Syria is one of the Western Asia countries bordering other Asian Countries including Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea. The country is characterized by fertile plains, deserts, and mountains. Syria gained independent on October 25, 1945, becoming a founding member of the United Nations. Most of the Syrian population live in the Euphrates River Valley between the coastal mountains and the desert. The country has a population of approximately 17 million people with over 4 million people living outside the country as refugees. The remaining population is spread across the major cities of Syria. The country’s capital and the largest city is Damascus. The biggest cities include;
The Three Biggest Syrian Cities
Aleppo is the capital city of Aleppo Governorate, Syrian’s most populous governorate. The city has an official population of 2,132,100 people making it Syria’s largest city. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world having been inhabited since the 6th millennium BC. The long history of Aleppo is attributed to its strategic trading location between the modern Iraq and the Mediterranean Sea. Aleppo’s decline began with the inauguration of the Suez Canal in 1869 which diverted trade to the sea. Aleppo is characterized by medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage which has been preserved from the Ottoman rule. The Battle of Aleppo which began in 2012 and the Syrian Civil War have caused massive destruction to the city. Aleppo is a major center of Arabic traditional and classical music including Tarab. The Aleppine cuisine consists of wide range of dishes including kebab and dolma.
Damascus is the capital city of Syria and the largest city in the country after Aleppo with a population of 1,414,913. It is nicknamed the “City of Jasmine,” and it is located in the South-western Syria embedded on the eastern foothill of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Damascus has been occupied since the second half of the seventh millennium but it gained its prominence when Aram-Damascus was founded by Ezron when he overthrew city’s tribal governor. Damascus has been an important trade center since its founding. The city is also a tourist center with abundant cultural wealth. The historical sites in the city date back to different periods of history. It is also the main education center in Syria with the oldest and largest university.
Homs was previously known as Emesa. It is located in the Western Syria in the north of Damascus, and it is the capital of Homs Governorate. Homs was a major industrial center before the Syrian Civil War and it had a population of approximately 652,609 people in 2004. Historically the city was the capital of Emasany dynasty and a center of worship for the sun god El-Gabal. Homs declined during the Ottoman rule but regained its economic importance with the revival of the cotton industry. The city was the stronghold of the opposition during the Syrian Civil War. Much of the city has been destroyed in the war with several of its residents dead.
Effects Of Civil War On Cities
The civil war in Syria has had a devastating impact on its cities. Some of the once prominent cities like Homs and the old city of Aleppo now lie in ruins. The once prominent structures and historic sites now lie in ruins. The economy of these cities has also been affected since no meaningful trade can be carried out. Some of the cities are now ghost cities with most of the residents either killed in the war or moved to other countries for safety. According to the Syrian government, it will cost over one trillion dollars to restore the major cities.