Syria has compulsory school from the children are 6 to 15
years. In 2002, 98% of children attended compulsory school.
It is a 3-year high school with a general and vocational
field of study. The language of instruction is Arabic;
English and French are the first foreign language. Syria has
4 universities: Damascus (founded 1903), Aleppo (1960),
Latakia (1971), Homs (1979). According to UNESCO (2003),
approx. 23% of the adult population is illiterate (10% of
men, 36% of women). Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Syria.
Among the relics left by the Crusaders in particular
spoke of the strengthening of Christian communities in the
region - especially the Maronites. They were used by the
Europeans as a pretext for 17th century interference. When
kediven of Egypt Mehmet Ali in 1831 conquered
Syria, they brought heavy taxes and compulsory military
service for a popular revolt, which both Muslims and
Christians participated. The European powers used since the
attacks on the Christian population as a pretext to
intervene. That way, Ali's offensive slowed down, and
Francewas given the "protection of Syrian Christians". The
development culminated with the total withdrawal of the
Egyptians in 1840, the re-introduction of Ottoman supremacy
and acceptance by the Turkish Sultans of the establishment
of Christian missions and schools paid for by the Europeans.
The Christian Maronite communities were located in the
mountainous region between Damascus and Jerusalem, and in
1858 they broke with the ruling class and abolished the
feudal tenure of the land. Their Muslim neighbors -
especially the Drusians - decided to crush the movement
before it spread. It came into conflict, culminating with
the so-called "massacres" in June 1860. A month later,
French troops landed in Beirut on the pretext of
"protecting" the Christians. They forced the Turkish
government to create a separate province - «Little Lebanon».
The province was to be ruled by a Christian - appointed by
the Sultan but approved by the European superpowers -, to
have his own police force and within the province the
abolition of feudal rights. In this way, a social conflict
was transformed into a conflict of faith, and the Christian
population of "Little Lebanon" took full precedence over the
local Muslim population.
World War 1
When the Arab uprising broke out during World War I (see
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq), the emir Faisal was
appointed king of Syria, without knowing the British-French
plans expressed in the Sykes-Picot agreement, after which
it fertile crescent should be divided as follows:
France should have control over Syria and Lebanon, while
England should have control over Palestine (including
Jordan) as well as Iraq.
In 1920 France occupied the country militarily and forced
Faisal to retire. Two months later, Syria was divided into 5
states: Greater Lebanon - in the further areas was added to
the province of «Little Lebanon», Damascus, Alepo, Djabal
Druzay and Alawis (Latakia). The four latter joined in 1924
Until 1932, the development was characterized by some
calm, but this year the president and parliament were
elected. However, France had made it clear that it would not
accept greater internal autonomy. It led to clashes, which
only ceased in 1936, when the French signed an agreement in
which they recognized the just in Syrian demands, the most
important of which was reunification with Lebanon. However,
the French government never ratified the agreement, which
triggered further agitation. It culminated in 1939 when the
Syrian president resigned, and the French administration
suspended the 1930 constitution in Syria and Lebanon.
In 1941, forces from free France and England occupied the
area to abolish cooperation with Nazism. Two years later,
Chikri Al-Quwatli was elected president of Syria and Bechara
Al-Kuri in Lebanon, but when the latter made proposals to
remove the references to the French mandate in the area, the
French forces captured him and his government. In both
states, the arrest triggered a clash and British pressure on
the French army was added. The conflict was only resolved
when the United Nations in March 1946 ordered the European
troops out of the area, thus ending the French mandate. The
withdrawal of the foreign forces was completed in 47. Syrian
forces joined 48 together with forces from other Arab
countries in the fight against the establishment of the
State of Israel.
Syria - Damascus
Damascus, Arab Ash-Sham Dimashq, capital of Syria; 1. 7 million
residents (2010), with suburbs 2. 8 million. The city is located 710 meters
above sea level. on the east side of Anti-Lebanon. Rain shadow, despite the
proximity to the Mediterranean, provides hot desert climate for most of the
year. Precipitation falls mainly in November – March, sometimes as snow.
However, the Barada River and the al-Ghuta oasis plain provide plenty of water
as well as temperate and subtropical vegetation. This, as well as the city's
location at the edge of the desert, have made Damascus an important trading and
Modern Damascus is Syria's most important city, economically, politically and
administratively. The city also has good rail links with Aleppo in northern
Syria and Amman in Jordan. Since the 1300s, Damascus has been the seat of the
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antakya. The old craftsmanship industry
(gunsmithing, carpet and silk weaving) now has little economic significance. It
has been replaced by more modern engineering and furniture, textile, food and
cement industries. The city has a university (founded 1903).
Architecture and cityscape
The historic center of the city, which was listed on UNESCO's World Heritage
List in 1979, is characterized by the transformation of the ancient, rectilinear
neighborhood pattern around the first Islamic centuries, with curved streets and
closed alleys. Parts of the original Roman city wall have preserved parts from
different times, including several city gates. Part of the wall joins the
citadel from the beginning of the 13th century.
The site of the central temple of antiquity has been since the beginning of
the 7th century, when the Caliph al-Walid ruled, the city's great mosque, the
Umayyad Mosque. The largely preserved mosque facility is a major monument in the
early architecture of Islam. The mosque courtyard with its surrounding
two-storey arcades, of which the south forms a facade to a wide column hall,
still has the character of the city's central open space. Partially preserved is
the mosque's original mosaic decor with plant and landscape motifs. Adjacent to
the mosque are the traditional bazaar blocks, partly with covered streets and
with several architecturally rich commercial gardens ( khan ),
mattresses and mausoleums from different times. There is also a significant
18th-century palace, built for Ottoman Governor Azam.
The medieval neighborhoods also extend to the north and southwest of the
historic center. They are surrounded by the rectilinear street systems of recent
times, largely according to a 1929 plan. Here you will find the Ottoman era's
most important mosque in Syria, Takkiya as-Suleymaniya, designed by Sinan in the
1560s. Characteristic of the architecture of Damascus through the Ottoman era is
high-quality stonework with the effect of contrasting colors.
The National Museum preserves the main facade and details of the Umayyad
palace Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi, located on the road between Damascus and Palmyra.
The city's origins date back to the 3000s BC, and it is mentioned in
documents from Ebla as early as the 2000s. In the 15th century, Damascus
belonged to Egypt, sometimes to the Hittites, and during a period of the 11th
century to the Israelite kingdom of David. Damascus was the center of an Aramaic
state and of resistance to Assyrian expansion in the 800s and 700s, but
conquered by Tiglatpileser 732 and was then a significant city during Assyrian,
Babylonian and Persian times. After Alexander the Great's conquest, a
Hellenistic urban formation was created adjacent to the Aramaic. It went to the
Seleucid Empire and stood in the shadow of Antioch, but belonged periodically to
the Ptolemaic Empire.
Damascus was the capital of Syria from 111, but was conquered by the
Nabateans 85 and Pompey 64 and then incorporated with the Roman province of
Syria. The local god Hadad was an important deity, the Jews were numerous and
early also the Christians; it was outside Damascus that Paul's conversion
occurred. Damascus became the provincial capital during Hadrian's time in the
100s and bishop's seat in the 300s. The city's most important ancient monument
is the remains of the great temple of Jupiter Damascenus of the 20th century,
which about 400 of Theodosius was replaced by a church of John the Baptist and
later of the Umayyad Mosque.
Damascus came under the rule of Islam in 635 and was the 661–750 capital of
the Umayyad caliphate with a political, economic and cultural upswing. Damascus
was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516. In 1918, the British and Faysal's Arab
army occupied the city, which until 1941 became part of the French mandate.
Since 1946 Damascus is the capital of Syria.
From the end of the 19th century until today, Damascus has been an important
center of Arab nationalism (panarabism). Damascus has quickly grown into a
multimillion city, but has lost much of its oriental character.