Ar Raqqah (är räkˈkä) [key] or El Rashid ĕl räshēdˈ, town (1995 est. pop. 120,000), capital of Ar Raqqah governorate, N Syria, on the Euphrates River. Carpets are manufactured, and the town has an agricultural experimental station. The ancient Nicephorium, Ar Raqqah was prominent during the early Abbasid caliphate. Caliph Harun ar-Rashid built a summer palace there and used the town as military headquarters against Byzantium. Ar Raqqah was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th cent.; some ruins remain. The modern name also appears as Raqqa and Rakka.