Syria










 

Syria - Click here for Terms & Conditions

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***
Coral

 

On Demand

****
Pearl

 

On Demad

*****
Diamond

 

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About Syria

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Israel to the southwest, Jordan to the south, Iraq to the east, and Turkey to the north.

The name Syria formerly comprised the entire region of the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the site of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the third millennium BC. In the Islamic era, its capital city, Damascus, was the seat of the Umayyad Empire and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire. Damascus is widely regarded as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Today's Syria was created as a French mandate and attained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic. The post-independence period was rocky, and a large number of military coups and coup attempt shook the country in the period 1949-1970. Syria has been under Emergency Law since 1962, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. The country has been governed by the Baath Party since 1963, although actual power is concentrated to the presidency and a narrow grouping of military and political strongmen. Syria's current president is Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad, who held office from 1970 until his death in 2000. Syria has played a major regional role, particularly through its central role in the Arab conflict with Israel, which since 1967 has occupied the Golan Heights, and by active involvement in Lebanese and Palestinian affairs.

The population is mainly Sunni Muslim, but with significant Alawi, Druze and Christian minorities. Since the 1960s, Alawite military officers have tended to dominate the country's politics. Ethnically, some 90% of the population is Arab, and the state is ruled by the Baath Party according to Arab nationalist principles, while approximately 10% belong to the Kurdish minority.

Geography

Syria consists mostly of arid plateau, although the northwest part of the country bordering the Mediterranean is fairly green. The Northeast of the country "Al Jazira" and the South "Hawran" are important agricultural areas. The Euphrates, Syria's most important river, crosses the country in the east. It is considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called "Cradle of Civilization".

The climate in Syria is dry and hot, and winters are mild. Because of the country's elevation, snowfall does occasionally occur during winter. Petroleum in commercial quantities was first discovered in the northeast in 1956. The most important oil fields are those of Suwaydiyah, Qaratshui, Rumayian, and Tayyem, near Dayr az–Zawr. The fields are a natural extension of the Iraqi fields of Mosul and Kirkuk. Petroleum became Syria's leading natural resource and chief export after 1974. Natural gas was discovered at the field of Jbessa in 1940.

Transport

Syria has three principal airports - Damascus, Aleppo and Lattakia which serve as hubs for Syrian Air and are also served by a variety of foreign carriers.

The majority of Syrian cargo is carried by CFS (the Syrian Railway company) and TCDD (the Turkish counterpart).

For a relatively under developed country Syria's railway infrastructure is of a high quality with many high speed services.

Languages

Arabic is the official and most widely spoken language. Kurdish is widely spoken in the Kurdish regions of Syria. Many educated Syrians also speak English and French. Armenian and Turkmen are spoken among the Armenian and Turkmen minorities. Aramaic, the lingua franca of the region before the advent of Islam and Arabic, is spoken among certain ethnic groups: as Syriac, it is used as the liturgical language of various Syriac denominations; modern Aramaic (particularly, Turoyo language and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic) is spoken in Al-Jazira region. Most remarkably, Western Neo-Aramaic is still spoken in the village of Ma`loula, and two neighbouring villages, 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Damascus.