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syriamore about syria


  4  definitions  found 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  n  :  an  Asian  republic  in  the  Middle  East  at  the  east  end  of  the 
  Mediterranean  [syn:  {Syria}] 
  From  U.S.  Gazetteer  (1990)  [gazetteer]: 
  Syria,  VA 
  Zip  code(s):  22743 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
  (Heb.  Aram),  the  name  in  the  Old  Testament  given  to  the  whole 
  country  which  lay  to  the  north-east  of  Phoenicia,  extending  to 
  beyond  the  Euphrates  and  the  Tigris.  Mesopotamia  is  called  (Gen. 
  24:10;  Deut.  23:4)  Aram-naharain  (=Syria  of  the  two  rivers), 
  also  Padan-aram  (Gen.  25:20).  Other  portions  of  Syria  were  also 
  known  by  separate  names  as  Aram-maahah  (1  Chr.  19:6), 
  Aram-beth-rehob  (2  Sam.  10:6),  Aram-zobah  (2  Sam.  10:6,  8).  All 
  these  separate  little  kingdoms  afterwards  became  subject  to 
  Damascus.  In  the  time  of  the  Romans,  Syria  included  also  a  part 
  of  Palestine  and  Asia  Minor. 
  "From  the  historic  annals  now  accessible  to  us  the  history  of 
  Syria  may  be  divided  into  three  periods:  The  first  the  period 
  when  the  power  of  the  Pharaohs  was  dominant  over  the  fertile 
  fields  or  plains  of  Syria  and  the  merchant  cities  of  Tyre  and 
  Sidon,  and  when  such  mighty  conquerors  as  Thothmes  III.  and 
  Rameses  II  could  claim  dominion  and  levy  tribute  from  the 
  nations  from  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates  to  the  borders  of  the 
  Libyan  desert.  Second  this  was  followed  by  a  short  period  of 
  independence,  when  the  Jewish  nation  in  the  south  was  growing  in 
  power,  until  it  reached  its  early  zenith  in  the  golden  days  of 
  Solomon;  and  when  Tyre  and  Sidon  were  rich  cities,  sending  their 
  traders  far  and  wide,  over  land  and  sea,  as  missionaries  of 
  civilization,  while  in  the  north  the  confederate  tribes  of  the 
  Hittites  held  back  the  armies  of  the  kings  of  Assyria.  The 
  third  and  to  us  most  interesting,  period  is  that  during  which 
  the  kings  of  Assyria  were  dominant  over  the  plains  of  Syria; 
  when  Tyre,  Sidon,  Ashdod,  and  Jerusalem  bowed  beneath  the 
  conquering  armies  of  Shalmaneser,  Sargon,  and  Sennacherib;  and 
  when  at  last  Memphis  and  Thebes  yielded  to  the  power  of  the 
  rulers  of  Nineveh  and  Babylon,  and  the  kings  of  Assyria 
  completed  with  terrible  fulness  the  bruising  of  the  reed  of 
  Egypt  so  clearly  foretold  by  the  Hebrew  prophets.",  Boscawen. 
  From  The  CIA  World  Factbook  (1995)  [world95]: 
  Location:  Middle  East,  bordering  the  Mediterranean  Sea,  between 
  Lebanon  and  Turkey 
  Map  references:  Middle  East 
  total  area:  185,180  sq  km 
  land  area:  184,050  sq  km 
  comparative  area:  slightly  larger  than  North  Dakota 
  note:  includes  1,295  sq  km  of  Israeli-occupied  territory 
  Land  boundaries:  total  2,253  km  Iraq  605  km  Israel  76  km  Jordan  375 
  km  Lebanon  375  km  Turkey  822  km 
  Coastline:  193  km 
  Maritime  claims: 
  contiguous  zone:  41  nm 
  territorial  sea:  35  nm 
  International  disputes:  separated  from  Israel  by  the  1949  Armistice 
  Line  Golan  Heights  is  Israeli  occupied;  Hatay  question  with  Turkey; 
  ongoing  dispute  over  water  development  plans  by  Turkey  for  the  Tigris 
  and  Euphrates  Rivers;  Syrian  troops  in  northern  Lebanon  since  October 
  Climate:  mostly  desert;  hot,  dry,  sunny  summers  (June  to  August)  and 
  mild,  rainy  winters  (December  to  February)  along  coast;  cold  weather 
  with  snow  or  sleet  periodically  hits  Damascus 
  Terrain:  primarily  semiarid  and  desert  plateau;  narrow  coastal  plain; 
  mountains  in  west 
  Natural  resources:  petroleum,  phosphates,  chrome  and  manganese  ores, 
  asphalt,  iron  ore,  rock  salt,  marble,  gypsum 
  Land  use: 
  arable  land:  28% 
  permanent  crops:  3% 
  meadows  and  pastures:  46% 
  forest  and  woodland:  3% 
  other:  20% 
  Irrigated  land:  10,000  sq  km  (1992) 
  current  issues:  deforestation;  overgrazing  soil  erosion; 
  desertification  water  pollution  from  dumping  of  raw  sewage  and  wastes 
  from  petroleum  refining;  inadequate  supplies  of  potable  water 
  natural  hazards:  dust  storms,  sandstorms 
  international  agreements:  party  to  -  Hazardous  Wastes,  Nuclear  Test 
  Ban,  Ozone  Layer  Protection,  Ship  Pollution;  signed,  but  not  ratified 
  -  Biodiversity,  Desertification  Environmental  Modification 
  Note:  there  are  42  Jewish  settlements  and  civilian  land  use  sites  in 
  the  Israeli-occupied  Golan  Heights  (August  1994  est.) 
  Population:  15,451,917  (July  1995  est.) 
  note:  in  addition,  there  are  31,000  people  living  in  the 
  Israeli-occupied  Golan  Heights  -  16,500  Arabs  (15,000  Druze  and  1,500 
  Alawites)  and  14,500  Jewish  settlers  (August  1994  est.) 
  Age  structure: 
  0-14  years:  48%  (female  3,639,776;  male  3,826,154) 
  15-64  years:  49%  (female  3,691,862;  male  3,854,989) 
  65  years  and  over:  3%  (female  219,251;  male  219,885)  (July  1995  est.) 
  Population  growth  rate:  3.71%  (1995  est.) 
  Birth  rate:  43.21  births/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
  Death  rate:  6.07  deaths/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
  Net  migration  rate:  0  migrant(s)/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
  Infant  mortality  rate:  41.1  deaths/1,000  live  births  (1995  est.) 
  Life  expectancy  at  birth: 
  total  population:  66.81  years 
  male:  65.67  years 
  female:  68.01  years  (1995  est.) 
  Total  fertility  rate:  6.55  children  born/woman  (1995  est.) 
  noun:  Syrian(s) 
  adjective:  Syrian 
  Ethnic  divisions:  Arab  90.3%,  Kurds  Armenians,  and  other  9.7% 
  Religions:  Sunni  Muslim  74%,  Alawite  Druze,  and  other  Muslim  sects 
  16%,  Christian  (various  sects)  10%,  Jewish  (tiny  communities  in 
  Damascus,  Al  Qamishli  and  Aleppo) 
  Languages:  Arabic  (official),  Kurdish,  Armenian,  Aramaic,  Circassian, 
  French  widely  understood 
  Literacy:  age  15  and  over  can  read  and  write  (1990  est.) 
  total  population:  64% 
  male:  78% 
  female:  51% 
  Labor  force:  4.3  million  (1994  est.) 
  by  occupation:  miscellaneous  and  government  services  36%,  agriculture 
  32%,  industry  and  construction  32%;  note  -  shortage  of  skilled  labor 
  conventional  long  form:  Syrian  Arab  Republic 
  conventional  short  form:  Syria 
  local  long  form:  Al  Jumhuriyah  al  Arabiyah  as  Suriyah 
  local  short  form:  Suriyah 
  former:  United  Arab  Republic  (with  Egypt) 
  Digraph:  SY 
  Type:  republic  under  leftwing  military  regime  since  March  1963 
  Capital:  Damascus 
  Administrative  divisions:  14  provinces  (muhafazat,  singular  - 
  muhafazah);  Al  Hasakah  Al  Ladhiqiyah  Al  Qunaytirah  Ar  Raqqah  As 
  Suwayda',  Dar'a,  Dayr  az  Zawr,  Dimashq  Halab,  Hamah,  Hims,  Idlib,  Rif 
  Dimashq  Tartus 
  Independence:  17  April  1946  (from  League  of  Nations  mandate  under 
  French  administration) 
  National  holiday:  National  Day  17  April  (1946) 
  Constitution:  13  March  1973 
  Legal  system:  based  on  Islamic  law  and  civil  law  system;  special 
  religious  courts;  has  not  accepted  compulsory  ICJ  jurisdiction 
  Suffrage:  18  years  of  age;  universal 
  Executive  branch: 
  chief  of  state:  President  Hafiz  al-ASAD  (since  22  February  1971  see 
  note);  Vice  Presidents  'Abd  al-Halim  ibn  Said  KHADDAM,  Rif'at  al-ASAD, 
  and  Muhammad  Zuhayr  MASHARIQA  (since  11  March  1984);  election  last 
  held  2  December  1991  (next  to  be  held  NA  December  1998);  results  - 
  President  Hafiz  al-ASAD  was  reelected  for  a  fourth  seven-year  term 
  with  99.98%  of  the  vote;  note  -  President  ASAD  seized  power  in  the 
  November  1970  coup,  assumed  presidential  powers  22  February  1971,  and 
  was  confirmed  as  president  in  the  12  March  1971  national  elections 
  head  of  government:  Prime  Minister  Mahmud  ZU'BI  (since  1  November 
  1987);  Deputy  Prime  Minister  Lt  Gen.  Mustafa  TALAS  (since  11  March 
  1984);  Deputy  Prime  Minister  Salim  YASIN  (since  NA  December  1981); 
  Deputy  Prime  Minister  Rashid  AKHTARINI  (since  4  July  1992) 
  cabinet:  Council  of  Ministers;  appointed  by  the  president 
  Legislative  branch:  unicameral 
  People's  Council  (Majlis  al-Chaab):  elections  last  held  24-25  August 
  1994  (next  to  be  held  NA);  results  -  percent  of  vote  by  party  NA 
  seats  -  (250  total)  National  Progressive  Front  167,  independents  83 
  Judicial  branch:  Supreme  Constitutional  Court,  High  Judicial  Council, 
  Court  of  Cassation,  State  Security  Courts 
  Political  parties  and  leaders: 
  National  Progressive  Front  includes:  the  ruling  Arab  Socialist 
  Resurrectionist  (Ba'th)  Party,  Hafiz  al-ASAD,  President  of  the 
  Republic,  Secretary  General  of  the  party,  and  Chairman  of  the  National 
  Progressive  Front;  Syrian  Arab  Socialist  Party  (ASP),  'Abd  al-Ghani 
  KANNUT  Arab  Socialist  Union  (ASU),  Jamal  ATASSI;  Syrian  Communist 
  Party  (SCP),  Khalid  BAKDASH  Arab  Socialist  Unionist  Movement,  Sami 
  SOUFAN;  and  Democratic  Socialist  Union  Party,  leader  NA 
  Other  political  or  pressure  groups:  non-Ba'th  parties  have  little 
  effective  political  influence;  Communist  party  ineffective; 
  conservative  religious  leaders;  Muslim  Brotherhood 
  Member  of:  ABEDA,  AFESD  AL  AMF,  CAEU,  CCC,  ESCWA  FAO,  G-24,  G-77, 
  Diplomatic  representation  in  US: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Walid  MUALEM 
  chancery:  2215  Wyoming  Avenue  NW  Washington,  DC  20008 
  telephone:  [1]  (202)  232-6313 
  FAX:  [1]  (202)  234-9548 
  US  diplomatic  representation: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Christopher  W.  S.  ROSS 
  embassy:  Abou  Roumaneh  Al-Mansur  Street  No  2,  Damascus 
  mailing  address:  P.  O.  Box  29,  Damascus 
  telephone:  [963]  (11)  333-2814,  714-108,  333-3788 
  FAX:  [963]  (11)  224-7938 
  Flag:  three  equal  horizontal  bands  of  red  (top),  white,  and  black  with 
  two  small  green  five-pointed  stars  in  a  horizontal  line  centered  in 
  the  white  band;  similar  to  the  flag  of  Yemen,  which  has  a  plain  white 
  band  and  of  Iraq,  which  has  three  green  stars  (plus  an  Arabic 
  inscription)  in  a  horizontal  line  centered  in  the  white  band;  also 
  similar  to  the  flag  of  Egypt,  which  has  a  symbolic  eagle  centered  in 
  the  white  band 
  Overview:  In  1990-93  Syria's  state-dominated  Ba'thist  economy 
  benefited  from  the  Gulf  war,  increased  oil  production,  good  weather, 
  and  economic  deregulation.  Economic  growth  averaged  roughly  10%.  The 
  Gulf  war  provided  Syria  an  aid  windfall  of  nearly  $5  billion  dollars 
  from  Arab,  European,  and  Japanese  donors.  However,  the  benefits  of  the 
  1990-93  boom  were  not  evenly  distributed  and  the  gap  between  rich  and 
  poor  is  widening.  A  nationwide  financial  scandal  and  increasing 
  inflation  were  accompanied  by  a  decline  in  GDP  growth  to  4%  in  1994. 
  For  the  long  run,  Syria's  economy  is  still  saddled  with  a  large  number 
  of  poorly  performing  public  sector  firms,  and  industrial  productivity 
  remains  to  be  improved.  Oil  production  is  likely  to  fall  off 
  dramatically  by  the  end  of  the  decade.  Unemployment  will  become  a 
  problem  for  the  government  when  the  more  than  60%  of  the  population 
  under  the  age  of  20  enter  the  labor  force. 
  National  product:  GDP  -  purchasing  power  parity  -  $74.4  billion  (1994 
  National  product  real  growth  rate:  4%  (1994  est.) 
  National  product  per  capita:  $5,000  (1994  est.) 
  Inflation  rate  (consumer  prices):  16.3%  (1993  est.) 
  Unemployment  rate:  7.5%  (1993  est.) 
  Budget:  NA 
  Exports:  $3.6  billion  (f.o.b.,  1994  est.) 
  commodities:  petroleum  53%,  textiles  22%,  cotton,  fruits  and 
  vegetables,  wheat,  barley,  chickens 
  partners:  EC  48%,  former  CEMA  countries  24%,  Arab  countries  18%  (1991) 
  Imports:  $4  billion  (c.i.f.,  1994  est.) 
  commodities:  foodstuffs  21%,  metal  products  17%,  machinery  15% 
  partners:  EC  37%,  former  CEMA  countries  15%,  US  and  Canada  10%  (1991) 
  External  debt:  $19.4  billion  (1993  est.) 
  Industrial  production:  growth  rate  NA% 
  capacity:  4,160,000  kW 
  production:  13.2  billion  kWh 
  consumption  per  capita:  865  kWh  (1993) 
  Industries:  textiles,  food  processing,  beverages,  tobacco,  phosphate 
  rock  mining,  petroleum 
  Agriculture:  accounts  for  30%  of  GDP  and  one-third  of  labor  force;  all 
  major  crops  (wheat,  barley,  cotton,  lentils,  chickpeas)  grown  mainly 
  on  rain-watered  land  causing  wide  swings  in  production;  animal 
  products  -  beef,  lamb,  eggs,  poultry,  milk;  not  self-sufficient  in 
  grain  or  livestock  products 
  Illicit  drugs:  a  transit  country  for  Lebanese  and  Turkish  refined 
  cocaine  going  to  Europe  and  heroin  and  hashish  bound  for  regional  and 
  Western  markets 
  Economic  aid: 
  recipient:  no  US  aid;  about  $4.2  billion  in  loans  and  grants  from  Arab 
  and  Western  donors  1990-92  as  a  result  of  Gulf  war  stance 
  Currency:  1  Syrian  pound  (#S)  =  100  piastres 
  Exchange  rates:  Syrian  pounds  (#S)  per  US$1  -  11.2  (official  fixed 
  rate),  26.6  (blended  rate  used  by  the  UN  and  diplomatic  missions), 
  42.0  (neighboring  country  rate  -  applies  to  most  state  enterprise 
  imports),  46.0  -  53.0  (offshore  rate)  (yearend  1993) 
  Fiscal  year:  calendar  year 
  total:  1,998  km 
  broad  gauge:  1,766  km  1.435-m  gauge 
  narrow  gauge:  232  km  1.050-m  gauge 
  total:  31,569  km 
  paved:  24,308  km  (including  670  km  of  expressways) 
  unpaved:  7,261  km 
  Inland  waterways:  870  km  minimal  economic  importance 
  Pipelines:  crude  oil  1,304  km  petroleum  products  515  km 
  Ports:  Baniyas  Jablah,  Latakia,  Tartus 
  Merchant  marine: 
  total:  80  ships  (1,000  GRT  or  over)  totaling  233,701  GRT/364,714  DWT 
  ships  by  type:  bulk  10,  cargo  68,  vehicle  carrier  2 
  total:  107 
  with  paved  runways  over  3,047  m:  5 
  with  paved  runways  2,438  to  3,047  m:  16 
  with  paved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  1 
  with  paved  runways  under  914  m:  67 
  with  unpaved  runways  1,524  to  2,438  m:  3 
  with  unpaved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  15 
  Telephone  system:  512,600  telephones;  37  telephones/1,000  persons; 
  fair  system  currently  undergoing  significant  improvement  and  digital 
  upgrades,  including  fiber  optic  technology 
  local:  NA 
  intercity:  coaxial  cable  and  microwave  radio  relay  network 
  international:  1  INTELSAT  (Indian  Ocean)  and  1  Intersputnik  earth 
  station;  1  submarine  cable;  coaxial  cable  and  microwave  radio  relay  to 
  Iraq,  Jordan,  Lebanon,  and  Turkey 
  broadcast  stations:  AM  9,  FM  1,  shortwave  0 
  radios:  NA 
  broadcast  stations:  17 
  televisions:  NA 
  Syria:Defense  Forces 
  Branches:  Syrian  Arab  Army,  Syrian  Arab  Navy,  Syrian  Arab  Air  Force, 
  Syrian  Arab  Air  Defense  Forces,  Police  and  Security  Force 
  Manpower  availability:  males  age  15-49  3,440,030;  males  fit  for 
  military  service  1,927,930;  males  reach  military  age  (19)  annually 
  159,942  (1995  est.) 
  Defense  expenditures:  exchange  rate  conversion  -  $2.2  billion,  6%  of 
  GDP  (1992) 

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