Asia Middle East

Syria Politics, Economy, and Society

Government and politics

Syria has been a republic since 1963. In 1971, President Hafiz Al-Assada decreed a provisional Constitution, then in 1973 the current Constitution that defines Syria as a Democratic, People’s and Socialist Republic was approved in a referendum, based, among others, on the principles of equality before the law, freedom religious and private property. Every seven years a president is elected, who must be Muslim. And every four, a People’s Assembly and a Council of Ministers. Under the Constitution, the president has powers to appoint and remove vice presidents, the prime minister, and ministers. He is also commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, general secretary of the Baath Arab Socialist Party, and president of the National Progressive Front.

The legislative bodies are the People’s Assembly and the Local Administration Councils. The three powers of the Syrian state are controlled by the Baath, which is assured of decisive participation in the powers of the state thanks to the country’s Constitution. It is allowed the participation of six other minor political parties that together with the majority Baath make up the so-called National Progressive Front (FNP), these parties are the only ones authorized to express the political ideas of Syrian citizens.

Likewise, it is the Baath Party that dominates the aforementioned Front, these parties make up the Parliament that is controlled directly by the President of the Republic, since the Executive power reserves most of the legislative powers and of review of the activities of the Legislative.

The Syrian Constitution invests the Baath Party with the leadership functions of the state government and the life of Syrian society. The President, who has great powers to run the government, is elected for 7 years to fulfill his functions, in addition to this he is also the Chairman of the Baath Party and the leader of the National Progressive Front.

The president of Syria also has the powers to appoint ministers, declare war, propose laws to the Legislative branch, and direct the armed forces. In the referendum for the election of the President in 2007, Bashar al-Assad was reelected with 97% of the votes. Syrians ratify Bashar Al Assad as president by 97%], Terra Actualidad, May 29, 2007.

Economic development

Syria’s economy is based on oil extraction, therefore, it is subject to fluctuations in the international price of oil ; in addition, it tends to turn to Iran as a supplier, due to the fact that domestic production is in deficit. The main refineries are in Homsand Baniyas. It also has reserves of natural gas, rock salt and phosphates. The agriculture (wheat and cotton) generates 27% of GDP and livestock, mainly goat and sheep is aimed at the export of wool. The textile, food, metallurgical and cement industries account for 22% of GDP. The rights to pass foreign oil through its pipelines generate large revenues.

In May of 2009 it is reported in the area of services that commercial real estate prices are on the rise in Damascus and infrastructure reports that Syria Islamic Bank lends € 100M to expand the Deir Ali power plant.

Transport

Syria has several international airports, among which those in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia stand out. It also has an extensive bus network that connects the entire country, both towns and cities. Moreover, the main cities are connected by the railway network.

Social development

Religion

According to andyeducation, the Islamic religion is predominant: Muslims mainly obey Sunni orthodoxy (74%), although there are also Druze, Alawites, Shiites and Ismailis. Christianity (10%) in its different confessions (Orthodox, Maronites, Catholics of the Armenian rite, Syriacs, etc.) is confined to the peripheral provinces and some urban neighborhoods.

Culture

The artistic and cultural achievements of ancient Syria are numerous. Archaeologists have found that Syrian culture rivaled that of Mesopotamia and Egypt, especially around Ebla. Additionally, many Syrian artists have contributed to Roman Hellenistic thought and culture. Cicero was a student of Antiochus of Ashkelon in Athens. Also the books of Posidonius greatly influenced Livy and Plutarch.

Syrians have also contributed to Arabic literature and music and have a great tradition of oral and written poetry. Syrian intellectuals emigrated to Egypt played a fundamental role in the Al-Nahda, or cultural and literary renaissance of the Arabs in the 14th century. The most famous Syrian authors are Adonis, Haidar Haidar, Ghada al-Samman, Nizar Kabbani, Zakariyya Tamer and Saadallah Wannous.

Art

Given the influence of the different peoples established in Syrian territory more or less with a certain stability, the art in this nation presents different currents, sometimes opposing, which give it great originality. Two trends appear since the Neolithic, the first of an autochthonous character with wood sculpture and high relief. The second is more associated with neighboring civilizations, such as hieratic zoomorphic sculpture.

They are World Heritage of Unesco:

  • 1979 – Old City of Damascus
  • 1980 – Siege of Palmyra
  • 1980- Old town of Bosra
  • 1986 – Old City of Aleppo

One of the most important writers and playwrights in Syria is Saadallah Wannous (1941 – 1997), who was born in a town near Lbahr Hsain in Tartous. He was educated in the Latakia schools. He studied journalism in Cairo (Egypt) and served as editor of the cultural pages of the newspapers Alsafir in Lebanon and Althawra in Syria. He also worked as director of the public authority for theater and music in Syria. In the sixties he traveled to Paris to study art of the theater. He died Of maypole 15 of 1997 after a long battle with cancer that lasted five years.

Syria Politics, Economy, and Society