Bab Tuma (Arabic,باب توما, meaning: "Saint Thomas’s Gate") is a borough of Old Damascus Syria and one of the gates in the historical walls of the city. It owes its name to Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
Famous residents included: Saint Paul the most notable of Early Christian missionaries (hence expressions such as “the road to Damascus experience”), Saint Thomas himself who after lending his name to the neighborhood went on to explore Afghanistan, Punjab and India, Saint Joseph of Damascus, Raphael Hawawini, the first Orthodox Bishop of New York (he was sent to the US in 1895 by the Tsar of Russia), and Syrian-born philosopher Michel Aflak, founder of the Ba'ath party.
In the 16th century, following the occupation of Antioch and Alexandretta by Turkish troops, the borough of Bab Tuma became the seat of the Greek-Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches for the Northern Levant (Syria, Lebanon and Southern Turkey).
By kkeps @ 2011-02-27 11:04:33