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There is a high child mortality rate that is due mainly to measles and digestive and respiratory diseases. Member sign in Email: Syrians tend to identify primarily with their religious group or sect; however, as the majority of the country is Sunni Muslim, this creates a strong feeling of cultural unity. Popular fruits that are grown in the region include dates, figs, plums, and watermelons. These information about Syria gave me more details and made me more to know my new friend who is a Syrian. Also represented are Turks; Armenians, most of whom fled Turkey between and ; and small numbers of Circassians, Assyrians, and Jews. I am Aquarius, cm 5' 10'' , 77 kg lbs.
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The modern-day nation emerged from Sham, an area that historically included Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. Islam forbids the artistic depiction of animals or human beings. Member Online 3 weeks ago year-old man seeking women ; Single - never married Tartus , Syria singles. Etiquette Men and women socialize separately except on occasions when the whole family is involved. Instead, there are people with the job of leading prayers and reading from the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book. The info really helped.
Damascus , Syria dating. I work in the field of decoration and my family is far away from me. I work very well to make money. Member sign in Email: Sign up for free. My Profile who's viewed me? Voting My voting history My fans My mutual sympathies.
Member Online 3 months ago year-old woman seeking men ; Ar-Raqqah , Syria dating. My name is Emad. I am 21 years old. I am looking for a serious relationship. I am from Syria. I live in Damascus Communicate with me on WhatsApp. Join our community and meet thousands of lonely hearts from various parts of Syrian Arab Republic.
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Just add your profile, search for other members like you seeking to date, flirt, chat, find romance and have fun. Put away your wallet, you'll never pay a dime to use Loveawake. Tarekkos , 30 y. The Great Omayyad Mosque, which dates back to the early days of Islam, is one of its oldest and most famous buildings. It formerly served as a Byzantine church honoring Saint John the Baptist and was constructed on the site of an old temple to pre-Islamic gods.
The walls are lined with marble and overlaid with golden vines. Six hundred gold lamps hang from the ceiling. The city is home to ruins as well as intact buildings that date back thousands of years.
These structures are located in the area called the Old City. Damascus is also a city of cars, highways, and tall modern buildings made of reinforced concrete. Aleppo, although smaller, is equally ancient. It is geographically protected by its elevation and rocky terrain, and traces its history back to its days as a fort. Today Aleppo is the nation's second largest urban center and most industrialized city. It engages in silk weaving and cotton printing as well as the tanning of animal hides and the processing of produce.
Other cities include Latakia, the country's main port, and Homs and Tartus, both of which have oil refineries. In villages, houses present a closed front to the outside world, symbolizing the self-contained family unit.
They are small, usually with one to three rooms, and are built around an enclosed central courtyard. Traditional rural houses in the northwest are mud structures that are shaped like beehives.
In the south and east, most houses are made of stone. The nomadic Bedouin, who live mainly in the south and east, sleep in tents that are easily transportable. In , 30 percent of the population lived in cities; in , that proportion was 46 percent; and by , the number had climbed to half.
Most of this growth has been concentrated in Damascus. The rapid spread of that city into nearby farmland has resulted in traffic congestion, overtaxed water supplies, pollution, and housing shortages. Many older buildings have been taken down to make room for roads and newer structures. The outskirts of the city have become overrun with quickly and shoddily constructed homes that sometimes have electricity but rarely have running water or sewage facilities.
Food in Daily Life. Wheat is the main crop and one of the staple foods. Vegetables, fruits, and dairy products also are eaten. Lamb is popular, but most people cannot afford to eat meat on a regular basis.
Islam proscribes the consumption of pork, and other meats must be specially prepared in a method called halal cooking. In middle-class and wealthier homes, meals are like those eaten in other Middle Eastern countries: A mezzeh is a midday meal composed of up to twenty or thirty small dishes.
These dishes can include hummous , a puree of chickpeas and tahini ground sesame paste ; baba ganouj, an eggplant puree; meat rissoles; stuffed grape leaves; tabouleh a salad of cracked wheat and vegetables ; falafel deep-fried balls of mashed chickpeas ; and pita bread. Olives, lemon, parsley, onion, and garlic are used for flavoring. Popular fruits that are grown in the region include dates, figs, plums, and watermelons. Damascus has a number of French restaurants remaining from the time of colonial rule.
Tea is the ubiquitous drink and is often consumed at social gatherings. Soda is also very popular, as is milk and a drink made by mixing yogurt with water, salt, and garlic. Alcohol consumption is rare, as it is forbidden by the Islamic religion, but beer and wine are available, as is arak, an aniseed drink that also is popular in other Middle Eastern countries. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Food is an important part of many celebrations.
During Ramadan, each day's fast is broken with an evening meal called iftar. This meal begins in silence and is consumed rapidly. Eid al-Fitr, the final breaking of the Ramadan fast, entails the consumption of large quantities of food, sweets in particular. Food is also a central element at weddings, parties, and other festivities. The country supplies almost all of its own food needs. The proportion of the population working in agriculture has decreased significantly from 50 percent in , to 30 percent in the s, to 23 percent today.
Despite this decline, production has increased, thanks in large part to the dam at Tabqa, which has allowed for increased irrigation. Half of the workforce is employed in industry and mining.
There is less of a gap between the rich and the poor in Syria than there is in many other countries, and as more of the population gains access to education, the middle class continues to expand. Land Tenure and Property.
Before independence, urban landlords controlled the countryside, often mistreating the peasants and denying them any rights. The majority of peasants worked as sharecroppers and were economically and politically powerless. When the socialist Baath Party took control, it introduced measures to limit and redistribute land ownership and establish peasant unions.
It also set up local governing organizations and cooperatives, that have allowed the peasants to attain more control of their lives and livelihood. The center of commercial activity in each town or city is the souk.
People from all walks of life and all ethnic and religious backgrounds come together to buy and sell a wide variety of goods. Spices, meats, vegetables, cloth, traditional handicrafts, and imported products jostle for space in the crowded booths and alleyways. Souks are not just commercial centers but gathering places as well, and haggling is a necessary part of social interactions.
Shopping centers and supermarkets exist but have not supplanted this uniquely Arab institution. The main industries are oil, agriculture, and textiles. Wheat is the largest crop, followed by cotton. Vegetables, beans, and fruits The busy Liberation Square in Damascus. The city is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, but now it is also a very modern city. There is some heavy industry metallurgy and aluminum as well as pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals.
The oil industry is controlled by the government. Other manufactures include cement, glass, soap, and tobacco. Syria's primary trading partners are Germany, Italy, and France. Although Syria is not as rich in oil as other Middle Eastern nations, oil is the main export, and the exploration for deposits continues. Other exports are cotton, fruits and vegetables, and textiles. Imports include industrial and agricultural machinery, vehicles and automotive accessories, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and fabric.
Syrians are legally entitled to pursue the career of their choice; however, those choices are often limited by gender, family, social pressure, and economic hardship. There is often relatively little difference in the salaries of the working class and those of the professional class.
Syrian society was traditionally extremely stratified. People from different classes generally do not socialize with one another, and people in the lower classes often adopt a humble attitude and an acceptance of their position.
Class lines tend to coincide with racial differences, as lighter-skinned people hold higher economic and political positions and most of the people in the lower-ranked professions are darker-skinned. The families of landholders and merchants traditionally occupied the highest position socially and politically.
They usually lived in Damascus or Aleppo and managed their land from afar. Religious teachers known as ulama were also influential. They served as judges, teachers, and political officials as well as advisers to the government. In this role, the ulama generally supported the status quo. The towns and cities also housed artisans, small merchants, and a small working class. The Baath government has created some shifts in that pattern. Some peasants are moving to the cities and joining the middle class; others now own land.
However, there are still large numbers of indigent and landless peasants. Since the Baath takeover, the army officers who participated in the coup have succeeded the landowners as the new elite.
There is also a growing middle class as a result of the spread of education. Symbols of Social Stratification. The wealthy and well educated have a fairly modern lifestyle with many of the trappings of Western life. Televisions and radios are common except among the extremely poor. Appliances such as air conditioners, dishwashers, and microwaves are only for the very wealthy.
Dress is another indicator of social class. Different tribes and villages have their own distinctive patterns, designs, and colors of clothing. Men traditionally wear long gowns called kaftans, and women wear long robes that leave only their hands and feet exposed. Both men and women wear head wraps. The educated upper classes, particularly the young, tend to prefer modern Western attire.
These women favor bright colors, jewelry, makeup, and high heels; men wear dressy slacks and shirts. Blue jeans and T-shirts are rare, as are shorts and miniskirts and bare shoulders or upper arms for women. Traditionally, it is a sign of wealth and status in a family for its women to dress in long robes with their faces veiled. Syria adopted its current constitution in There is universal suffrage.
The unicameral legislative branch is composed of the People's Council, or Majlis al shaab, whose members are elected for four-year terms. This body proposes laws, discusses cabinet programs, and approves the national budget. The president, who serves as the head of state and is required by the constitution to be a Muslim, is elected every seven years by popular vote. The president appoints a vice president, a prime minister who serves as head of government, a cabinet, and deputy prime ministers.
The president has wide-reaching powers, including serving on the supreme court. Despite the distribution of political power, in practice, the military government has the ability to overrule all decisions. Leadership and Political Officials. The importance placed on the family as the central structure in society has ramifications in politics and government.
Family loyalty is a primary consideration, and there is a general sentiment that family members even distant relatives can be trusted more than other people. The best jobs in the government generally are held by people related to the president, either of the same religious group or the same regional background or part of his extended family.
While residents generally are interested in politics both at a local level and as a part of the larger Arab world and are critical of leaders, they tend not to join political parties. Even the ruling Baath Party has relatively small numbers of members.
It is more Women outside a mosque in Damascus. Religion is an important part of daily life in Syria. Within these groups, leadership positions are often hotly contested. Social Problems and Control. The legal system is based on the French model, with both civil and criminal courts. There is also a State Security Court that tries political opponents of the government.
The proceedings of this court violate many international standards for fair trials. There are large numbers of political prisoners in the jails. In , the government announced that it would free 2, of these prisoners, perhaps signaling a loosening of its autocratic policies. For cases dealing with issues such as birth, marriage, and inheritance, the system has different courts for people of different religions.
The Muslim courts are called Sharia. Syria has armed forces with , members. This includes an army and an air force but no navy. It spends 30 percent of the national budget on defense as a result of the state of war that has existed between Syria and Israel since the founding of Israel. Syria also has thirty thousand troops stationed in Lebanon to maintain the peace.
All men are required to serve thirty months in the armed forces, with the exception of only sons, who are exempt. It is possible to buy exemption from service for a very large sum of money. Women are allowed to serve voluntarily. The government strictly enforces price controls on basic items as well as rent control laws, that help low-income people get by.
Medical fees are covered by the state for those who cannot afford private care. The government also provides assistance to the elderly, invalids, and those suffering from work injuries.
Most assistance comes from within the family structure; young people often live with their parents until and even after marriage, and children are expected to take in and care for their elderly parents. Division of Labor by Gender. Traditionally, wives in towns are responsible for running the household and are restricted to the home. Rural women often work in the fields in addition to performing domestic tasks. While women are legally allowed to work outside the home, there are significant obstacles.
For example, the government's Moral Intelligence Department investigates women before allowing them to hold federal jobs. Only 11 percent of women of working age are employed outside the home; among those women, 80 percent work in agriculture.
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