Hama (Arabic: am [ama], Biblical amth, English: Fortress) is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate.
Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syriabehind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homswith a population of 696,863 (2009). The modern city is placed at the location of the historical city Hamath. The city is renowned for its 17 norias used for watering the gardens, whichit is claimeddate back to 1100 BC. Though historically used for purpose of irrigation, the norias exist today as an almost entirely aesthetic traditional show. In the last decades, the city of Hama has become known as a center of the anti-Ba'ath opposition in Syria, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. The city was raided by the Syrian Army, beginning with the 1964 Islamic uprising, and becoming the scene of carnage during the Islamic uprising in Syria in April 1981 and especially in 1982, when some 25,000 people were killed in what became known as Hama massacre. The city was once again besieged by the Syrian military, as one of the main arenas of the 2011 popular uprising.