As-Suwayda Governorate

As-Suwayda or Al-Suwayda Governorate (Arabic: مُحافظة السويداء‎ / ALA-LC: Muḥāfaẓat as-Suwaydā’) is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is the southernmost governorate and has an area of 5,550 km² and forms part of the historic Hawran region. Its capital and major city is al-Suwayda. A large majority of the population are Druze.

Al-Suwayda Governorate

مُحافظة السويداء
Map of Syria with al-Suwayda Governorate highlighted
Map of Syria with al-Suwayda Governorate highlighted
Coordinates (Al-Suwayda): 32°48′N 36°48′E / 32.8°N 36.8°E / 32.8; 36.8Coordinates: 32°48′N 36°48′E / 32.8°N 36.8°E / 32.8; 36.8
Country Syria
CapitalAl-Suwayda
Manatiq (Districts)3
Government
 • GovernorAmer Ibrahim Ashi
Area
 • Total5,550 km2 (2,140 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total375,000[1]
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeSY-SU
Main language(s)Arabic

Geographically the governorate comprises almost all of Jabal al-Druze, the eastern part of Lejah, and a part of the arid eastern steppe of Harrat al-Shamah.

Most of As-Suwayda inhabitants work in agriculture, planting grapes, apple, olive, and wheat in general. In addition, there are four clearly demarcated seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) which gives As-Suwayda nice weather and beautiful natural sites. As-Suwayda contains many archaeological sites that related to the civilizations of the Babylonians, Sumerians, Phoenicians and Romans.

Demographics and populationEdit

The governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants (est. 2011).[2] It is the only governorate in Syria that has a Druze majority.[3] There is also a sizable Eastern Orthodox minority, and a small Muslim refugee community from mainly Daraa Governorate as well as other parts of Syria.[4]

In the 1980s Druze made up 87.6% of the population, Christians (mostly Greek Orthodox) 11% and Sunni Muslims 2%.[5] In 2010, the As-Suwayda governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants, Druze made up 90%, Christians 7% and Sunni Muslims 3%.[6] Due to low birth and high emigration rates, Christians proportion in As-Suwayda had declined.[7]

Most of the inhabitants live in the western parts of the governorate, especially on the western slopes of Jabal ad-Duruz. Only nomadic Bedouin tribes live in the barren region of Harrat al-Shamah.

DistrictsEdit

The governorate is divided into three districts (manatiq). The districts are further divided into 12 sub-districts (nawahi):

Cities, towns and villagesEdit

 
Suwayda's City aerial view October 2011

The governorate contains 3 cities, 124 villages, and 36 hamlets.[2]

CitiesEdit

VillagesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Druze and Assad: Strategic Bedfellows
  2. ^ a b Statistics from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Country Data Page on Syria
  4. ^ Shahba provides refuge for displaced Syrians Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine. 28 September 2012.
  5. ^ Pipes, Daniel (1990). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford University Press. p. 151.
  6. ^ The Druze and Assad: Strategic Bedfellows
  7. ^ The Druze and Assad: Strategic Bedfellows