Ghouta (Arabic: غوطة دمشق / ALA-LC: Ghūṭat Dimashq) originally described the oasis formed by the Barada river around the site where Damascus, Syria, was founded. Starting in ancient times, canals dug by the inhabitants of Damascus irrigated land on either side of the Barada, increasing the size of the Ghouta to the south and east of the city. Separating the city from the dry grasslands bordering the Syrian Desert, the Ghouta has historically provided its inhabitants with a variety of cereals, vegetables and fruits.
Eventually the irrigated agricultural area in the Damascus countryside reached a size of 370 square kilometers (140 sq mi). In the 1980s, urban growth from Damascus started replacing agricultural use with housing and industry, shrinking the size of the green zone. Prior to the Syrian Civil War, the area was home to about two million people but the war has since reduced the population to about 400,000 and created mass hunger and malnutrition among its population.
List of settlements in GhoutaEdit
- Ashrafiyat Sahnaya (Darayya District)
- Deir Ali (Markaz Rif Dimashq District)
- Jaramana (Markaz Rif Dimashq District)
- Ein Tarma (Markaz Rif Dimashq District)
- Al-Bahariyah (Douma District)
- Hamouriyah (Markaz Rif Dimashq District)
- Otaybah (Douma District)
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- Al Zoughbi, Samira (2005). "An Analysis of Agriculture-Environment Interactions and Policy Options for Sustainable Agriculture in Eastern Al Ghouta (Syria)" (PDF). Farming Systems and Poverty: Making a Difference -- Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium of the International Farming Systems Association: A Global Learning Opportunity. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 31. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Collelo, Thomas, ed. (1988). "Land, Water, and Climate". Syria: a country study. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. LCCN 87600488.
- Alsaafin, Linah (6 February 2015). "Syria's Eastern Ghouta: the latest casualty of war". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Almohibany, Amer (22 October 2017). "In Syria region under regime siege, children die of hunger". France 24. Retrieved 23 October 2017.