Full of ancient Mosques, Roman ruins, castles built during the Crusades and souks, Syria has been the cradle of civilisation for at least 10,000 years.
It has been part of the major empires of history – Egyptian, Persian and Roman. This is one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East.
Syria population was 22 million with majority being Sunni Muslim, but the country is quite diverse – with large minorities of Alawite Muslim, Druze, Orthodox Christians, Shiite Muslims, Kurds in the north, and small Jewish enclaves in the large Syrian cities. All these different ethnicities have been living together for centuries now in peace. Mixed marriages between Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims are not uncommon.
In a cultural sense Syria is probably the most important country in the Middle East – captivating almost 10,000 years of history and dozens of great civilizations. Syria also boasts with one of the oldest and most sophisticated literary traditions in the world, with rich tradition in storytelling that dates back thousands of years.
Syrian economy – as it’s people is quite diverse – the most important sectors including agriculture, industry and excavation, retail and tourism.
In 2012 the GDP of the country was at a record high level – over $72 billion dollars, which for a population of just 22 million is quite an achievement. It went a long way since a record low in 1960 – just $400 million dollars.
Syria has a vibrant, bustling marketplaces in the old cities of Damascus and Aleppo.
The IT industry was also booming, despite sanctions by the west. However, the real beauty of Syria is in spies, jewellery, cloth, traditional handcrafts and a variety of foods. Especially the sweet industry of Syria. Delicious desert play almost legendary role in Syrian folklore – central at weddings, parties and other festivities.
Sounds hard to believe? I know, right. Especially now when the country is in ruins. This was all true before 2012. After that Jihadist and other Islamist groups infiltrated the country, sponsored by Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with the help of the U.S. of course.
It all started in 2011 when peaceful protesters were arrested by the regime forces. It has been long thought that President Assad has spied on his people – it’s only ok if the U.S. does it. He personally has expressed his worries that the country will be infiltrated by Jihadist, sent from neighbouring Arab states.
Well, surprise, surprise that’s what happened after the protest movement started. I’m not saying that the CIA and Saudi Arabia started the protests themselves – that would be very hard to organize and won’t go unnoticed.
However, it is almost certain that they helped jihadists infiltrate the movement to radicalize it – with intelligence, weapon and armour support.
Once a political and military giant in the region (probably the only reason it is still a country) Syria has been taken over by Jihadist, supported by Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the one side and Russia, Iran and Hezbollah on the other. There are no winners from this war, however there are clear losers – the Syrian people, who used to live in one of the most secular and modern, peaceful countries in the Middle East.