Syria Political system
Syria has been a presidential republic since 1973, and the constitution dates
from the same year. Syria is a member of the UN, the Arab League and the
OAPEC. The unicameral parliament (Volkskammer) has 250 members and is elected by
the people every four years. The direct election of the President takes place
every 7 years; he can be re-elected as often as desired. The President appoints
a cabinet that reports to the Prime Minister. The right to vote exists from the
age of 18.
There has been an armed uprising against the Assad regime since March
2011. The result is that numerous groups rule the country and Assad, with the
support of Russia and Iran, only rules a small part of the country.
A particularly successful and very cruel group is the IS (Islamic State), which
controls large parts of the country and is attacked from the air by the
Americans, Russians, French and others.
At the beginning of 2016, half of the population was on the run - both inside
and outside the country
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
|Al-dschumhūriyya al-arabiyya as-sūriyya
Syrian Arab Republic
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the Syrian national anthem is entitled "Humat ad-Diyar" in German: "Guardian of
the homeland". It has been the country's anthem since 1936. The text was written
by Khalil Mardam Bey (1895-1959), the music is by Mohammad Salim Flayfel and
Ahmad Salim Flayfel, who also composed the national anthem of Palestine.
In the English translation it reads:
|Defender of the empire
make peace with you;
Our proud disposition
does not allow submission of the
building block of Arabia.
A blessed sanctuary.
The seat of the stars.
An inviolable shelter
Saladin (1137/1138 - 1193)
The field army born as Salāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf bin Ayyūb in Tikrit and later named
"al-Malik an-Nāṣir" (= "the victorious ruler") founder of the Kurdish dynasty of
the Ayyubids Ruled above all over Egypt and Syria. Sultan Saladin has become a
myth. He is still considered the greatest of all heroes in the Muslim world and
is the exemplary example of an Islamic ruler. The conqueror Saladin, who
conquered Jerusalem in 1187 and did so there He behaved prudently and
tolerantly, was primarily glorified as a powerful opponent of the crusaders.The
great Saladin died in Damascus in 1193.
Abd ar-Rahman I (731-788)
Born in Damascus, from 756 to 788 first emir of Cordoba (Andalusia)
Abd al-Qadir (1808 - 1883)
Algerian freedom fighter who died in Damascus; saved thousands of Damascus
Christians during the 1860 massacre related to fighting between Muslim Druze and
David (died around 1,000 BC)
second king of Israel and Judah (according to books 1 and 2 of
Samuel); conquered around 990 BC BC Damascus (2 Sam 8,8)
Ghassan Massoud (born 1958)
Syrian film actor from Damascus; most recently played Saladin in Ridley Scott's
epic "Kingdom of Heaven"
Baschar Hafiz al-Assad (born 1965)
Baschar Hafiz al-Assad was born on September 11, 1965 as the son of the then
officer Hafiz al-Assad (1930-2000) and his wife Anisa Machluf (1934-2016) in
Damascus. He has been General Secretary of the Ba'ath Party and President of
Syria since 2000. Assad is a member of the Alawites' religious community. As a
result of the civil war that has raged since 2011, he only ruled some parts of
Hafiz al-Assad (1930 - 2000)
IHafiz al-Assad was born on October 6, 1930 in the small Syrian town of
Kardaha. He was President of Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000. He was the
father of Bashar Hafiz al-Assad.
He died on October 6, 2000 in Damascus.
John of Damascus (approx. 650 - 749)
Also Ioannes Damascenus (Latin) or Johannes ibn Mansur (Arabic); important
Orthodox Christian church father who was born in Damascus and grew up there
Marcus Antonius (83/86 BC - 30 BC)
Roman statesman and general; gave Damascus (as part of Coelesyria) as a gift to
Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Michel Aflaq (1910 - 1989)
Damascus-born founder of Ba'athism and the Ba'ath party, whose most famous
representative later became Saddam Hussein.
Mua'wiya Al-Sagheer the Younger (7th century)
The son of Yazid ben Muawiya ben Abu Sofian resigned after just one month as
caliph on the grounds that the Umayyads had no right to the title of caliph. The
shrine of Mua'wiyas, who was murdered by his family because of this affront, can
be visited in a small street near the Umayyad Mosque.
Ali Ahmad Said Esber (born 1930)
The Latakia-born poet and writer who later became known as "Adonis" has been one
of the narrowest circle of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature for
Paulus (died around 64)
one of the most influential theologians of early Christianity and - alongside
Peter - the most important early Christian missionary, had his experience of
conversion as Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus. The image of Jesus Christ
had appeared to him. "Why are you persecuting me," it said to him, whereupon
Paul went blind and was nursed back to health in what is now the Syrian
capital. Today you can visit the chapel of St. Paul in the old town of Damascus,
which commemorates the apostle's flight from his persecutors.
Before his conversion to Christianity, Paul was called Saul of Tarsus. He was a
Jew and was considered a cruel persecutor of the Christians. Ananias is now
asked by God in a vision to lay hands on Saul and thus heal him from his
blindness, which attacked him on the way to Damascus. After the healing, Saul is
baptized and becomes one of the most important missionaries, theologians and
apostles of the Christian religion. (The exact experience can be found in the
biblical Lukan Acts 9: 10-19.)
Salah al-Din al-Bitar (1912-1980)
Syrian politician born in Damascus and co-founder of the Ba'ath party
Rafik Schami (born 1946)
This Syrian-German writer was born in Damascus in 1946.
Ghada Schouaa (born 1972)
This Syrian athlete was born in 1972 in Mahrda, who won her country's first and
so far only gold medal in the heptathlon at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
She now lives in Simmern in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Thutmose III. (around 1479 BC - around 1425 BC)
Egyptian pharaoh who lived in the 15th century BC. Chr. Damascus took
Yasser Seirawan (born 1960)
He currently lives in the USA, this chess grandmaster, born in Damascus in
1969. He has won the US championships four times, and in 1979 he was the winner
of the Junior World Chess Championship.