The country of Syria, officially the Arab Republic of Syria, is a country in Western Asia that covers an area of approximately 185,000 km² with approximately 21 million inhabitants.
Geography and population
According to best-medical-schools, the country borders Turkey throughout the north. In the east it shares its border with Iraq. To the west is Lebanon the only neighboring country and are in the south of Israel and Jordan. The Mediterranean also borders the country to the west.
Ethnically, the population is divided into different groups. The most strongly represented groups include the Arabs, the Kurds as well as the Armenians and Turkmen. Depending on their ethnicity, most Syrians belong to Islam, although there are of course different regional orientations here.
About 15 percent of the population belong to the Christian faith. Linguistically, High Arabic has become the official language. In everyday life, however, various Arabic dialects such as Syrian Arabic are mainly spoken. Other minority dialects are only relevant in individual regions.
The history of Syria
The history of the country goes back far before Christ. In the Roman Empire, the province of Syria, on the territory of which today’s Syria is partly located, was one of the richest and most powerful regions of the empire.
From the beginning of the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century, Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire.
During the First World War, Syria then opposed Turkey and was under the mandate of France until 1946. After the Second World War, domestic disputes caused unrest, and the establishment of the United Arab Republic together with Egypt did not bring lasting peace to the country. In 1961 the alliance with Egypt ended and the Ba’ath party came to power.
In terms of foreign policy, it remained uneasy even under President Hafiz al-Assad. Syria was involved in both the first and second Gulf War. After Assad’s death, his son Bashar al-Assad became his successor. However, from March 2011 there were internal riots and protests against the government. The protests, which are part of the Arab Spring, focus on democratization and reform of the country.
In addition to agriculture, the textile industry and, thanks to significant oil deposits, the petroleum industry are also important economically. The industry mainly focuses on urban areas. The main cities in Syria include the capital Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia.
Culture and cuisine in Syria
In addition to literature, Syrian culture is best known for its oral poetry. The Nahda movement, which is comparable to the Renaissance, was particularly evident in literary trends such as the “New School” and tried to combine classic ideas with modern influences.
Arts and crafts and architecture are also deeply rooted in Syrian culture. Buildings such as the ruins of Palmyra, the ancient villages in northern Syria and the old towns of Damascus, Bosra and Aleppo are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most famous festivals in Syria include the Silk Road Festival in Palmyra or the Bosra Festival, which also includes Arabic folk music.
Syrian cuisine is heavily influenced by Arabic and Turkish dishes. As part of oriental cuisine, Syrian cuisine also places great value on an extensive menu with starters and desserts. In addition to humus, the best-known starters include tabules and eggplant jam. Pita, a kind of flatbread, is also served with the main dishes of lamb and poultry with rice and salads. Sweet pastries and chai tea complete the meal.