Syria (سوريا الجنوبية, Suriyya al-Janubiyya) is
the southern part of the
Syria region, roughly corresponding to the
Southern Levant. Typically it refers chronologically and
geographically to the southern part of
Ottoman Syria provinces.
1 Usage during Ottoman era
2 Usage during British and French occupation
3 Later usage
5 External links
Usage during Ottoman era
Throughout the Ottoman period, prior to World War I, the Levant was
administered and viewed locally as one entity, divided into provinces.
Syria was thus including the Southern sub-provinces of
Ottoman Syria administrative region, including by the end of 19th and
early 20th century the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, the Nablus Sanjak
Acre Sanjak (under
Beirut Vilayet from 1888 and previously under
Syria Vilayet), and a short-lived Mutasarrıfate of Karak (split as a
new administrative unit from
Syria Vilayet in 1894/5). In 1884, the
governor of Damascus made a proposal to establish a new "Vilayet of
Southern Syria", though nothing came out of this.
Usage during British and French occupation
Further information: Greater Syria, Occupied Enemy Territory
Administration, and Arab Kingdom of Syria
In early 20th century, the term "Southern Syria" could imply support
Greater Syria nationalism associated with the kingdom promised
to the Hashemite dynasty of the
Hejaz by the British during World War
I. After the war, the Hashemite prince Faisal attempted to establish
such a Greater Syrian or pan-
Mashriq state—a united kingdom that
would comprise all of what eventually became Syria, Lebanon, Israel,
Jordan, and Palestine, but he was stymied by conflicting promises made
by the British to different parties (see Sykes–Picot Agreement),
leading to the French creation of the mandate of
According to the Minutes of the Ninth Session of the League of
Nations' Permanent Mandate Commission, "Southern Syria" was suggested
as the name of
Mandatory Palestine in the Arabic language. The reports
say the following:
"Colonel Symes explained that the country was described as 'Palestine'
by Europeans and as 'Falestin' by the Arabs. The Hebrew name for the
country was the designation 'Land of Israel', and the Government, to
meet Jewish wishes, had agreed that the word "Palestine" in Hebrew
characters should be followed in all official documents by the
initials which stood for that designation. As a set-off to this,
certain of the Arab politicians suggested that the country should be
called 'Southern Syria' in order to emphasize its close relation with
another Arab State".
In 1927, an Arab party named "the Arab Independence Party in Southern
Syria" was established in
Mandatory Palestine to emphasize the
reaffirmed support for Arab pan-Syrianism.
While the use of the term Southern
Syria term was common by the early
20th century, it is still occasionally used term in politics,
literature and local history of the region.
^ Kazziha, Walid. The Social History of the Southern Syria
(Trans-Jordan) in the 19th and Early 20th Century. Beirut Arab
^ Rogan, Eugene L. (2002-04-11). Frontiers of the State in the Late
Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921. Cambridge University Press.
pp. 52–55. ISBN 978-0-521-89223-0. Retrieved
^ League of Nations, Permanent Mandate Commission, Minutes of the
Ninth Session Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (Arab
Grievances), Held at Geneva from June 8th to 25th, 1926,[dead link]
^ Pipes, D. Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford
University Press. 1990. p.69.
^ Communication from the Arab Revolt in Southern Syria-Palestine (in
Arabic) Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Jewish colonies on our land in Southern Syria-Palestine, SSNP, 5
March 2009 (in Arabic) Archived 19 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Palestine for the Syrians?, Daniel Pipes, Dec. 1986
Helsinki.fi−Levant internetcourse: Brief history