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, covering an area of 5,550 km², and is part of the historic Hawran region. The capital and largest city of the governorate is al-Suwayda.

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; 36.8
Country Syria
CapitalAl-Suwayda
Manatiq (Districts)3
Government
 • GovernorAkram Ali Muhammad[2][3]
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 inhabitants of As-Suwayda are employed in agriculture, cultivating crops such as grapes, apples, olives, and wheat. The region experiences four distinct seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) which contribute to its pleasant climate and scenic natural beauty. Additionally, As-Suwayda is home to numerous archaeological sites.

Demographics and population

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Religious composition of Suweida Governorate (2010)
Druze
90%
Christians
7%
Sunni Muslims
3%

The governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants (est. 2011).[4] It is the only governorate in Syria that has a Druze majority.[5] 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.[6]

In the 1980s Druze made up 87.6% of the population, Christians (mostly Greek Orthodox) 11% and Sunni Muslims 2%.[7] In 2010, the As-Suwayda governorate has a population of about 375,000 inhabitants, Druze made up 90%, Christians 7% and Sunni Muslims 3%.[1] Due to low birth and high emigration rates, Christians proportion in As-Suwayda had declined.[1]

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.

Districts

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

Cities, towns and villages

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Suwayda's City aerial view October 2011

The governorate contains 3 cities, 124 towns/villages, and 36 hamlets.[4]

Cities

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Villages

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c The Druze and Assad: Strategic Bedfellows
  2. ^ "الرئيس الأسد يصدر مرسومين بتعيين أربعة محافظين جدد" [President Assad issues two decrees appointing four new governors]. SANA. 12 May 2024. Retrieved 13 May 2024.
  3. ^ "President al-Assad issues decrees on appointing new governors for eight Syrian provinces". Syrian Arab News Agency. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b Statistics from "المكتب المركزي للاحصاء". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
  5. ^ Country Data Page on Syria
  6. ^ Shahba provides refuge for displaced Syrians Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine. 28 September 2012.
  7. ^ Pipes, Daniel (1990). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford University Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-19-506021-8.