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Country Profile - Syria

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

The Syrian Arab Republic is a country located in the Near East, South West Asia, and borders Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. It has a population of 18.02 million, making it the 63rd most populous country in the world.

Syria

General Information:

Capital: Damascus

Language: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English

Religion:  Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)

note:  the Christian population may be considerably smaller as a result of Christians fleeing the country during the ongoing civil war

Currency: Syrian Pound

Cryptocurrency: United Nations’ World Food Program recently used the Ethereum Blockchain technology to send, record and verify aid to 10,000 Syrian refugees.  A region in Northern Syria called Rojava is even looking to use cryptocurrency to overcome economic sanctions and ‘redesign’ its society.

GMT: (+) 2

Once the centre of the Islamic Caliphate, Syria covers an area that has seen invasions and occupations over the ages, from Romans and Mongols to Crusaders and Turks.

Modern Syria gained its independence from France in 1946, but has lived through periods of political instability driven by the conflicting interests of these various groups.
Since 2011 political power, long held by a small mainly Alawite elite, has been contested in a bitter civil conflict initially sparked by the Arab Spring that turned into a complex war involving regional and international powers.

 

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