Syria is a country in the Middle East, the west part of Asia. It borders (from south to north) on Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. Its western part faces the Mediterranean Sea. Its eastern and northern parts are mountainous.
Syrian Arab Republic
ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ (Arabic)
al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah
|Motto: وَحْدَةٌ ، حُرِّيَّةٌ ، اِشْتِرَاكِيَّةٌ|
Waḥdah, Ḥurrīyah, Ishtirākīyah
("Unity, Freedom, Socialism")
|Anthem: حُمَاةَ الدِّيَارِ|
("Guardians of the Homeland")
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary dominant-party semi-presidential Ba’athist republic under an authoritarian hereditary dictatorship|
|8 March 1920|
|1 December 1924|
|14 May 1930|
• De jure Independence
|24 October 1945|
• De facto Independence
|17 April 1946|
• Left the United Arab Republic
|28 September 1961|
|8 March 1963|
|27 February 2012|
|185,180 km2 (71,500 sq mi) (87th)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
• 2010 census
|118.3/km2 (306.4/sq mi) (70th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|$24.6 billion (167)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2019)|| 0.567|
medium · 151st
|Currency||Syrian pound (SYP)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
• Summer (DST)
|ISO 3166 code||SY|
Syria has a very long history. It was a land of Phoenicians. Later it became part of the Achaemenid Empire, Roman Empire, and then the Eastern Roman Empire. In those days people spoke the Syriac language. The city Antioch was great and one of the important cities in Christendom. The Umayyad Caliphate took control of Syria in the 7th century. In this Arab Empire people began to speak the Arabic language. Today most Syrian people believe in Islam but there are still Christians too.
When World War I started, the Ottoman Empire ruled Syria and many other places. When it ended, France controlled Lebanon and Syria. Britain had Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. They drew a border between Iraq and Syria in 1920. France controlled Syria until 1946 when Syria became its own country.
It is also known as Western Kurdistan.
Syria is between latitudes 32° and 38° N, and longitudes 35° and 43° E. It is mostly arid plateau. The area bordering the Mediterranean is fairly green. The Euphrates, Syria's most important river, crosses the country in the east.
The climate in Syria is dry and hot. Winters are mild.
Politics and governmentEdit
Syria is a republic. The old Constitution of Syria was started on 13 March 1971. It made Syria as a secular socialist state. Islam was the majority religion. A new constitution has been in place since 2012.
Branches of governmentEdit
The executive branch is the president, two vice presidents, the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The constitution says the president must be a Muslim. It does not make Islam the state religion. According to the 2012 constitution, the president is elected by the Syrian people in a direct election.
Syria's human rights are among the worst in the world, according to human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch. The authorities arrest democracy and human rights activists, censor websites, detain bloggers, and have travel bans.
Syria has fourteen Governorates, or muhafazat. The governorates are divided into sixty districts. The governorates are:
- Al Hasakah
- Al Ladhiqiyah
- Al Qunaytirah
- Ar Raqqah
- As Suwayda
- Dayr az Zawr
- Rif Dimashq
The President of Syria is commander in chief of the Syrian armed forces. There are about 400,000 troops. Ethnic Kurds have their own army called YPG. The Males must go in the military when they are age 18.
Syria is a middle-income country. The economy is based on agriculture, oil, industry, and tourism.
Syria has three international airports (Damascus, Aleppo and Lattakia). They are hubs for Syrian Air. Foreign airlines also fly to them. Most Syrian cargo is carried by Chemins de Fer Syriens, the Syrian railway company.
|Population in Syria|
|Source: OECD/World Bank/UNO|
Most people live in the Euphrates valley and along the coastal plain, a fertile strip between the coastal mountains and the desert.
Education is free from ages 6 to 12. All children this age must attend school.
The most popular sports in Syria are football, basketball, swimming, and tennis. Damascus was home to the fifth and seventh Pan Arab Games. Many popular football teams are based in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Latakia.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide about: Syria|
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