Syria The Damascus Spring

Physical Map of Syria

When Bashar al-Assad took over the succession in 2000, his inaugural address raised hopes for reforms. The opposition immediately followed suit: 99 intellectuals demanded in a declaration (later called the “Manifesto of 99”) the lifting of the state of emergency, a general amnesty and the reintroduction of basic rights. Clubs, salons and debating circles emerged in private apartments. Civil society responded with these initiatives back to the public. Many clubs…

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Syria Government and Administration

Flag of the Syrian Revolutionary Movement

State and administration Politically and ideologically, the Assad regime is based primarily on pan-Arabism and socialism. The latter was no longer mentioned in the new constitution of 2012. In addition, the country is characterized by a complex system of patronage. In addition to supporting Russia, Iran and China, the Syrian security services (mukhabarat) play a central role in stabilizing the regime’s rule. Essentially, the mukhabarat consist of three main services…

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Syria Domestic Issues

Syrian coat of arms

Independence Day: April 17, 1946 Head of state: Bashar al-Assad (President of Syria since 2000) Head of government: Imad Khamis (Prime Minister of Syria since 2016) Political system: autocracy Democracy Status Index (BTI): Rank 135 of 137 (2020) Corruption Index (CPI): Rank 178 of 180 (2019) The Ba’ath Party In 1963, the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party (Party of Revival) came to power. The party advocates nationalist and socialist principles. Their…

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Canada Education System

Canada high school

Since Canada has a federal system, there is no general or national education system. As with the laws in Canada, the respective provinces or territories are responsible for the school system. The age of entry and the duration of elementary school also differ in the provinces. In some provinces the school entry age is 5 years and in others it is 6 years. Primary school lasts either 6 or 7…

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History of Syria Part 3

Syrian thousand pound note

Parliamentary elections were held in December 1931 and January 1932. The national bloc, which was led by the notables, was looking for an “honorable cooperation” (President Jamil Mardam Bey) let in with the French and felt this in the election result: He received only 17 out of 69 seats. The French sought a treaty with Syria that provided for a common foreign policy between the two countries. Syria should be…

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Travel to New Zealand

Tongariro National Park New Zealand

Experience the fascinating landscape and the varied nature If you travel to New Zealand, you are guaranteed to have an experience you will never forget. New Zealand is a country that cannot be compared to other countries. Despite the country’s modest size, no other destination can boast such a varied nature, which also means that a trip to New Zealand is definitely worth the long trip. The magnificent nature experiences…

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Arequipa, Peru Travel Guide

The old part of town Peru

Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city, despite the fact that the capital Lima is ten times as large. The city was built as a Spanish colonial seat, founded by the Spaniards on August 15, 1540. To this day, the city’s origins are celebrated with a week-long festival. For the Peruvians, the city has a very special architectural significance. In the year 1868, the city was destroyed during a violent earthquake,…

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History of Syria Part 2

History of Syria Part 2

The Muslims’ search for their own Arab identity fluctuated between pan-Islamism and an independent national approach within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. The response to the national awakening was immediate. The Tanzima reforms also included the first constitution, which, however, was repealed two years later, in 1878, by Sultan Abdalhamid II. Support for the Arabic culture and language was suppressed, so that many Syrian intellectuals had to flee to…

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Living in Mauritania

On the beach of Nouakchott Mauritania

Currency: Ouguiya (MRU) Exchange rate: 41 MRU per € (December 2020) Time zone: UTC ± 0 Country code (phone): +222 Climate (for capital): dry and warm desert climate Entry and residence regulations German citizens need a valid visa to enter Mauritania. The Mauritanian embassy in Berlin has not issued visas since 2016; these are only issued at the international airport in Nouakchott and at a border point near Nouadhibou. It…

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History of Syria Part 1

History of Syria Part 1

The Islamic Conquest and the Crusaders The decisive battle of the Byzantine and Arab-Islamic forces took place in 636. Byzantine Syria is conquered by Arabs after the battle of Yarmuk. The center of Muslims in Arabia was relocated to Damascus in Syria by the Caliph Muʿāwiya in 661 after fierce internal Islamic fighting on the Arabian Peninsula. Damascus is now the capital of the Umayyads. This makes Syria the new…

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Syria History – pre-Islamic Period

Syria History - pre-Islamic Period

The pre-Islamic period The first traces of settlement can be found in Syria as early as the 7th millennium BC. prove. Some of these settlements – initially in the Euphrates and Tigris regions – grew into cities. In Ugarit, today Ras Shamra, Ebla, Qatana, Mari, Habuba Kabira, Hammam et-Turkman and Tell Brak, ideas of urbanization for an organized society developed. The first empires of the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians and Persians…

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Syria Overview

Syria Overview

Before the outbreak of civil war, the population in Syria was estimated at around 21 million people. More than 7 million people left Syria as a result of the civil war. According to the UNHCR, around 6 million Syrians outside Syria were registered as refugees. The war made between eight and nine million people internally displaced. According to UNHCR, over 2.7 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, which Turkey is…

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Syria Current Situation

Syria Aleppo Citadel at night

Due to its strategic location and foreign policy, Syria occupies a key position in the Middle East. The internal Syrian war, which has been raging since 2011, is being fueled by external actors who, with their particular interests in mind, are waging a proxy war on Syrian territory. Country overview & natural area With 185,180 square kilometers, Syria is about half the size of Germany. It lies between Turkey, Iraq,…

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Syria Ecological Problems

Syria Ecological Problems

Economy & Development The Syrian economy has completely collapsed as a result of international sanctions and the civil war situation. Food prices have risen immensely, and many foods are no longer available for many people. Petrol and gas have become extremely scarce. In many cities, entire neighborhoods were razed to the ground. Society & culture The Syrian population is like a mosaic of religious communities and ethnic groups. Most of…

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Mauritania Culture and Religion

Saudi mosque in Nouakchott Mauritania

Proportion of literate adults: 45.5% (2017) most important religion: Islam (state religion) Urban population: 53.7% (2018) Life expectancy (male / female): 63.1 / 66.3 (2018) Gender Inequality Index: Rank 150 of 162 (2018) Number of births: 4.6 per woman (2015-2020) Infant mortality: 79/1000 live births) Culture According to internetsailors, Mauritania has experienced numerous waves of immigration and unites very different cultures on its territory. The dominant culture is the Arab-Berber…

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Mauritania Education and Health

Koran students in Mauritania

Children and young people Mauritania ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2001, making it part of the Mauritanian legal system. It is also subject to the sharia reservation. For a long time it was common for children to be beaten in schools. A legal opinion by religious Islamic leaders in 2011 found that violence against children contradicts the Koran and that the prevailing practice…

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Mauritania Society

Huts in Nouakchott Mauritania

Urban-rural relationship A fundamental change has taken place in Mauritania after independence. In 1960 90% of the population were nomads, today 53.7% live in cities. 46.3% of Mauritanians live in the countryside and 5% of them are still nomadic. The main trigger for the immense rural exodus was the Sahel droughts since the end of the 1960’s. The capital Nouakchott, planned for 20,000 residents, has now passed the one million…

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Mauritania Macrosocial Structure

Mauritania Small boutique

Ethnic structure Arab, Berber and black African ethnic groups live together in Mauritania. About 70% of the population belong to the Arab-Berber Moors, who speak Hassania an Arabic dialect. A small minority calls themselves berberophon. About 30% of the population belong to the Bidhan or White Moors. They form the two upper layers of the traditionally strongly hierarchical Mauritanian society, which is divided into Hassani (warriors) and Marabout (scholars of…

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Mauritania Economic Policy

Mauritania Economic Policy

Economic Policy and Development Potential Reform programs Since 1999, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) have replaced the “structural adjustment programs” that had fallen into disrepute at the IMF and World Bank. So far there have been three action plans in Mauritania (2002-2004; 2006-2010; 2011-2015). The action plans are designed to ensure that debt relief is used to reduce poverty. According to franciscogardening, Mauritania meets the expectations of the international…

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Mauritania Economy Part III

Tourism in Mauritania

Energy mix 2019 Energy source in % Hydropower 17th Thermal power stations 62 Wind energy 10 solar power 10 Mauritania is the country with the highest share of renewable energy in Africa. Several wind and solar energy projects have been implemented. The Sheikh Zayed solar power plant in Nouakchott with a capacity of 15 MW was for a long time the largest plant in Mauritania. In Toujounine A new facility…

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Mauritania Economy Part II

Mauritanian Energy

The Mauritanian state generates high income from the sale of fishing licenses to European and Asian fishing fleets. After long negotiations, the fourth follow-up agreement was concluded between the EU and Mauritania in July 2015, with a term of four years. The EU pays around € 60 million annually for the partnership. Of this, € 4.125 million is earmarked for supporting local fishing communities. The agreement wure 2019 by one…

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Mauritania Economy Part I

fish market in Nouakchott

Estimated GDP: US $ 15.9 billion (2017) Per capita income (purchasing power parity): 3746 US $ (2018) Human Development Rank (HDI): Rank 161 of 189 (2018) Proportion of poverty (national poverty line): 31% (2014) Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 32.6 (2010-2018) Economic transformation index BTI: Rank 106 of 137 (2020) Economic situation The relevant development indicators clearly show that Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world. It…

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Travel to Spain

Travel to Spain

It is always more fun to travel somewhere if you actually know where you are going, so we actually feel quite convinced that you will get both benefit and pleasure from our little travel guide here on the site if you are planning a trip to Spain. A trip to Spain is for many a fairly quick and easy way to really get away during their vacation. As you know,…

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Mauritania Foreign Policy

Abdel Aziz and Barack Obama

Since its independence, Mauritania has pursued a policy of integration into the world community. It is a member of the United Nations and its sub-organizations. Its function as a bridgehead between the Arab north and sub-Saharan Africa is also reflected in its membership in regional organizations. Mauritania belongs to the African Union (AU), the Arab League (AL), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Organization of the Sahel States…

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Mauritania Freedom of Press and Human Rights

Mauritania Freedom of Press

Press and media BBC certifies Mauritania one of the most open media landscapes in the entire Maghreb. Radio and television were opened to private companies. The state continues to hold shares in Télévision de Mauritanie (TVM) and Radio Mauritanie. The right to freedom of expression has been more respected since 2005. This is also evident in the international press freedom rankings by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. In 2020,…

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Mauritania Domestic Political Situation

Mauritania's national coat of arms since 2017

Presidential elections June 22nd, 2019 In the presidential elections on June 22nd, 2019, the candidate of the ruling party Mohamed Ould Ghazouani won the absolute majority with 52.01% of the vote in the first ballot. He is the preferred candidate of the previous incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was no longer allowed to run after two terms. The anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid achieved a remarkable 18.58%…

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Mauritania Government

Mauritanian flag

Form of government, constitution and separation of powers The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a presidential democracy. The president is directly elected with an absolute majority. (possibly runoff election). The term of office is five years, he can stand for re-election once and the maximum age is set at 75 years. The rights of the president in a centralized presidential system are very extensive. The constitution removes it from any…

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Mauritania Aziz Government (2009-2019)

Election campaign Abdel Aziz

Independence Day: 11/28/1960 Head of state: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani Head of government: Mohamed Ould Bilal Political system: Presidential Republic Democracy Status Index (BTI): Rank 91 of 137 (2020) Corruption Index (CPI): Rank 137 of 180 (2019) Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG): Rank 40 of 54 (2019) The presidential elections in 2009 the surprise winner in the first round with 52.5% of votes Abdallah Abdel Aziz, the leader of the…

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Mauritania Spring

Islamic Scriptures

“Mauritanian Spring” and Abdallahi government (2006-2008) With the coup of the “Military Council for Justice and Development” (CMJD Conseil Militaire pour la Justice et la Démocratie) under the leadership of Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall on August 3, 2005, Ould Taya’s more than 20-year-old authoritarian and repressive rule ends and one begins Time of upheaval towards more democracy in Mauritania. From the beginning, the military council gives itself a mandate…

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Mauritania Development after Independence

Mauritania Development after Independence

First Republic: Moukhtar Ould Daddah 1960-75 In the first 15 years of its independence, the domestic political development of Mauritania under President Moukhtar Ould Daddah was comparatively peaceful and uniform. Mauritania’s path led from a temporary multi-party system to a constitutionally established one-party system (1965). The aims of the one-party system were to consolidate national unity, to abolish all disadvantages and to destroy regionalism and tribalism. The existing parties were…

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