Aleppo, Syria

 

 

Syria has been at war since March 15, 2011. The city of Aleppo in Northern Syria has been almost devastated in the next almost 6 years. The images of the city below shows what it was before the civil war started. Towards the end of this page there are some very sobering and sad images of a once great Middle Eastern city.

Government forces retook the city at the end of December 2016.

View from the Citadel
View from the Citadel
1936
1936

The first time Meher Baba came to Syria was in late October 1936 when he travelled by train from Baghdad, Iraq to Constantinople ( Istanbul ). Aleppo was about half way between these two centres, hence, it was made into a railway hub by the Turks ( built by the Germans ) who had administrated this entire region for a long time till the end of WW 1. There's no information how long Baba and his 2 companions stayed. Because of the long distance from the Iraqi border and the very long journey to Istanbul, the train would have needed several hours at least or leave the following day after getting re-supplied.

 

There are no know images of Meher Baba for the whole of this journey from Bombay to London. This was his 9th visit to the West.

 

Contents :

Aleppo Railway Station

October 1936

Maps of Aleppo

Before the Civil War

Railway Maps of the Journey

Old Aleppo

War in Aleppo

 

 

Aleppo Citadel
Aleppo Citadel

CLICK ON THE UNDER-LINED NAMES TO VISIT THOSE PAGES ON THIS WEB SITE.

 

 

October 1936

On Monday, 19 October 1936, Adi Sr. drove Baba to Bombay, and the next evening at 9:00 P.M., accompanied by only Kaka and Chanji, Baba boarded the Kathiawar Mail train for Karachi. (There were Hindu-Muslim communal riots in Bombay, prior to Baba's departure.) Reaching Karachi two days later, Baba met Pilamai and her family, and his maternal aunt Banu Masi and her family.

Baba and the mandali left Karachi on the 24th on the 24-seat Imperial Airways Hadrian biplane.  It was his ninth foreign journey. Baba's first international air travel proved distressing for Kaka and Chanji who suffered from headaches and vomited during the flight, due to severe turbulence from Bahrain, Kuwait to Basra. ( Then flew to Baghdad )

Arriving in Baghdad on the evening of Sunday, 25 October, Baba and the mandali checked into a hotel. The next day they took a tour of Baghdad. On the 27th, Baba visited the shrine of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Gilani — a Sufi Perfect Master of his time.  Baba remained in the Muslim tomb for some time, but made no comment on his work.

News was given to them at the Baghdad train station that there was a breach on the railway line at the crossing of the Turkish border, with no definite information as to when the line would be repaired and ready for travel. This report was, at first, vexing because Baba had planned to proceed to England from Iraq by train.

 

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1739

Imperial Airways "Hadrian" ; Handley-Page HP42 plane. Rego #  G-AAUE
Imperial Airways "Hadrian" ; Handley-Page HP42 plane. Rego # G-AAUE
Ghaus-ul-Azam Sayed Abdul Qadir Jilani Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq
Ghaus-ul-Azam Sayed Abdul Qadir Jilani Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq

Baba was also feeling ill; his eyes had become swollen and he had severe pain in his molar teeth.

In spite of his failing health, on the 27th October Baba arranged for a large amount of cooked food to be purchased and fed 100 of the city's beggars, serving the food with his own hands. At one point, he remarked, "By my coming here, the link with Rahuri is snapped, and to re-establish this link, I am feeding these poor persons." Before starting their journey, Baba had expressed his desire to feed and, if possible, bathe a number of poor and crippled persons in Baghdad. Now, due to being detained by the breach in the railway line, he was able to do his work with the destitute.

Baba's health had become so serious that he considered canceling his planned visit to England and sending for Kitty Davy from London to convey to her all the instructions for his lovers there. Telegrams were exchanged with the Western group, but Baba then dismissed that idea and decided to proceed to London, although his stay was to be drastically curtailed to only three days.

Baba left Baghdad by the Taurus Express train on Wednesday, 28 October 1936, at nine that evening. From Kirkuk he went to Mosul by taxi and then on to Tell Kotchek by train. While traveling, Chanji would read aloud the manuscript of Baba's biography, The Perfect Master, recently completed by Charles Purdom. They also discussed Baba's schedule in London.

 

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1740

 

NOTE : "The Perfect Master" by C.B. PURDOM was published and printed in 1937.

 

 THE PERFECT MASTER  The Life of Shri Meher Baba     Charles B. Purdom     1937    1st Printing : Hardcover  Published by ; Williams & Norgate Ltd  Great Russell  Street, London.  Printed by ; Unwin Bros. Ltd.  330 pp.
THE PERFECT MASTER The Life of Shri Meher Baba Charles B. Purdom 1937 1st Printing : Hardcover Published by ; Williams & Norgate Ltd Great Russell Street, London. Printed by ; Unwin Bros. Ltd. 330 pp.
1930s : Taurus Express train that travelled from Baghdad to Istanbul in  Turkey.
1930s : Taurus Express train that travelled from Baghdad to Istanbul in Turkey.
Aleppo Railway Station
Aleppo Railway Station

continued....

 

At one point, Chanji read out this quote from the manuscript, given by Baba in 1927:

The worries and troubles of the world are all due to "thinking." Soon I shall take this thinking upon myself, when my health will, most probably, be seriously affected. This is essential for my future working which will affect the whole world.  

Baba commented: "That time referred to is now. My health is suffering so much." Baba was eating only one meal a day of bread, butter and cheese, and his health was obviously worsening. He complained that his molars continued to cause him much pain, and he developed a boil on the tip of his nose.

Traveling through Turkey, the train stopped in Konya. A few miles from the station is the tomb of one of Baba's favorite poets — Maulana Rumi. Konya is a sacred place to Sufis, because it is where Rumi resided.

 

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1740

Aleppo Railway Station

ALLEPO  RAILWAY STATION, SYRIA
ALLEPO RAILWAY STATION, SYRIA

 

The following links to other pages on this web site show the original articles this Webmaster attempted at these journeys in the mid-1980s, before computers and the"Lord Meher" books.

 

http://www.meherbabatravels.com/newsletter-articles/first-air-flight-trip-to-iraq-turkey-oct-1936/

http://www.meherbabatravels.com/newsletter-articles/trip-to-konya-turkey-1936/

Click on the following buttons to see more detail on other aspects of this journey.

Maps of Aleppo

Before the Civil War

Railway Maps of the Journey

Old Aleppo

Old Aleppo
Old Aleppo

War in Aleppo

2014
2014