Syria is a special place. People have lived there for hundreds of thousands of years. It is located in an area that was once known as Mesopotamia. This area is considered the birthplace of civilization. The oldest human remains that have been found in the area date back 700,000 years. Neanderthal bones have been found in the area as well. The oldest city that has been excavated in Syria is Elba, which was inhabited around 3,000 B.C. Many empires have ruled this area, including the Egyptians, Hittites, Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. These civilizations experiencd incredible breakthroughs, like writing.
- The capital of Syria is Damascus.
- The population is 22,520,746.
- Elba had a population of 260,000.
- After World War I, France controlled Syria.
- The Syrians rose up against French rule in 1925 and 1927. This is called the Great Syrian Revolt.
- Syria gained independence on April 17, 1946.
- Syria’s size is 185,180 square kilometers. This is slightly larger than North Dakota.
- It is mostly desert.
- Aleppo its the largest city. It has a population of 2.985 million.
- The official language is Arabic. Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French and English are also commonly spoken in Syria.
- The national symbol is the hawk.
- One of the major industries is oil.
Since its independence, Syria has been politically unstable. There were many government coups, revolts and riots. You may have also seen Syria in the news. The country is involved in a civil war – a war between opposing groups of people form the same country – that started in 2011. About half of the country’s populations, 11 million Syrians, have been displaced from their homes. They are called refugees.