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Countries of the World: Syria
Resources about Syria including maps, facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, and economy.

Economy of Syria (2008 est.) GDP*: $55.2 billion. Real growth rate*: 5.2%. Per capita GDP*: $2,592. Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, iron, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower. Agriculture: Products--wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets, and other fruits and vegetables; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, and other dairy products. Arable land--33%. Industry: Types--petroleum, textiles, pharmaceuticals, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seed extraction, and car assembly. Trade: Exports (2008 est.)--$13.6 billion: crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat. Major markets (2007)--Italy 22%, France 11%, Saudi Arabia 10%, Iraq 5%, Egypt 4%, Jordan 4%. Imports (2008 est.)-- $17.2 billion f.o.b.: machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, and paper. Major suppliers (2007)--Russia 10%, China 8%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Ukraine 6%, South Korea 5%, Turkey 4%. *according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) statistics
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm

Geography of Syria Area: 185,170 sq. km. (71,504 sq. mi.), including 1,295 sq. km. of Israeli-occupied territory; about the size of North Dakota. Cities: Capital--Damascus (1.7 million). Other cities-- Metropolitan Damascus (excluding city) (2.7 million), Aleppo (4.6 million), Homs (1.7 million), Hama (1.5 million), Idleb (1.4 million), al-Hasakeh (1.4 million), Dayr al-Zur (1.1 million), Latakia (1 million), Dar'a (1 million), al-Raqqa (900,000), and Tartus (800,000). Terrain: Narrow coastal plain with a double mountain belt in the west; large, semiarid and desert plateau to the east. Climate: Mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm

Government of Syria Type: Republic, under authoritarian military-dominated Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party regimes since March 1963. Independence: April 17, 1946. Constitution: March 13, 1973. Since 1963, Syria has been under Emergency Law, which effectively suspends most constitutional protections. Branches: Executive--president, two vice presidents, prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative-- unicameral People's Council. Judicial--Supreme Judicial Council, Supreme Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Appeals Courts, Economic Security Courts, Supreme State Security Court, Personal Status and local levels courts. Administrative subdivisions: 14 provinces. Political parties: The National Progressive Front, an umbrella organization for several parties permitted by the government including the Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'ath) Party; Socialist Unionist Democratic Party; Syrian Arab Socialist Union or ASU, Syrian Communist Party (two branches); Syrian Social Nationalist Party; Unionist Socialist Party; and other parties not legally recognized but quasi-tolerated, generally considered opposition- oriented but enfeebled and reluctant to challenge the government. There are also several illegal Kurdish parties. Suffrage: Universal at 18.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm

Map of Syria This Map of Syria shows the borders of the country, as well as rivers, and cities including Damascus the capital of Syria. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm

Official Name of Syria The Official Name of Syria is the Syrian Arab Republic. (Facts from the U.S. State Department)
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm

People of Syria Nationality: Noun and adjective--Syrian(s). Population (2009 est.)*: 21 million. Population growth rate (2009 est.): 2.37%. Major ethnic groups: Arabs (90%), Kurds (9%), Armenians, Circassians, Turkomans. Religions: Sunni Muslims (74%), Alawis (12%), Christians (10%), Druze (3%), and small numbers of other Muslim sects, Jews, and Yazidis. Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood, French, English somewhat understood, principally in major cities. Education (2008 est.): Years compulsory--primary, 6 yrs. Attendance--97.9%. Literacy--90.8%, illiteracy--9.2%. Health (2009 est.): Infant mortality rate--17/1,000. Life expectancy--69.8 yrs. male, 72.68 yrs. female. Work force (5.5 million, 2008 est.): Services (including government) 26%, agriculture 19%, industry 14%, commerce 16%, construction 15%, transportation 7%, and finance 3%. Unemployment (2008 est.): 9.8%.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm



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