. ^ le Caisne, Garance (1 October 2015). "They were torturing to kill: inside Syria's death machine". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2015.