Maarat al-Numaan, is a city in northwestern Syria with a population of about 58,008 (2004 census). It is located at the highway between Aleppo and Hama and near the Dead Cities of Bara and Serjilla. The city, known as Arra to the Greeks and Marre to the Crusaders, has its present-day name combined of the traditional name and of its first Muslim governor an-Nu'man ibn Bashir, a companion of Muhammad.
Today the city has a museum with mosaics from the Dead Cities, the Great Mosque of Maarrat al-Numan, a madrassa built by Abu al-Farawis from 1199 and remains of the medieval citadel. The city is also a birthplace of the poet Abu al-Ala al-Maari (973 - 1057).
The town was the focus of intense protests against the regime of President Bashir Al-Assad with a number of people killed on 2 June 2011