The claimed borders of the City of Raqqa

Myriam Ababsa – a présenté une communication intitulée  The claimed borders of the City of Raqqa (1919-1921, 2013, 2014-2016) au colloque international « Frontières et reconfigurations territoriales au Moyen Orient et au Sahel » – 30 & 31 janvier 2017, Assouan, Egypte.

Le programme ANR Lajeh était partenaire de ce colloque.



The Syrian city of Raqqa has become famous since the Islamic State declared the Caliphate within its boundaries in June 2014. The EI started to reorganize the economy of the city, controlling Syria’s majority of silos and oil road. Several tolls have been created in order for the state to obtain income sources and mark its boundaries. The thousands of IDPs who came from Aleppo, Homs and Idlib became stuck in Raqqa. What is less known, is that the city freed itself from the Syrian regime in March 2013, with a coaltion of Free Syrian Army affiliates and independent Islamist katibat grouped in the Raqqa Liberation Front Jabhat Tahrir al-Raqqa, created in December 2012. A local council was created and managed to reorganize the municipal services, and edited municipal liflets. The Union of Free students expressed their joy of being the first free city of Syria. The intellectuals then took pride in the fact that the city was the only free Arab city in Faysal short-lived empire, from 1919 until decembre 1921, when the French Army took the city back. Before this period, Raqqa was for eight years the capital of the Abbassid Empire (8th Century).
The aim of the papers is to delineate the claimed borders of the City of Raqqa over the past century. I use original material published in Arabic by Raqqawi intellectuals and journalists, available via Facebook accounts.