But Naaman was indignant at the suggestion, saying, according to 2 Kings, 5:12, "Surely Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than any water in Israel? Could I not bathe in them and become clean?"
The Abana river Naaman refers to is, today, most likely the Barada River, which takes its source some 29 km (18 miles) northwest of Damascus, in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, ending in the marshy lake of Bahret-el-Kibliyeh, 29 km to the east of the Syrian capital. The river enabled this most ancient of cities to thrive and slake its thirst throughout the centuries, lending credence to Naaman's biblical boasts.
But the boasts no longer hold up as they did: the Abana/Barada is a dried out ribbon ravaged by drought and overuse as developments have taken their toll.