Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Asia  :  Syria
Syria is a country in the Middle East, bordering Lebanon to the west, Israel to the southwest, Jordan to the south, Iraq to the east, and Turkey to the north. The modern state of Syria attained independence from the French mandate of Syria in 1946, but can trace its roots to the fourth millennium BC; its capital city, Damascus, was the seat of the Umayyad Empire and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire.

Historically, Syria has often included the territories of Lebanon, Historical Palestine, and parts of Jordan, but excluded the Jazira region in the north-east of the modern Syrian state.

The name Syria comes from the ancient Greek name for the former colonial territories of Assyria such as Canaan and Aram.

Syria has a population of 19 million. The majority are Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims, as well as 16% other Muslim groups, including the Alawi, Shi'a, and Druze, and 10% Christian. Since 1963 the country has been governed by the Baath Party; the head of state since 1970 has been a member of the Assad family.

Syria's current President is Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad, who held office from 1970 until his death in 2000.  Source

Syria Facts

Population: 19 million

Capital: Damascus

Currency: Syrian pound

Area: 185,180 km2

Language: Arabic

Main Religion: Muslim

Calling Code: +963

Time Zone
: GMT + 2

Main Cities: Aleppo, Damascus, Hims, Hamah, Latakia, Dayr az Zawr, Ar Raqqah, Al Bab, Idlib, Duma