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Full nameHoms
Official nameHoms
Native nameحمص
Other name 
GovernorateHoms Governorate
DistrictHoms District
Settled2000 BC
GovernorGhassan Mustafa Abdul-Aal
President of City CouncilNadia Kseibi
Total Area18.5 sq mi (48 km2)
Urban Area29.3 sq mi (76 km2)
Metro Area40.1 sq mi (104 km2)
Elevation1643.7 ft (501 m)
Total Population720000 (2009)
Metro (pop.)1250650
Other information
Time zoneEET (UTC+3)
- Summer (DST)EEST (UTC+2)
Area code31|31

     Home | City | Homs

Homs ( ), previously known as Emesa (Greek: Ἔμεσα, Emesa), is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is 501 m (1643.7 ft) above sea level and is located 162 km (100.7 mi) north of Damascus. Located on the Orontes River, Homs is also the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast.

Homs did not emerge into the light of history until the first century BC at the time of the Seleucids. It later became the capital of a kingdom ruled by the Emesani dynasty who gave the city its name. Originally a pagan center of worship for the sun god El-Gabal, it later gained importance in Christianity under the Byzantines. Homs was conquered by the Muslims in the seventh century and made capital of a district that bore its current name. Throughout the Islamic era, Muslim dynasties contending for control of Syria sought after Homs due to the city's strategic position in the area. Homs began to decline under the Ottomans and only in the 19th century did the city regain its economic importance when its cotton industry boomed.

Today, Homs is a major industrial center, and with a population of 1.5 million people said to be descendents of Banu Kalb tribe, it is the third largest city in Syria after Aleppo to the north and the capital Damascus to the south. Its population reflects Syria's general religious diversity, composed mostly of Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims and an important minority of alawi Muslims with a Christian minority. The city boasts a number of historic mosques and churches and is close to the Krak des Chevaliers, a world heritage site.

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