Syria Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Syria

About 90% of believers are Muslims, of which 74% are Sunnis, 10% are Alawites and 6% are Druze. The remaining 10% of believers profess Christianity, mainly adherents of the Orthodox Greek-Byzantine and Armenian-Gregorian churches. In addition, a few Jewish and Catholic communities live in Syria.

Transport in Syria

The best way to get to Syria is by plane. The country has two international airports, which are located 35 km from Damascus and 17 km from Aleppo. In addition, Damascus is connected by rail to Istanbul, Amman, Tehran and Baghdad. Syria is also connected with Turkey and Jordan by high quality roads. The country’s main seaports are Tartus and Latakia. From here you can get to Europe.

Inside the country you can travel by plane. This is a fairly cheap mode of transport. But the most popular form of intercity communication are buses. Both well-equipped buses and outdated bus models, as well as minibuses and fixed-route taxis run between the cities of Syria. Buses most often depart as they are loaded, so the schedule is practically not respected. Railway communication has been established between the major cities of Syria. Trains with sleeping and sitting cars run on the main routes.

Inside the cities you can travel by buses and taxis. The bus ticket is purchased directly from the driver or from the conductor. If you are going to use the services of taxi drivers, then the cost of the trip should be negotiated before getting into the car.

Car rental in Syria is a rather expensive pleasure. Prices here are about twice as high as in Europe. Gasoline is also expensive, and finding a gas station outside of major cities is very difficult. Traveling in a rented car is also difficult due to the fact that most of the signs on the roads are in Arabic.

Plant and Animal World in Syria

The slopes of the Syrian mountains, due to the strong anthropogenic influence, are covered with forests of undersized coniferous and deciduous species. On their western slopes, which receive more rainfall than the eastern slopes, trees such as evergreen oak, laurel, myrtle, oleander, magnolia, ficus, cypress, Aleppo pine and Lebanese cedar can be seen. Legume-cereal steppes are common in the low mountains. Plantations of tobacco, cotton and sugar cane stretch along the Mediterranean coast. In desert areas, grasses and undersized shrubs and bushes appear after rains: saxaul, biyurgun, boyalych and wormwood.

The fauna of Syria is not very diverse. Here you can meet wild cat, lynx, jackal, fox, striped hyena, caracal, antelope, gazelle and wild donkey, sometimes you can see porcupines, hedgehogs, squirrels and hares. There are many rodents and reptiles in the steppes and semi-deserts. Of the birds on the territory of Syria, larks, grouse and bustards live. Birds of prey include eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. The Euphrates Valley is home to flamingos, storks, gulls, herons, geese and pelicans.

Minerals in Syria

Syria has deposits of oil, gas, phosphates, iron ore, chromium, uranium, manganese, lead, copper, sulfur, asbestos, dolomite, limestone, tuff, natural asphalt and basalt. In addition, salt is mined in the country.

Banks in Syria

Banks are open from Saturday to Thursday from 8:30 to 14:00, exchange offices – until 20:00.

Money in Syria

The official currency of Syria is the Syrian pound. 1 Syrian pound is equal to 100 piastres. In circulation there are banknotes of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Syrian pounds and coins of 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 pounds. Piastres are practically not found due to their low purchasing power.

You can exchange foreign currency in hotels and in exchange offices of the Commercial Bank of Syria. It is officially forbidden to exchange currency from private “changers”. Great difficulties arise with the reverse exchange of Syrian pounds into foreign currency.

Credit cards are accepted only in large stores and hotels. Before traveling to Syria, you should consult with the bank that issued your credit card about the possibility of using it in Syria. There are practically no ATMs in the country, so it is quite difficult to withdraw money from credit cards.

It is not recommended to take traveler’s checks with you on a trip, because it is difficult to cash them, especially for such operations you need to pay a large commission fee.

Rate: 1000 Syrian Pound (SYP) = 1.75 USD

Political State in Syria

The full name of the country is the Syrian Arab Republic. According to politicsezine, the head of state is the president. He is elected by referendum for a 7-year term. Executive power in the country belongs to the President and the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. Ministers are appointed by the President from the top leadership of the Ba’ath Party (Arab Socialist Renaissance Party). The legislative body of Syria is the People’s Council, whose members are elected by universal direct secret suffrage for a term of 4 years.

Population in Syria

The majority of the population of Syria are Arabs (about 90%), the country is also home to Kurds, who are the largest national minority in the country, Armenians, Turkmens, Turks, Circassians, Chechens, Iranians, Assyrians and about 300 thousand Palestinians.

The official language of Syria is Arabic. In the northern regions of the country, the Kurdish language is also widespread, and in the rest – Armenian and Turkmen languages. Of the foreign languages, English and French are the most widely used.

Cuisine in Syria

Syrian cuisine is a mixture of Arabic, Caucasian, Aramaic and Mediterranean dishes. An integral part of the Syrian cuisine are cereals, vegetables, and dairy products. All dishes are richly seasoned with spices.

Traditional dishes are porridge from boiled crushed wheat “burgul”, barley and wheat unleavened cakes “hobz”, lentil soup, fermented milk products “lyabne”, stuffed eggplants “makdus” and a variety of salads from greens and vegetables.

Meat dishes are most often prepared from lamb. These are baked whole lamb with rice and nuts “mensaf”, pilaf with carrots, raisins and spices “kabsa”, mutton chop “castalet”, all kinds of kebabs, kebabs, lamb meat pate with crushed wheat “kibbe”, roasted lamb on a spit “meshvi”, lamb with prunes and almonds, sheep’s feet “maccadem”, grilled lamb cutlets with herbs “kafta”, meat pies and of course the famous “dolma”. In addition to lamb, chicken is used to prepare meat dishes in Syria. In addition, seafood dishes are very popular in the country.

For dessert, they usually serve baklava, sherbet, “kunafa” (a dough dish with cheese, cream or nuts drenched in syrup), semolina pudding ”

Arabic coffee, tea, juices, compotes and the sour-milk drink “Ayran” are popular among drinks. Of the alcoholic beverages in Syria, they use vodka “arak”, infused with anise, and grape wines.

Cuisine in Syria

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