Country: SYRIAsyria

Capital: Damascus 

Geographic Coordinates: 35 00 N, 38 00 E

Population: 22,198,110 (July 2010 est.)                

Main Religion: Islam

Language: Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood

Government Type: Republic under an authoritarian military-dominated regime

Chief of State: President Bashar al-ASAD; Head of Government: Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-UTR

Main Industries:  petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, car assembly  

GDP in US Dollars (per capita):  $4,600 (2009 est.)      

Currency Code: Syrian pound (SYP)

Life Expectancy: 72 years (men), 76 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water  

Issues facing Women and Children:
  • Although the country has been certified as polio-free, not enough attention has been paid to verticality and poor quality within the health services, nor to preventive and home-care aspects of child health.                                             
  • Syria is a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; a significant number of women and children in the large and expanding Iraqi refugee community in Syria are reportedly forced into commercial sexual exploitation by Iraqi gangs or, in some cases, their families; women from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone are recruited for work in Syria as domestic servants, but some face conditions of involuntary servitude, including long hours, non-payment of wages, withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Al-Baath,  Al-Thawra (""The Revolution""), Tishrin, Syria Today; Radio and TV: Syrian TV, Syrian Arab Republic Radio

Interesting Fact:  Syria is one of the last remaining places where Aramaic, a three-thousand-year-old language believed to have been spoken by Jesus Christ, is still used.

Famous for:   Burjeslam, shish kebab, fattoush, City of Aleppo, hammams (bath houses), Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra, Krak des Chevaliers  


Official Tourism Webiste: