Syrian Arab Republic
Current local time in Damascus: Tuesday, May 21 - 2013 - 14:41:00
Detail of the ancient gates to the Citadel of Aleppo
courtesy of arabianEye.com
Syria can be divided geographically into four main areas: the fertile plain in the northeast; the plateau, coastal and mountain areas in the west; the central plains; and the desert and steppe region in the central and southeastern areas.
The Euphrates flows from Turkey in the north, through Syria, down to Iraq in the southeast. Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the world's oldest inhabited city. A central feature of this cluttered and clamorous city is the Ummayyad Mosque.
The 18th-century Al-Azem palace is now a national museum, featuring beautifully illuminated copies of the Koran. Homs is a large city known for its industry. Of historical interest is the mausoleum of Khalid Ibn al-Walid. Located 65km (40 miles) outside Homs, Crac des Chevaliers is the most famous crusader castle in the world.
Rising from an altitude of 670m (2200ft), its watch-towers once afforded protection. Latakia, Syria's principal Mediterranean coastal port is a major holiday resort. National dishes include kubbeh (minced semolina and meat formed in balls and stuffed with minced meat, onion and nuts) and yabrak (vine leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat).
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Information in this section was last updated: Fri Apr 12 2013