Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.




(both: hä`mä), city (1995 est. pop. 280,000), capital of Hama governorate, W central Syria, on the Orontes River. It is the market center for an irrigated farm region where cotton, wheat, barley, millet, and corn are grown. Manufactures include cotton and woolen textiles, silk, carpets, and dairy products. Famous old waterwheels, some as much as 90 ft (27 m) in diameter, bring water up from the Orontes for irrigation. Other points of interest in Hama include the remains of the Roman aqueduct (still in use) and the Great Mosque of Djami al-Nuri (until 638 a Christian basilica). Hama also is a road and rail center, and an airport is nearby.

The city has a long history, having been settled as far back as the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In the 2d millennium B.C., it was a center of the Hittites. As Hamath it is often mentioned in the Bible, where it is said to be the northern boundary of the Israelite tribes. The Assyrians under Shalmaneser III captured the city in the mid-9th cent. B.C. Later included in the Persian Empire, it was conquered by Alexander the Great and, after his death (323 B.C.), was claimed by the Seleucid kings, who renamed it Epiphania, after Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes).

The city later came under the control of Rome and of the Byzantine Empire. In A.D. 638 it was captured by the Arabs. Christian Crusaders held Hama briefly (1108), but in 1188 it was taken by SaladinSaladin
, Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?–1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent.
..... Click the link for more information.
, in whose family it remained until it passed to Egyptian MamlukMamluk
or Mameluke
[Arab.,=slaves], a warrior caste dominant in Egypt and influential in the Middle East for over 700 years. Islamic rulers created this warrior caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys and training them as cavalry soldiers especially loyal to their
..... Click the link for more information.
 control in 1299. An early Mamluk governor of Hama was Abu al-FidaAbu al-Fida
, 1273–1331, Arab historian, b. Damascus. He fought against the Christians in the last period of the Crusades and later became (1310) governor of Hama in Syria.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (reigned 1310–30), the historian and geographer. In the early 16th cent. the city came under the Ottoman Empire.

After World War I it was made part of the French Levant States League of Nations mandate, and in 1941 it became part of independent Syria. Political insurgency by Muslim groups beginning in the late 1970s culminated in an uprising in Hama against Hafez al-AssadAssad, Hafez al-
, 1930–2000, president of Syria (1971–2000). He graduated (1955) from the Syrian Military Academy and advanced through the army ranks to become a general.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in Feb., 1982. Government forces quelled the revolt but destroyed much of the city in the process; estimated deaths numbered more than 20,000. In 2011 the city again became the scene of ongoing antigovernment agitation, which was at times violently suppressed; during the subsequent civil war, the city and surrounding province were the site of fighting.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


a city in W Syria, on the Orontes River: an early Hittite settlement; famous for its huge water wheels, used for irrigation since the Middle Ages. Pop.: 439 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted battlefield sources as saying that the terrorist groups stationed in the demilitarized zone in Northern Syria launched rocket attacks on the Syrian Army's military points in Kharbeh al-Naqous and al-Hakoureh in Sahl al-Ghab in Northwestern Hama and violated the ceasefire for the third consecutive day.
SANA said Assad made the promise to establish the institution during a meeting with local figures from Hama earlier this month.
Abdallah said using tanks to attack Hama would "totally discredit" a promise by Assad to seek dialogue with his opponents.
Mr Temple told him that according to Hama, Banaz was killed at her family home in Mitch-am, south London.
The first shows people walking away from Hama, either past her or in front of her.
Led by the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army attacked a number of points under the control of Jaysh Al-Izza in northern Hama tonight.
The terrorist groups, stationed in Jabal Shahshabou in Northwestern Hama and near the Turkish-controlled areas, fired several rockets at Bashmala town in Northeastern Lattakia, killing and injuring four civilians, the Arabic-language SANA news agency reported.
SANA's reporter in Hama said terrorists located in the town of al-Habbit south of Idleb and the town of Kafrzeta in Hama's northwestern countryside fired rocket shells at the town of Karnaz, injuring six civilians and causing material damage to houses and properties.
Davutoglu, who held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, said that armoured vehicles and tanks of Syrian army were withdrawn from the city of Hama where the army has been launching assault for weeks.
said Thursday its envoy to Syria is in the besieged city of Hama to show solidarity with residents protesting against President Bashar Assad's regime, as protesters geared up for more demonstrations under the banner "No to dialogue."
Tanks were still surrounding Hama, days after it witnessed some of the biggest protests against Assad's rule since a 14-week uprising erupted in March.
The source said if the militants do not withdraw their forces, the Syrian Arab Army will resume their offensive to retake the entire northern part of the Hama Governorate.