03-Feb-2004 -- During our extended `Īdu-l-Aḍḥā holidays of January/February 2004 to Syria, we combined the on-road tour of the archaeologically and culturally rich country with visits to six Confluences (33N 36E, 34N 37E, 36N 39E, 36N 38E, 36N 37E and 35N 37E).
After the successful visit to confluence 36N 38E, we had arrived at late afternoon in Aleppo and stayed at the wonderful Beit Wakil Hotel in the old al-Judayda area. We spent two wonderful days in Aleppo, exploring its amazing citadel, souks and the old alleys.
We left Aleppo early on the 3rd February on a clear day, heading south on the highway towards Ḥamā, and about 30 km on, where we turned off to get to Qinnasrīn. The Confluence was very close to this village. We followed tracks around the houses until we came to a green and rocky hill on which was a Bedouin camp, and in the distance several sheep. Also we noticed what appeared to be caves in the hills. We parked our vehicle at the edge of the hill and walked the few meters uphill amid the howling of the sheep dogs (warning of intruders in their territory!) until the Confluence was reached.
Afterwards, we met Ḥamīd, and his family who invited us for a lovely tea and then showed us ancient Byzantine ruins around the hill with water cisterns and temples. We were totally awed by the discovery, since this has not being documented anywhere to our knowledge. We departed our newly made friends with warm feeling. The successful achievement of the Confluence seemed to fade into insignificance against the power of warmth and friendship extended by Ḥamīd and his family who live by in harsh conditions.
Our next and final Confluence visit in Syria was to be to 35N 37E, which was near the city of Ḥamā.