Syria is a country situated in Southwest Asia, which served a French mandate before gaining independence, in 1946. It stands bordered by Lebanon, the Mediterranean Sea and the island of Cyprus in the west, Israel in the southwest, Jordan in the south, Iraq in the east and Turkey in the north. Geographically, the country can be divided into four main areas - the fertile plain in the northeast, the plateau, coastal and mountain areas in the west, the central plains and the desert and steppe region in the central and southeastern areas. Majority of the people here live either near the coast or near the Euphrates River. In the following lines, we have provided more information on Syria.
Fun & Interesting Facts about Syria
- The official name of Syria is ‘Syrian Arab Republic’.
- The official language of SyriaisArabic. Apart from that, Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian and French are also spoken there.
- Majority of the people in Syriaare Sunni Muslims, followed by Ismailis, Shiites, Alawite and other Muslim factions, Christians and Druze.
- The main ethnic groups in Syriainclude Arab, Kurd, Armenian, Turkmen, Circassian, Assyrian and Palestinian.
- The currency of Syriais Syrian Pound.
- The capital of Syriais Damascus.
- Syriafollows the system of ‘Presidential Republic’ (single-party state).
- Syria gained independence from French control, on 17th April 1946.
- In the past, Damascus served as the seat of the Umayyad Empire and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire.
- Since 1963, Syria has been governed by the Baath Party and since 1970; a member of the Assad family has served as the head of the state.
- The ancient city of Ebla was the venue of the excavation in which Clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, an early form of writing, were found.
- The ancient city of Ugarit (Ras Shamra) was discovered in 1929, while that of Mari was excavated in 1932.
- Ugarit is the place where the oldest alphabet of the world is believed to have originated.
- The citadel of the city of Aleppo is said to be as much as five thousand years old.
- Syria still has remnants of the major roads that were used over four thousand years ago, for connecting Aleppo (Syria) and Ninevah (Iraq).
- Palmyra, known as the ‘City of Palm Trees, has its inhabitation dating back to the Neolithic times.
- Damascus has been inhabited for over four thousand years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world.
- Lattakia, a port in Syria, is believed to be in existence since 400 BC.
- In ancient times Syria used to be a part of the area that is known as the Fertile Crescent.
- It was on the road to Damascus that St. Paul is said to have received a vision, after which he converted from Judaism to Christianity.
- The Roman amphitheatre in Bosra plays host to the Bosra Festival, which is organized every year, in September.
- Bosra was the first city in Syria to convert to Islam.
- Syria remained under Ottoman rule, right from 1516 to the First World War (1914-1918).
- After the end of First World War, Syria came under a League of Nations and became a French Mandate.