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History & Heritage


Oldest cities in the world that are located in Arab countries

Some of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet are to be found in Arab countries. Here are a few of them.

Damascus, Syria

Recognized as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Damascus holds a history that stretches across several millennia. This ancient city showcases a diverse array of architectural styles and historical sites, each marking the influence of different cultures and civilizations that passed through or settled in the region, from Prehistoric, Roman, Greek, and Islamic influences.


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Jericho, Palestine

Often cited as one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Jericho’s history is incredibly deep, dating back over 10,000 years. This long timeline is reflected in its rich archaeological history. The most notable findings include ancient walls and towers, which provide a glimpse into the city’s ancient urban planning and defense mechanisms. These remnants are crucial in understanding early human settlements and the evolution of urban living during the Neolithic revolution.

Byblos, Lebanon

Considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities, Byblos has a history closely linked with the Phoenician civilization. The city is famed for its ancient port, which was a significant hub in the Phoenician trade network. Byblos houses ancient Phoenician temples but also Roman ruins.


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Sidon, Lebanon

As an ancient Phoenician city, Sidon has been inhabited since the earliest periods of history. It was a crucial center for sea trade and culture in the ancient world. Today, Sidon is known for its historic structures such as castles, ancient churches, and old souks (markets).


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Luxor, Egypt

Formerly known as Thebes in ancient times, Luxor is often referred to as the world’s greatest open-air museum. The city is home to some of the most significant ancient Egyptian monuments, including the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Karnak, and the Luxor Temple.


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See also

5 of the largest museums in the Arab world

Published on 9 January 2024

#Arab world