Syrian Arab Republic

Capital: Damascus

Languages: Arabic

GDP (PPP): $107.831 billion

Currency: Syrian Pound

HDI: 0.594 (134th)

Population:  17,064,854

Syrian Arab Republic is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. Syria’s capital and largest city is Damascus.

A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, and Yazidis. Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in Syria.

In English, the name “Syria” was formerly synonymous with the Levant (known in Arabic as al-Sham), while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.

Syria is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement; it has become suspended from the Arab League on November 2011 and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and self-suspended from the Union for the Mediterranean. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba’athist government as part of the Arab Spring, a crackdown that contributed to the Syrian Civil War and to Syria’s becoming one of the most violent countries in the world.[14] A number of pseudo-state entities have since emerged on Syrian territories, including the Syrian Opposition, the Federation of Northern Syria and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

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