Language(s): Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian
Total Area: 185,180 km²
GDP (in million USD): 59,633
Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south and Israel to the southwest. Syria has been ruled by the Assad regime since former Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad seized power in a 1970 military coup.
Traditional Houses of the Old Cities in Damascus, Aleppo and the other Syrian cities are preserved, and traditionally the living quarters are arranged around one or more courtyards, typically with a fountain in the middle supplied by spring water, and decorated with citrus trees, grape vines, and flowers arranged for the comfort of the family and entertaining guests. 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.
Foreigners may own land in Syria. But Syria is still considered by the US as a principal sponsor of terrorism, which does not however render land ownership in Syria illegal in US eyes. Syria is also still under a state of emergency, which has been in force since March 1963.