In this town there are many men of goodwill who are just and kind to strangers. The people of the villages are the same… and in this they display a hereditary instinct towards generosity.
—Ibn Jubayr, visiting Harran in 1184 AD
Harran is where Abraham settled along with his wife Sarah and his father, and where he received his call to leave everything behind. Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you, the Bible reads in Genesis. In Hebrew, God’s call to Abraham is Lech Lecha, which can be translated as “go find yourself”.
Located south of Urfa and north of the border with Syria, Harran is still a place of crossroads today. Its rich history is reflected in the magnificent ruins of the Harran’s Great Mosque and University, the enigmatic pagan site of Sogmatar and the biblical city of Shuayb Seri.
The Abraham Path in the Harran region (Turkey) is has not been thoroughly researched yet and is in a preliminary stage of development. Read about an exploratory trip in this region here. While this website does not yet have detailed stage maps, information is available about transportation, accommodations and tours in the Harran region. Travelers along this section of the Abraham Path are advised to be in contact with Nomad Tours, as there are many sections of the trail without services (shops, hotels, supplies) along the way.
Independent travelers can reach Harran by minibus from Urfa. Visiting sites further to the east like Sogmatar, Shueyib Sehir, Khan el-Barur require an organized tour or rental car. Contact Nomad Tours for details.
Tentative Stages (contact Nomad Tours for tour details)
Stage 1: Kisas to Senocak
Stage 2: Senocak to Karahantepe
Stage 3: Karahantepe to Sogmatar
Stage 4: Sogmatar to Suayib
Stage 5: Suayib to Bazda Caves
Stage 6: Bazda Caves to Harran
Deep in the dust of the uninhabited wilderness, a prosperous caravan city rose up, appearing like a mirage to early travelers like Abraham and Sarah. They made their home in Harran, which would become a world-renowned center for religion and learning.
When the classical academies at Athens and Alexandria were closed down under Christian rule, Harran’s world famous center of learning became a refuge for scholars from across the ancient world with over 8,000 students gathering here.
Suayb Sehri, a former Roman town, is revered as the dwelling place of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. It is here that Moses met his wife, Zipporah, and received the staff with which he would part the Red Sea.