Barada River

The Barada rises in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, rushes 37km down the slope and fans out into six main streams to irrigate the arid plateau region east of Damascus where it creates the Ghuta oasis. It flows 84 km through Damascus to lake al Atiba southeast of the city.

This lush green area of around 370 km sq, has enabled
Damascus to prosper since ancient times. Centuries of visitors, from the early Arab geographers to European merchants and travelers, have honored Damascus as the “Garden of the world”. Until the early 20th century, Damascenes believed the water of the Barada could cure leprosy.

References: Philip K. Hitti, Capital Cities of Arab Islam, University of Minnesota, 1973. Aramco World, March-April 1991; http://www.britannica.com/; http://www.cimiwetlands.net/doclib/CIMI_TechReport_3.PDF