Syria - the great cultural land and land of the Bible
Syria, the former beautiful country between the Mediterranean and the former
Mesopotamia, presented itself to the visitor before the war with a varied
landscape, colorful, lively cities and the traces of an eventful and exciting
history that are still visible everywhere. The state, which was only founded in
the previous century, is part of the cultural area in which the first human
settlements were recorded. In ancient times, Syria was an important part of the
According to Christian tradition, in Damascus the fanatical persecutor of
Christians Paul, in Hebrew Saul (around 10 to around 68), became a believing
Christian. The conversion, which he himself described as a revelation with the
risen Christ, took place around the year 38. (Acts 22: 5-16; 26, 12-18).
So far, Syria has been spared from mass tourism. The country and the people have
therefore retained much of their originality. A disadvantage for European
travelers may be that only a few Syrians can speak, write or read languages
other than Arabic, and that all signs in the country are exclusively in
Arabic. In the end, however, it will always be possible to find the way to the
goal, and for a longer search you will be rewarded with a wealth of
There has been an armed uprising against the Assad regime since March 2011,
which of course makes any kind of visits impossible or life-threatening.
At the beginning of 2017, over half of the people inside and outside the country
were on the run and over 100,000 had died as a result of the civil war. In
addition, large parts of the country are in ruins
|Name of the country
||Syrian Arab Republic
|Form of government
||Asia, Middle East
||previously 21 million (Credit:
||Arabs (approx. 90%), Kurds, Armenians and others (approx. 10%)
||Sunni Muslims (72%)
||Jabal Ash-Shaykh (Mt. Hermon) with a height of 2,814 m
||Nahr al-Furad (Euphrates) with a length in the country of 680 km
||Al-Assad with a size of 674 km²
|International license plate
||SYP (Syrian Pound)
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||220 V and 50 Hz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Until the 19th century
Archaeological finds in the part of the world that is now called Syria prove
that the first human life dates back to the Stone Age. The first city in this
area is Ebla, near what is now Aleppo. The
first settlers, as is believed today, were Ugarites (around
Abbreviationfinder website, between 2500 and 2400 BC A large Semitic empire included the land between the
Red Sea, Turkey and Mesopotamia. Around 250,000 people lived
in Ebla at this time; The settlement of Damascus also began around this
time. Around 1800 BC, Qatna was established as the capital of
an Aramaic city kingdom. The first king was Ischchi-Addu. The
gigantic defensive walls and the palace were built under him. Qatna was south of
Aleppo near the Mediterranean Sea and at the intersection of a number of caravan
routes. Around 1340 under their King Idanda the city was
stormed and destroyed. After 1500 BC BC Syria was taken over by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Macedonians ruled. And
63 BC It was incorporated into the Roman Empire, after its
collapse it belonged to Byzantium and was conquered by the
Arabs six hundred years later.
Christianity spread a little later in Palestine and soon gained influence in
Syria. Paul is said to have converted from Jewish to
Christianity on a trip to Damascus and then founded the first church in Syria.
Under the rule of the Omayyad dynasty, whose influence
reached from Spain to India, Damascus was the capital of the Islamic Caliphate
from 661 to the middle of the 8th century; most of the population converted to
Islam. The previously close connection to the Christian-dominated area of
today's Lebanon was broken. When the Omayyads were defeated by the Abassids, Baghdad
became their new capital. Around 1100 part of Syria fell to the Kingdom
of Jerusalem. Saladin ruled from 1174 to 1184, around 1250 the
Egyptian Mameluks conquered the country. Parts were controlled by the crusaders
from the 11th to the end of the 13th century. At the end of the 1st millennium
AD, Syria was conquered by the Egyptians, whose rule lasted until 1516. Then the
country fell to the Ottoman Empire.
From 1798 to 1799 Napoleón I of France invaded Egypt and
temporarily conquered parts of Syria. In 1831 the Egyptians took Syria again and
ruled it for only eight years before they had to leave it again under pressure
from the British and Austrians. After the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869,
Syria lost its importance as an important economic hub.
20th century until today
In 1918 Faysal ibn al-Husayn al-Hashimi, son of the Sherif
of Mecca, succeeded in taking power; He proclaimed the Kingdom of Greater Syria
in 1920, but only a short time later the entire Middle Eastern region came under
the control of British and Arab troops. Syria and Lebanon were controlled by
the French, Palestine and Jordan by the British. After the establishment of
the State of Israel in 1948, the war for Palestine began, which was lost by the
community of Arab states.
After a coup in 1954, a military dictatorship was established in Syria. In
1958, Egypt and Syria united to form the United Arab Republic, which, however,
fell apart again three years later. The Syrian Arab Republic was
then founded. The Ba'ath Party had dominated the country since
1963. In 1967 Syria took part in the "6-day war" against Israel and lost the
Golan Heights to Israel.
In 1970 Abu Sulayman Hafez al-Assad became prime minister,
and a year later became president.
In 1973 Syrian troops were involved in the Yom Kippur War, and
from 1976 in the war in Lebanon.
In 1983, between 20,000 and 30,000 people were killed in the city of Hama in the
course of the fight against the Muslim Brotherhood. The events went down in
history as the Hama massacre. The brother of the then president - Rifaat
al-Assad - who later found exile in London was responsible for this.
In 1986 the UK and US accused Syria of supporting international terrorism; both
countries then withdrew their ambassadors.
In 1991 Syrian troops took part in the 1st Gulf War against theIraq part.
In 1994, Assad's eldest son, Basil, who was to take over the government, was the
victim of a traffic accident.
Hafez al-Assad ruled the country until his death in 2000, when he was succeeded
by his son Bashar. Among other things, he had completed training as an
ophthalmologist in the USA. He began with the modernization and liberalization
of the country and allowed, for example, the use of the Internet.
In 2003, Israel bombed an area near Damascus that allegedly housed a jihad
training camp, which Syria strictly rejected. In 2004 Syria began withdrawing
its troops from Lebanon.
On February 14, 2005, the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (1944 -
2005) was the victim of a terrorist attack in Beirut. According to the results
of the Berlin chief public prosecutor Detlev Mehlis (born
1949), who was commissioned by the UN to investigate the situation, the Syrian
secret service was also involved in the attack.
From around March 2011 popular uprisings also broke out in Syria, but these
were brutally shot down by the military, the secret service and the police,
leaving around 1,300 dead and over 10,000 arrests.
In August 2013, around 2 million people fled abroad as a result of the civil war
and around 100,000 were killed. Large parts of the country are in ruins. After
on 21./22. August over 1,000 people died as a result of the use of poison gas
(sarin), an attack occurred on.