As a Hebrew Bible Scholar, I am of course drawn to ancient places, preferably places that are more than 2,000 years old. Thus, I became more than a little excited when I found that one can visit Harran. It is believed that Harran is where Abraham’s family settled for some time (his father, Terah actually settled them there and then Abraham left to go to Canaan). See Genesis 11:31-12:4 if you care to.
Supposedly, when you visit modern day Harran, you can see the archaeological evidence of what was a major city that was first settled in the 3rd Millenium BCE. That’s old. That’s REALLY old. When you visit, you can see the traditional beehive style adobe houses that would’ve kept the locals cool in a very very hot area of the world. It’s likely that Abraham’s family lived in a house like these.
Here’s a great site with some general information about Harran.
So here I am, getting all excited thinking, “I can go to where Abraham was!” Then I start to get suspicious….”hmmm, where exactly IS Harran?” I know it’s not too far from Istanbul because it’s listed as one of the “off the beaten path” places to visit.
Alas. Harran is about 25 km from Syria.
BUMMER. You see my dilemma, right? Probably NOT the best time to be considering a trip that close to a country in such distress.
It’s also hard to know if I’m being overly cautious. What are your thoughts? Am I right for thinking that a trip to Harran is probably not a good idea?
But look at how cool it is!!!