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.
|Coordinates (Al-Suwayda): Coordinates:|
|• Governor||Amer Ibrahim Ashi|
|• Total||5,550 km2 (2,140 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||SY-SU|
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.
Demographics and populationEdit
The governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants (est. 2011). It is the only governorate in Syria that has a Druze majority. 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.
In the 1980s Druze made up 87.6% of the population, Christians (mostly Greek Orthodox) 11% and Sunni Muslims 2%. In 2010, the As-Suwayda governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants, Druze made up 90%, Christians 7% and Sunni Muslims 3%. Due to low birth and high emigration rates, Christians proportion in As-Suwayda had declined.
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.
Cities, towns and villagesEdit
The governorate contains 3 cities, 124 villages, and 36 hamlets.
- The Druze and Assad: Strategic Bedfellows
- Statistics from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Country Data Page on Syria
- Shahba provides refuge for displaced Syrians Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine. 28 September 2012.
- Pipes, Daniel (1990). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford University Press. p. 151.