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Historical Facts

Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan

Making History from Damascus

Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan was a member of “Banu Umayya”, a branch of the “Quraish” Arab tribe that ruled Mecca at the time of Prophet Mouhamad.

Having opposed the Prophet and the religion of Islam initially, “Banu Umayya” eventually accepted the new religion and were instrumental in its spreading.

After the taking of Damascus by the Muslim Arab tribesmen and the expulsion of the Byzantines, Muawiya was appointed as the governor of Syria in the middle of the 7th century.

His wise rule earned him the respect and loyalty of the indigenous Christian Syrians who made up the core of the army that went on to establish the Umayyad Empire.

Saidnaya Convent

Saidnaya Convent

The synergy between the Muslim Umayyad rules and the indigenous Christian population of Syria under Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan produced the largest empire the world has ever seen. This unique relationship can be witnesses first hand today in the convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya, 25km to the north of Damascus, where Muslim and Christian pilgrims can be seen praying together.