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Syria Overview

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With over thousands of years of glorious history, the enthralling country of Syria is one of the largest regions in the Middle East. A journey to Syria is definitely one of the most memorable experiences that travellers will cherish. Offering an inimitable blend of heritage, culture and history, travellers instantly fall in love with this beautiful country. It also enjoys a short coastline of the Mediterranean Sea on the east.

About 90 percent of the population of Syria comprises of Muslims and this makes it easy for travellers to locate a masjid or halal restaurants. Taxis are the easiest means of transport for travellers to move around places of interest in Syria. Car rentals are also easily available all around the country.

Damascus, the capital of Syria is also the largest city in the country and among the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world. Damascus was established as early as 10,000 BC. The old fortified city takes travellers into the past as it offers a very medieval feel.

The Souq al-Hamidiyya is a wonderful place for travellers to enjoy and shop. At the end of the souq is the majestic Umayyad Masjid. The Masjid houses the mausoleum of Prophet Yahya (A.S). At the other end of the souq is a fort-like structure, the Citadel. Close to the structure is the Mausoleum of Salah al-Din. Travellers can enjoy exclusive views of the city from Mount Qasioun. Visitors can also enjoy a relaxing time at the hammam. The Azem Palace is also a lovely place to visit. Damascus is one of the best places to shop in Syria. The expansive Souq al-Hamidiyya sells almost everything that visitors can think of.

Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria is also among the oldest cities in the world. In the heart of the city stands a royal citadel which is a must visit. The citadel is built on a hill and can be dated back to the 13th century. Travellers taking a tour of the citadel can also enjoy some coffee at the café located inside.

Aleppo has a number of masaajid, however the Great Masjid is worth a mention because of its beautiful architecture and design. The Bimaristan Arghan originally a mental hospital has been converted into an interesting museum that travellers can visit. The souq in the city is excellent for shopping, visitors looking forward to shop for clothes can get some good deals at theal-Telal street. When shopping in Aleppo, travellers should definitely visit the gold shops and buy the unique Aleppo weaved gold chain. The olive oil soap is also an excellent buy.

Homs is a beautiful city for travellers to visit as well. There are quite a number of masaajid in the city that visitors can see. Some of the masaajid worth mentioning include Khaled ibn Waleed MasjidAlnoori Grand MasjidMasjid Qubaa in Alinsha'atand Masjid Arra'es in Alwa'er. There is also a castle in the city the Ossama Castle, however there are just ruins remaining now. The Mashta el Helou Marmarita Jwykhat Crack des Chevalier Mountains located about 45Km from the city centre is worth a visit.

Latakia is one of the main ports in Syria and is also home to the largest university in Syria, the Tishreen University. The city has some mesmerising beaches and exclusive landscapes that travellers can visit. The Saladin Castle is situated in east Latakia; it has been built overlooking the valley. The Ruins of Ugarit are located about 20Km from Latakia, an ancient Phoenician city.

Other fascinating places of interest in Syria include the Dead Cities in Northwest SyriaTartous an ancient port town; Hama that has the largest Norias (waterwheel) on the River Orontes and the Azem PalacePalmyra ruins of Roman city in the desert; Crac des Chevaliers the Crusader CastleApamea and Bosra.

Syria being a Muslim country serves halal food. Travellers can relish some delicious Syrian cuisine. Falafel and shwarma are the most popular street foods in the country. Also try the fatteh, foul, salad of Fatoush. Fresh juice is available all across the country from street stalls.

Ibn Battuta travelled for about 23 days to cover the distance between Jerusalem and the Syrian capital, Damascus. In doing so he passed through the cities of Aleppo, Antioch, Latakia, Ba'albek and a few other cities. As per the dates given in his Rihla, he reached Damascus on the 9th August 1326 (9 Ramadan 726 Hijri). He stayed in Damascus for about 24 days before joining the Hajj caravan leaving for Makkah. Here he spent quite a bit of time learning from some of the esteemed Islamic scholars of the time. It is said that he learnt from at least 14 scholars; mostly in the Great Masjid.

  • Syria Overview

    With over thousands of years of glorious history, the enthralling country of Syria is one of the largest regions in the Middle East. A journey to Syria is definitely one of the most memorable experiences that travellers will cherish. Offering an inimitable blend of heritage, culture and history, travellers instantly…
  • Aleppo Overview

    An oasis between the dry hills, Aleppo is considered as the second capital of Syria and is also one of the largest cities in the country. Aleppo is among the most continuously inhabited cities in the world since 6th millennium BC. For centuries, the city has served as one of…
  • Latakia Overview

    The main port city of Syria, Latakia was founded during the 4th century BC during the rule of the Seleucid Empire. The city is beautiful with palm-lined streets and white stucco high-rises. Latakia also has one of the largest universities of Syria, the Tishreen University.

  • Damascus Overview

    A wonderful destination to spend time, Damascus is truly a mesmerising city. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it has been the capital of Syria since time immemorial. When Ibn Batutta visited the city in the 14th century he was awestruck by the beauty of it and writes "that it surpasses…
  • The Ancient Ruins of Bosra

    Explore the Roman Historical Ruins and Amphitheatre along with Ancient Mosque at Bosra, Syria There are a number of people who visit Syria to explore its ancient history and ruins. If you are also one of them, then the town of Bosra will definitely entice you. The city boasts of wonderful…
  • The Citadel of Salah-Ed-Din

    Explore & Marvel at the architecture & history of the castle of the Muslim Warrior - The Saladin Castle, Syria   About the Castle About 24Km east of Latakia is the massive fortress of Saladin. The Saladin castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been fortified since the 10th century. It…
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Syria Info

ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL: Damascus

COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: Aleppo

GEOGRAPHY

Syria is situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and north of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Jordan. The Euphrates river crosses the country in the east. It is considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called "Cradle of civilization".

 

DEMOGRAPHY

A population of close to 22.4 Million. Muslims account for about 74% of the population.

CLIMATE

Hot, sunny summers and cold winters. In summer the temperatures can reach in excess of 35°C during the day. Snowfall is common in winter on the mountains.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

Arabic the official language. Kurdish, English and French are widely used as well.

LOCAL TIME

GMT+2 hrs
Summer: +3 hrs

BUSINESS HOURS

Government:
9 AM to 3 PM
General: 9 AM to 5 PM
(Sunday to Thursday are the working days of the week. Friday & Saturday are considered as weekends)


HOLIDAYS

Independence Day: April 17th
Mother's Day: March 21st
May Day: May 1st
Christmas Day: December 25th

Muslim Festivals (Based on the lunar calandar):
Id-ul-Fitr
Id-ul-Adha
Milad-un-Nabi
Islamic New Year

CURRENCY

Syrian Pound

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Police/ Emergencies: 112
Medical: 110
Fire: 113

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