The labyrinthine bazaar and dusty back streets of this metropolis of some 2 millions inhabitants delivers a flavor of the medieval Middle East. The city predates medieval times by many thousands of years, originating around 3500 BC under the Hurri people. According to tradition, Abraham was living here before he left for Canaan: the Cave of Abraham, his reputed birthplace, a place of pilgrimage for Muslims and other believers. Sanliurfa’s top sight is the Pools of Abraham, full of sacred carp and flanked by bone-white mosques – a scene straight out of the classic story Arabian Nights.
According to the Bible, Abraham also visited the village of Harran, south near the Syrian border. Its mud-bricks, houses are considered to have changed little during the settlement’s 6,000 years of history and it’s one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements. Most of the bee-hive houses are being used and a few used as storerooms and animal pens.