We are here at a rather modern Shiite mosque, that has been extended recently and is dedicated to Say’yeda Roqayya. She was (I quote somewhat condensed from a leaflet handed out at the shrine) “daughter of Imam al’Husain, a grandson of Prohet Muhammad. Say’yeda is a title (lady) given to a female who is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. She was only four years old when she met her untimely death in the year 680 AD, affected by the inhuman treatment from those who were holding authority by force at that time, namely Yazid and his followers. She was the youngest of four daughters of Imam al-Husain. [….] Imam al-Husain and his followers were forced to go to a faraway place in Iraq, called Karbala, where on the tenth day of Muharram, AD 680 and after being besieged for three days […] Imam al-Husain with 72 of his most faithful followers were driven to death and forced to battle (note the hysteron proteron – D.O.). His head was cut off. “ The story then tells how Roqayya was brought to Damascus, and, since she would not stop crying and asking for her father (she had been told he was away on a trip), was shown the cut of head. She swooned, her heart gave out and she died with her body covering the head of the father. She was buried on the spot. In 1863 her tomb was about to collapse and opened up before starting restoration. The body was fresh and had never decayed.
The mosque we see now was “renewed and expanded to its present state and ornamented in 1985”. It has low domes covered, as are the walls, in some mosaic that reminded me strongly of Iznik tiles, but first cut in pieces and then reassembled. In some parts lots of mirrors reflect the light. The tomb is now in a fine construction of what seems to be gold-covered metal and some great enameled parts. Prayer goes on all the time, yet the place is very relaxed and welcoming, people are most friendly. It is within a short walk from the Umayyad mosque, don’t miss either of them.