About Syria

The Syrian Arab Republic is located in Western Asia, with Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon as neighbours. Damascus is its capital, and the Syrian Lira or Syrian pound is the currency. Syria has been suffering from conflict that started in 2011 as peaceful protests, eventually leading to an ongoing devastating civil war.

Syria has a population of around 18 million people. The indigenous population includes the Levantine people, Kurds, Turkoman, and Assyrians. There was a large Jewish population in Syria before Israel was established, most of whom have now migrated. A large Syrian diaspora exists in the neighbouring countries and Brazil, most of whom have fled the war as refugees. Over half of the population is Sunni Muslim, with a minority being Shia Muslims, Christians, and Druze.

The official language is Arabic, although there are several other Arabic dialects widely spoken. English is also spoken by many, as well as French due to Lebanese influence. Syrian culture places an emphasis on tradition, religion, education, respect, and family. Syrian cuisine has been influenced by Greek, Southwest Asian, Turkish, Mediterranean, and French cooking. Common dishes include kibbeh, hummus, tabboulet, shawarma, and baklava as dessert. Khubz, an Arabic flatbread, is usually consumed with the appetizers served before the main course. Popular drinks include Turkish coffee and Arak.

Given its maritime borders with the Mediterranean Sea, the north-west part of Syria has a mountain range and is quite green, with a hot dry climate followed by cool and wet months. The rest of Syria is flat and arid, and gets hot and dry in the summer. During winter, it is cold and even snows occasionally due to Syria's elevation.