As one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, the Omayyad
Mosque was selected as the beneficiary of this initiative in Syria as it is also widely considered the fourth holiest place in Islam and a destination for thousands of worshippers and tourists everyday.
Once the legendary dynasty of the Omayyads
had chosen Damascus as its capital in the 7th century, the Syrian city acquired a fabulous reputation.
Mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most beautiful and precious Mosques in the Muslim world.
Syrian sights: Krak des Chevalier crusader castle (left) and Omayyad
Overarching this goal of an Islamic Palestine was the eventual creation of a pan-Islamic empire, similar to that of the seventh century Omayyad
The President reportedly said that some of the Prophet Mohammed's disciples acted wrongly when they sided with one of the Omayyad
Caliphate leaders against Imam Ali after the death of Prophet Mohammed.
"Women, veiled or otherwise, come here to buy -- and so do men," lingerie seller Samer said at his colorful stall on the way to the celebrated Omayyad
The Pirqe De Rabbi Eliezer, composed in the land of Israel circa 725 CE, during the closing days of the Omayyad
dynasty, even contains Arab legends.
But even then, Ali's accession was opposed by many Quraishis, including Mu'awiya (who was later to found the Omayyad
Other examples of actions speaking louder than words might include the pope's respectful, prayerful visit to the Grand Omayyad
Mosque in Damascus in May 2001, not long after the Vatican document Dominus Iesus had asserted that non-Catholics are in a "gravely deficient situation"; or his March 2000 visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem amid acrimonious debates between Jews and Catholics.
In a decisive battle at Karbala [680 A.D./C.E.], the Omayyad
dynasty defeated and killed the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein to secure the leadership of the Muslim community.
he will appear on the third minaret of the Omayyad