___ Syria (سورية)
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, many Syrian pages went off-line. Nevertheless this page attempts to give you
information on a country torn apart by an ongoing deadly conflict. See a list of the warring parties here.
Image: Bernard Gagnon
Middle East, with a coastline at the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, and it shares maritime borders with Cyprus.
Flag of Syria
The country occupies an area of 185,180 km², it is about twice the size of Portugal or slightly larger than U.S. state of North Dakota.
Syria has a population of 24 million people, capital city is Damascus, spoken languages are Arabic (official), English and French (widely understood), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic.
The country is home to a variety of ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Druze. Syria is a country with a predominantly Muslim population, 12% of Syrians are Alawite Shia and 74% Arab Sunni.
The Assad family who maintained power in the country for more than 45 years are Alawite, Hafez al-Assad strengthened loyalty to his regime by appointing many Alawites to senior positions, particularly in the numerous security services. The family also has long standing ties with Russia, Hafez al-Assad allied himself with the Soviet Union, and sought to lead an Arab coalition bent on the defeat of Israel.
Syrian Arab Republic | Suriyah
Syria was the site of various early civilizations, most notably that of the Phoenicians. Falling successively within the empires of Persia, Macedon, and Rome, it became a center of Islamic power and civilization from the 7th century and a province of the Ottoman Empire in 1516.
Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Syria was administered by the French until independence in 1946.
From 1958 to 1961, Syria was united with Egypt as the United Arab Republic, a Syrian coup in 1961 dissolved the union.
In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. Since 1976, Syrian troops have been stationed in Lebanon, ostensibly in a peacekeeping capacity.
President of the Syrian Arab Republic is Bashar al-Assad, he is also Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. Ba'athism calls for unification of the Arab world into a single state.
Bashar al-Assad became president after the death of his father Hafez al-Assad, who held office from 1970 until his death in 2000.
Influenced by major uprisings that began in Tunisia, antigovernment protests broke out first in the southern province of Dar'a in March 2011. Protesters calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. Demonstrations and violent unrest spread across Syria and led ultimately to a full-scale civil war, involving regional and international powers.
Syria is a member state of the League of Arab States
Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
local short form: Suriyah, Arabic: سورية Sūriyya
int'l long form: Syrian Arab Republic
int'l short form: Syria
formerly: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)
ISO Country Code: sy, syr
Actual Time: Thu-May-6 00:54
Local Time = UTC +2h
Summer (DST) April - October (UTC +3)
Country Calling Code: +963
Capital City: Damascus (Dimashq)
Aleppo (4.2 million), Homs (1.6 million), Hama (1.6 million), Lattakia (1 million)
Type: Republic, under Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party regimes since March 1963.
Independence: 17 April 1946.
Constitution: 12 March 1973.
Location:Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Area: 185,180 km² (71,504 sq. mi.), including 1 295 sq. km. of Israeli-occupied territory
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain with a double mountain belt in the west; large, semiarid and desert plateau to the east.
Climate: Mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast.
Population: 23 million (2015)
GNI per capita PPP: $ 3 871 (year)
Major ethnic groups: Arabs (90%), Kurds (9%), Armenians, Circassians, Turkomans
Religions: Sunni Muslims (74%), Alawis (12%), Christians (10%), Druze (3%), and small numbers of other Muslim sects, Jews, and Yazidis
Languages: Arabic (official), English and French (widely understood), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian
Literacy: 78% male, 51% female.
Petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower.
Agriculture products: Wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk.
Industries: Petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining.
Currency: Syrian Pound (SYP)
Syria in Figures
Syria key statistical data.
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of SyriaSyrian eGovernment
Syrian government online.
Official website of Syria's Parliament (in Arabic).
Syria Ministry of Tourism
Official site with general information on Syria.
Syrian Embassy in the US
The Embassy of Syria in Washington, D.C. is the suspended diplomatic mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United States.
List of diplomatic missions in Syria
Diplomatic missions in Syria. During the Syrian Uprising of 2011-2012, many have been closed, withdrawn their ambassadors, or temporarily relocated to Beirut.
Foreign Embassies in Syria
Address list of foreign embassies in Syria.
Central Bureau of Statistics
National Statistical Office of Syrian Arab Republic.
Syria in Figures
Syria key statistical data.
Map of Syria
Political Map of Syria.
Topographic Map of Syria
Shaded relief map showing Syria's topographic features.
Google Earth Syria
Searchable map/satellite view of Syria.
Google Earth Damascus
Searchable map/satellite view of Syria's capital city.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.
Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Image: Freedom House
Syria never had a free press but now it has become the world’s deadliest country for journalists. After the start of the Syrian uprising, citizen-journalists created new media outlets to shed light on the various aspects of the war. Professional and citizen-journalists alike are now caught between the various parties to the conflict – both the regime and its allies and the various armed opposition groups including the Kurds and Jihadi fighters such as Islamic State. (Source: RSF)
Syrian Newspaper (in Arabic)
Government-owned daily (in Arabic)
A private news agency with news in Arabic.
Syrian Arab News Agency.
Monthly magazine (offline).
A government-owned daily (offline).
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Business & EconomySyria's economy continues to deteriorate amid the ongoing conflict, declining by 62% from 2010 to 2014. The government has struggled to address the effects of international sanctions, widespread infrastructure damage, diminished domestic consumption and production, reduced subsidies, and high inflation (over 38%). More than 80% of the population live below poverty line, the unemployment rate is more than 50%.
Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade
Official website of the ministry.
Federation of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce
Federation comprising 14 Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Syria.
Syrian Enterprise & Business Centre (SEBC)
Syrian-European Business Center.
Central Bank of Syria (dead link)
Official website of Central Bank of Syria.
Syrian Arab Airlines, operating as Syrian Air, is the flag carrier of Syria. The airline still operates scheduled services to various destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North Africa, but the number of flights operated has seriously declined since 2011.
Image: Arian Zwegers
General Information on Syria, the official travel and tourism guide. (in Arabic only)
A guide to Damascus one of the oldest city in the world.
Weblog of a Syrian Diplomat in America
The journal of Imad Moustapha, Syria's envoy to the US.
Cyrrhus Travel & Tourism
Tour operator for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan based in Damascus, Syria.
A Guide to the Major Warring Parties in Syria
Voa News article about the various 'special interest groups' in Syria.
Image: Fathi Nezam, Tasnim News Agency
University of Aleppo is a public university located in Aleppo, second largest city in Syria. It is the second largest university in Syria after the University of Damascus (university website in Arabic).
Information on the largest and oldest University in Syria, established in 1903, it has campuses in several other Syrian cities.
The University consists of several faculties, higher institutes, intermediate institutes and a Faculty of Dentistry. There is an institution specialized in teaching the Arabic language to foreigners, which is the largest institution of its kind in the Arab world.
Environment & Nature
Modernisation Programme for the Syrian Water Sector - GIZ (dead link)
The primary objective of the Syrian-German water programme is to support the institutions of the water sector in their endeavour to improve the organizational and institutional framework conditions in order to achieve a sustainable and fair coverage of water demand for the various user groups.
You can download the document provided the EU MIRA Project.
Outline of Syria's History, from the time of Greater Syria until Syria today.
New York Times comprehensive article about Hafez al-Assad, controversial President of Syria from 1971 to 2000 and father of Bashar al-Assad, the current President of Syria.
A Syrian website documenting the recent history of Syria, from 1900 to 2000, by Sami Moubayed.
History of Syria
Wikipedia: History of Syria.
Sources and additional Information on Syria
BBC News Country Profile: Syria
Library of Congress: SYRIA - A Country Study
Amnesty International: Syria
The Heritage Foundation: Syria
Human Rights Watch: Syria
Reporters Without Borders: Syria
The World Factbook -- Syria
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