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Transcript of SYRIA
Images from Shutterstock.com PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian (widely understood); French, English (somewhat understood)
Sunni Muslim (Islam - official) 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
22,530,746 (July 2012 est.) GOVERNMENT Conventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic
Conventional short form: Syria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
local short form: Suriyah
former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)
Republic under an authoritarian regime
Capital: Damascus Chief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since 17 July 2000)
Vice President Farouk al-SHARA (since 21 February 2006) oversees foreign policy
Vice President Najah al-ATTAR (since 23 March 2006) oversees cultural policy
Head of Government: Prime Minister Wael al-HALQI (since 9 August 2012)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the President
note - new Council appointed on 14 April 2011 EXECUTIVE JUDICIARY Historical
Background SYRIA GEOGRAPHY LOCATION
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
total: 185,180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 89 *Derive from the Arab Liberation flag
* represent oppression (black)
*overcome through bloody struggle (red)
*to be replaced by a bright future (white)
identical to the former flag of the United Arab Republic (1958-1961) where the two stars represented the constituent states of Syria and Egypt; the current design dates to 1980 Nationality:
Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7% ELECTIONS:
*President approved by popular referendum for a second seven-year term (no term limits) referendum last held on 27 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2014)
*The president appoints the vice presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers
Election results: Bashar al-ASAD approved as president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD 97.6%, other 2.4% LEGISLATIVE •Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic.
In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished.
During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD The capital of Damascus - located at an oasis fed by the Barada River - is thought to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities; there are 41 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Hafiz Al-Asad a member of the Baath Party seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability in the country. Son of Hafiz Al-Asad Unicameral People's Assembly or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held on 7 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results: 170 Baath party, 80 Others Three levels: Judicial Branch of Syria Supreme Constitutional Court Court of Appeal Courts of First Instance adjudicates electoral disputes and rules on constitutionality of laws and decrees Court of Cassation; Appeals Courts (Appeals Courts represent an intermediate level between the Court of Cassation and local level courts magistrate courts, summary courts, and peace courts Supreme Judicial Council (appoints and dismisses judges; headed by the president) Legal System Ottoman, French, and Islamic laws Political Parties Legal parties: National Progressive Front or
Kurdish parties (considered illegal) CHALLENGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY FORCED LABOR AND SEX TRAFFICKING SYRIAN UPRISINGS YEAR 2011 ILLICIT DRUGS INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES Arab-Israeli Conflict No Women in the Parliament Election Fraud in 2012 Golan Heights Territory Disputes Syria and Philippine Relations *OFW and Domestic Helpers
*UN deploring the continued human rights violations in Syria
*Philippine Ambassador Cuyugan recalled Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Independence: 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Constitution: 13 March 1973; amended February 2012
Administrative Regions: 14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq (Damascus), Halab, Hamah, Hims (Homs), Idlib, Rif Dimashq (Damascus Countryside), Tartus