The Info List - Syrian

c. 18 million in Syria,[1] Syrian ancestry: +10 million Syrian refugees: +6 million

Regions with significant populations

 Syria 17,185,170 [2]

 Brazil 4,011,480 [3]

 Turkey 2,764,500 [4]

 Lebanon 1,500,000 [5]

 Jordan 1,400,000 [6]

 Argentina 1,103,000

 Venezuela 1,015,632 [7][8][9][10]

 Germany 600,000 [11]

 Iraq 247,861

 Sweden 166,108[12]

 United States 154,560 [13]

 Greece 88,204

 Austria 48,116 [14]

 Canada 40,840 [15]

 Macedonia 40,000


(Syrian Arabic) Neo-Aramaic (Surayt/Turoyo, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Western Neo-Aramaic).


(mostly Sunni, and a minority of Shi'as and Alawites) Christianity
(Mostly Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic; a minority of Syriac Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic) Druze Judaism

Related ethnic groups

Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, Arabs, Jews, Assyrians

(Arabic: سوريون‎), also known as the Syrian people (Arabic: الشعب السوري‎ ALA-LC: al-sha‘ab al-Sūrī; Syriac: ܣܘܪܝܝܢ‎) are the inhabitants of Syria, who share a common Levantine Semitic ancestry. The cultural and linguistic heritage of the Syrian people
Syrian people
is a blend of both indigenous elements and the foreign cultures that have come to rule the land and its people over the course of thousands of years. The Syrian republic has a population of nearly 17 million as of 2014,[1] in addition to 4 million Syrian refugees. The dominant racial group is the Syrian descendants of the old indigenous peoples who mixed with Arabs
and identify themselves as such in addition to ethnic Aramean. The Syrian diaspora
Syrian diaspora
consists of 15 million people of Syrian ancestry,[16] who immigrated to North America ( United States
United States
and Canada), European Union member states
European Union member states
(including Sweden, France and Germany), South America (mainly in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia), Australia, and Africa.[16]


1 Etymology 2 Identity

2.1 Ethnogenesis 2.2 Genetics

3 Language 4 Religion and minority groups 5 Cuisine 6 Notable people

6.1 Scholars 6.2 Public figures and politicians 6.3 Religious Figures 6.4 Business 6.5 Entertainment 6.6 Sport

7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Etymology[edit] The name "Syrians" was employed by the Greeks
and Romans to denote the inhabitants of Syria; however, they called themselves Arameans
and Assyrians. The ethnic designation "Syrian" is derived from the word "Assyrian" and appeared in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Some argue that the discovery of the Çineköy inscription
Çineköy inscription
in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria
derives from Assyria. The Greeks
used the terms "Syrian" and "Assyrian" interchangeably to indicate the indigenous Arameans, Assyrians and other inhabitants of the Near East, Herodotus
considered "Syria" west of the Euphrates. Starting from the 2nd century BC onwards, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria
or King of the Syrians.[17] The Seleucids designated the districts of Seleucis and Coele-Syria explicitly as Syria
and ruled the Syrians
as indigenous populations residing west of the Euphrates
(Aramea) in contrast to Assyrians who had their native homeland in Mesopotamia
east of the Euphrates.[18] However, the interchangeability between Assyrians and Syrians persisted during the Hellenistic period.[18] In one instance, the Ptolemies
of Egypt
reserved the term "Syrian Village" as the name of a settlement in Fayoum. The term "Syrians" is under debate whether it referred to Jews
or to Arameans, as the Ptolemies
referred to all peoples originating from Modern Syria
and Palestine as Syrian.[19] The term Syrian was imposed upon Arameans
of modern Levant
by the Romans. Pompey
created the province of Syria, which included modern-day Lebanon
and Syria
west of the Euphrates, framing the province as a regional social category with civic implications.[20] Plutarch
described the indigenous people of this newly created Roman province as "Syrians",[21] so did Strabo, who observed that Syrians resided west of the Euphrates
in Roman Syria,[20] and he explicitly mentions that those Syrians
are the Arameans, whom he calls Aramaei, indicating an extant ethnicity.[22] In his book The Great Roman-Jewish War, Josephus, a Hebrew native to the Levant, mentioned the Syrians
as the non-Hebrew, non-Greek indigenous inhabitants of Syria.[23] The Arabs
called Syria
and the Levant
Al-Sham. The national and ethnic designation "Syrian" is one that has been reused, accepted and espoused by the Syrian people
Syrian people
since the advent of modern nationalism, which emanated from Europe and began with the culmination of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
of the early 1800s. Identity[edit] Besides religious identities, the Syrian people
Syrian people
are split among three identities, namely the Arab, Syriac, and Syrian identities. Many Muslims and some Arabic-speaking Christians describe themselves as Arabs, while many Aramaic-speaking Christians and a minority of Muslims prefer to describe themselves as Syriacs or Arameans. Also some people from Syria, mainly Syrian nationalists, describe themselves only as Syrians. Ethnogenesis[edit] Main articles: Arameans, Phoenicia, and Arabs

Former Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli
Shukri al-Quwatli
and his family

The inhabitants of Syria
descend from the ancient Semitic peoples of antiquity,[24][25] mainly the Amorites, Arameans, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Palmyrians, and populations from Arabia.[26][27][28] The majority of the Syrian people
Syrian people
who refer to themselves as Arabs
are the result of the linguistic Arabization
of Syria
following the Muslim conquest of the Levant.[29] Arabisation and Islamization
of Syria
began in the 7th century, while it took several centuries for Islam, the Arab identity, and language to spread.[30] Syrians
welcomed the Arabs
as liberators which made Arabisation and conversion faster.[31] The Arabs
had a policy of segregating indigenous Syrians
from Arab tribes; they built new settlements to accommodate the new tribes which limited the ethnic assimilation of the original "Arabised" Arameans. Caliph Uthman specifically ordered his governor, Muawiyah I, to settle the new tribes away from the original population.[32] However, the ascendancy of Arabic
as the formal language of the state prompted the cultural and linguistic assimilation of Syrian converts.[33] While the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
showed some religious tolerance, the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
had a different approach[clarification needed],[34] and by the time of the Crusades (1100 AD) most Syrians
adopted Islam and were culturally and linguistically fully Arabised.[35] The new Muslim converts mixed with the Arabs
and shifted to an Arab racial identity, but the mixing didn't change the genetic pool dramatically. Many Christians lost their identity and adopted an Arab racial identity,[36] becoming indistinguishable from the Arab Christians of pre-conquest era, while those who kept their racial characteristics maintained the Syrian identity and are mainly divided between two groups:

Followers of the Western-rite Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
and Syriac Catholic Church;[37][38] these Syriac-speaking Christians kept the Syrian (Syriac) Identity throughout the ages,[39][better source needed] though today most of them speak Arabic
while retaining their racial identity. Syriac is still the liturgical language for most of the different Syriac churches in Syria.[40] More recently, the Syriac Orthodox Church, which has been historically called "Syrian", officially changed its English name to "Syriac" in 2000.[41] The Western Aramaic-speaking group, that is, the inhabitants of Bakh'a, Jubb'adin
and Ma'loula, who retained their racial and linguistic characteristics,[42] whereas the residents of Bakh'a and Jubb'adin
are Muslims.[43] In Ma'loula
the Christian
majority is split in between the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in addition to a Muslim minority.[44][45] Two notable Syrian Christian
families in Ma'loula
include the Greek Orthodox Naddaf family and the Greek Catholic al-Ahmar family.[46]

Genetics[edit] Genetic tests on Syrians
were included in many genetic studies,[47][28][48] the genetic marker which identifies descendants of the ancient Levantines is found among members of all Levantines from different religious groups.[49] Syrian Muslims show a slightly more Arabian genetic influx than their Christian
compatriots.[50] The most common Haplogroup is J represented by its subclades (branches) J1 and J2. The paternal Y-DNA haplogroups J1 (which reaches it highest frequencies in Yemen
72.6% and Qatar
58.3%) accounted for 33.6% of Syrians.[28] J1 has its highest frequency in people belonging to the Ismailis of Damascus with 58.8%, while reaching its lowest frequency among the Arameans
of Ma'loula
with 6.8%. Other frequencies are 14.7% for Druze, 47.2% for Sunnis of Hama, 14.3% for Syriac Catholics of Saidnaya
and 26.7% among the Alawite
population. The J2 group accounted for 20.8% of Syrians,[28] other Y-DNA haplogroups includes the E1B1B 12.0%, I 5.0%, R1a 10.0% and R1b 15.0%.[28][51] The Syrian people
Syrian people
cluster the closest with the Lebanese, then the Palestinians, Jews
and then the Jordanians.[47][52] Language[edit] Further information on Syrian Arabic: Levantine Arabic Arabic
is the mother tongue of a majority[1] of Syrians
as well as the official state language. The Syrian variety of Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic
varies little from Modern Standard Arabic. Western Neo-Aramaic, the only surviving Western Aramaic language, is still spoken in three villages (Ma'loula, Al-Sarkha (Bakhah)
Al-Sarkha (Bakhah)
and Jubb'adin) in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains by both Muslim and Christian
residents. Syriac-Assyrians in the northeast of the country are mainly Surayt/ Turoyo speakers but there are also some speakers of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, especially in the Khabour Valley. Classical Syriac is also used as a liturgical language by Syriac Christians. English, and to a lesser extent French, is widely understood and used in interactions with tourists and other foreigners. Religion and minority groups[edit] Main articles: Freedom of religion in Syria, Religion in Syria, Islam in Syria, and Christianity
in Syria

Play media

Clip - Interview with Paolo Dall'Oglio, The Syrian tradition of coexistence and the present scenario of confrontation

Religious differences in Syria
have historically been tolerated,[53][54] and religious minorities tend to retain distinct cultural, and religious identities. Sunni
is the religion of 74% of Syrians. The Alawites, a variety of Shia Islam, make up 12% of the population and mostly live in and around Tartus
and Latakia. Christians make up 10% of the country. Most Syrian Christians adhere to the Byzantine Rite; the two largest are the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.[55][56] The Druze are a mountainous people who reside in Jabal al- Druze
who helped spark the Great Syrian Revolt. The Ismailis are an even smaller sect that originated in Asia. Many Armenian and Assyrian Christians fled Turkey during the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
and the Assyrian genocide
Assyrian genocide
and settled in Syria. There are also roughly 500,000 Palestinians, who are mostly descendants of refugees from the 1948 Israeli-Arab War. The community of Syrian Jews
Syrian Jews
inside Syria
once numbered 30,000 in 1947, but has only 200 today.[57] The Syrian people's beliefs and outlooks, similar to those of most Arabs
and people of the wider Middle-East, are a mosaic of West and East. Conservative and liberally minded people will live right next to each other, and hold debates with each other. Like the other countries in the region, religion permeates life; the government registers every Syrian's religious affiliation. Cuisine[edit]


Further information: Syrian cuisine Syrian cuisine
Syrian cuisine
is dominated by ingredients native to the region. Olive oil, garlic, olives, peppermint, and sesame oil are some of the ingredients that are used in many traditional meals. Traditional Syrian dishes enjoyed by Syrians
include, tabbouleh, labaneh, shanklish, wara' 'enab, makdous, kebab, Kibbeh, sfiha, moutabal, hummus, mana'eesh, bameh, and fattoush. Before the main courses, Syrians
eat meze, which is basically an appetizer. Meze
is usually served with Arab-style tea - highly concentrated black tea, which is highly sweetened and served in small glass cups. Another popular drink, especially with Christians and non-practicing Muslims, is the arak, a liquor produced from grapes or dates and flavored with anise that can have an alcohol content of over 90% ABV (however, most commercial Syrian arak brands are about 40-60% ABV). Notable people[edit] Further information: List of Syrians Scholars[edit]

a Greek language
Greek language
author. Posidonius, a polymath Libanius, Greek language
Greek language
author and orator, from an Antiochan family. John Chrysostom, Syrian-Greek founding father of the church. Hunayn ibn Ishaq, scholar, physician, and a scientist. Ishaq ibn Hunayn, was an influential physician and translator. Thebit, a polymath who has a significant contributions in maths, astronomy and physics. He worked in translation from Syriac and Greek into Arabic Al-Battani, He introduced a number of trigonometric relations, and his Kitāb az-Zīj was frequently quoted by many medieval astronomers, including Copernicus. Ibn al-Nafis
Ibn al-Nafis
He was a physician mostly famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood. Ibn al-Shatir, He was an astronomer. He worked as muwaqqit (موقت, religious timekeeper) in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and constructed a sundial for its minaret in 1371/72. John of Damascus
John of Damascus
polymath and theologian Raphael of Brooklyn, of Damascene Syrian parents. The first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America. Hunein Maassab, professor of Epidemiology known for developing the Live attenuated influenza vaccine. Shadia Habbal, an astronomer and physicist, played a key role in establishing the NASA
Parker Solar Probe Fawwaz T. Ulaby, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, received the IEEE Edison Medal in 2006. Kefah Mokbel, FRCS. The lead breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute of The Princess Grace Hospital, professor of Breast Cancer Surgery (The Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics) Brunel University London. Oussama Khatib, a roboticist and a professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Received the IEEE RAS for Distinguished Service Award (2013).[58] Dina Katabi, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Wireless Center. Malatius Jaghnoon, Epigrapher and founder of the archaeological society in Homs.

Public figures and politicians[edit]

Elagabalus, Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, Roman Emperor Philip, Roman Emperor Carlos Menem
Carlos Menem
(born July 2, 1930), former president of Argentina (1989-1999). Tareck El Aissami, Vice President of Venezuela
since 4 January 2017. Juliana Awada
Juliana Awada
(born April 3, 1974), former First Lady of Argentina (2015-act.). Rosemary Barkett
Rosemary Barkett
(born 1939), was the first woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, and the first woman Chief Justice of that court. She currently serves as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mitch Daniels, American politician, Governor of Indiana
Governor of Indiana
from 2005 to 2013 and President of Purdue University. Queen Noor of Jordan, widow of King Hussein of Jordan, is of paternal Syrian ancestry. Omar Alghabra, Canadian politician, former member of the House of Commons of Canada. Romeu Tuma (1931 - 2010), Brazilian Politician.

Religious Figures[edit]

Pope Anicetus c. 168, Bishop of Rome (Pope) Pope
John V, Roman Catholic pope, 685-686 Pope
Sergius I, Roman Catholic pope, 687-701 Pope
Sisinnius, Roman Catholic pope, 708 Pope
Constantine, Roman Catholic pope, 708-715 Pope
Gregory III, Roman Catholic pope, 731-741


Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
(February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011), was the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the largest Disney shareholder,[59] and a member of Disney's Board of Directors. Jobs was considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries.[60] Najeeb Halaby, American politician and businessman, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, former CEO and chairman of Pan Am and father of Queen Noor of Jordan. Mohammed Rahif Hakmi, founder and Chairman of Armada Group Arturo Elías Ayub, Mexican businessman, Director of Telmex.


Paul Anka, Canadian singer and songwriter. Bob Marley, Half Syrian - Biological Father. Malek Jandali, American pianist. Paula Abdul, singer and TV personality Mohamad Fityan
Mohamad Fityan
(born August 1, 1984), musician and composer.[61] Hala Gorani
Hala Gorani
(born March 1, 1970), news anchor and CNN correspondent.[62] René Angélil, Canadian singer and manager, the husband and former manager of singer Celine Dion. Shannon Elizabeth, American actress and former fashion model. Of paternal Syrian ancestry. Wentworth Miller, American actor, model, screenwriter and producer. Of partial maternal Syrian ancestry.[63] Teri Hatcher, American actress.


Ghada Shouaa, heptathlete, olympic gold medalist. Yasser Seirawan, chess grandmaster and four-time United States champion. Brandon Saad, American ice hockey player, of paternal Syrian descent. Rocco Baldelli, American former MLB
player. Sami Zayn, Professional Wrestler.

See also[edit]

Ottoman Syria Greeks Arabs Arameans Al-Shaitat Assyrians


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External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to People of Syria.

Syrian people, Every Culture Photos and images of Syrian people, Syrian History - Online Collections of images of Eastern Mediterranean people, including Syrian people, Mideast Image Syrian people, Encyclopædia Britannica

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1 Is a state with limited international recognition

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1 Under the terms of the Syrian Constitution the Druze
community is designated as a part of the Syrian Musli