al-Naurah al-Muhammadiyah is one of a number of famous Naurahs (pl. Nawair) that have been present in northern Syria for centuries. Mention of them first appeared in Vitruvius, De Architectura, Book 10, Ch. 5.;1 however, more frequent mention of them occur within Islamic texts, due to their extensive use within the Islamicate world. The al-Muhammadiyah dates back to the 14th century.
Naurahs were present from Islamic Spain (al-Andalus) to Iran and were used to irrigate lands or supply drinking water via aqueducts to towns and cities.The Naurahs of Hamah, Syria, of which the al-Muhammadiyah is one, are very famous till today in the region. They are popular among tourists, as well as to the many old and new emigrants who return home.
This image appeared in the first issue of al-Funun and undeniably represents Nasibs attempt to appeal to his readers sense of nostalgia for their homeland. It provides an interesting vignette of the Arab-American community of Nasibs time, since its inclusion implies that there was a significant number of Syrians from northern Syria resident in the United States who would appreciate this images inclusion in the journal.
1 See Encyclopaedia of Islam, Naura, CD-ROM Edition.
Go to Top of Page | Home Page | al-Funun | Image Directory |