After Harun al-Rashid’s death in 192 / 809 the government returned to Baghdad, but the city of al-Raqqa remained important, being in a strategic position on the doorstep of the Byzantine Empire. It became the governor’s seat for the region of al-Jazira – between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris in northeastern Syria and northwestern Iraq. During the time of Caliph
a-Mu‘tasim – the builder of the city of Samarra in Iraq – al-Raqqa witnessed a new era of restoration and construction, with architecture that was very much influenced by the architectural and decorative schemes of Samarra. Al-Raqqa’s own glass and ceramics industries also flourished during this period, influenced by contemporary ceramics produced in Damascus and various cities of Iraq.