Mount Legends

Kassioun is a 1200-high mount that overlooks Damascus and dominates its skyline. On its slopes are some of Damascus' main residential quarters: Mohajireen, Salhieh and Barzeh. The ridge at its summit is lined with cafes and restaurants that provide a wonderful view of Damascus. Kassioun has always been a source of pride and legends for the people of Damascus. Damascenes believe that it is where Cain slew his brother Abel, and where prophet Mohamad (PBUH) caught his first sight of the beautiful city. Some claim that it was the resting place of Noah's Arc. Another common belief is that the cave mentioned in the Quranic story "Fellows of the Cave" (the same Christian legend of the Seven Sleepers, who escape prosecution of Decius by hiding in a cave; they are sealed in and emerge alive 200 years later) is actually in Mount Kassioun. Some Damascenes believe that Kassioun was where Prophet Yahia (St. John) and later Jesus (PBUH) and his mother sought refuge from the oppression of the Jews. Others say that Abraham (PBUH) was born on the mount's western slopes. Some of these legends are obviously false (especially the one about Jesus and Mary!), but to some proud Damascenes, they are firm believes that cannot be challenged.

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