Culture of Syria Essay Example

Published: 2022-07-04
Culture of Syria Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1211 words
11 min read

Culture can be defined as shared behavior patterns and interactions, understanding, and cognitive constructs that are learned through socialization. This implies that culture is the development of a group identity nurtured by social patterns that are distinct to that particular group. It encompasses, dressing, food, language, music, religion, and marriage as well as the general behavior. Culture has its unique characteristics that reinforce its place within a society. First, every culture in the world is shared by a group of people that often live together. Culture is learned through experience rather than biological transmission. Indeed, nobody is born with some automatic cultural sense. Instead, it is passed from one generation to the next through learning, understanding, and adopting. Thirdly, culture experience a continual and gradual change. Globalization and migration has made it possible for people to mix easily. As a result, they influence one another and, in turn, share and acquire new cultures. Also, culture evolves with time. Over time, people change their cultures or even develop new ones. Moreover, culture is influenced by a society's climatic conditions and geographical location. For instance, the food habits and the dressing code of a people will be influenced by their climatic conditions. This paper will closely look at the culture of Syria.

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Arabic is Syria's official language. It is the most dominant Semitic language in the country. The other Semitic language is Aramaic. Other non-Semitic but significant minority languages in the country include the Kurdish, Armenian, and Circassian. Additionally, many Syrians can effortlessly speak French on top of their mother tongues. Apparently, the obligatory power in Syria during the League of Nations after the First World War was France. Lately, English has been growing in popularity as well. It is mainly used an international language of discourse.


Syrians are pursuant of complex religion arrays. 74% of Syrians belong to Sunni Muslims. The Alawis religious group form 12% of the population. This is a branch of Shi'ism's Twelver school. On the other hand, about 10% of the population are Christians, majority of which are drawn from the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Other Christian establishments include the Greek Orthodox, the Assyrian Church, and the Armenian Orthodox. There is about 3% of the Syrian population who belong to the Druze religion. This faith combines the beliefs of Shi'a from the Ismaili school with Gnosticism and Greek philosophy. However, a very small number of the population are Yazidis and Jewish. Yazidism is mostly practiced by the Kurds. It is a blend of Islamic Sufism and Zoroastrianism. The Islamic Edi al-Fitr and Ramadhan are the biggest religious celebrations in the country. Christian Easter is another significant celebration as well (Turku, 2018).

Syria is an Arab country found on the Mediterranean Sea's east coast. It is a culmination of the great Southern empires' rise and conquest. The country's cultural heritage is characterized its intangible practices, beliefs, and values that are associated with them. Throughout the centuries, the Syrian culture has been influenced an electric mix of many different cultures. Some of the cultural makers of Syria include the Arab, French, Mediterranean, and Turkish. Syrian cuisine is not only exciting but also culturally diverse as well. Different regions have their own signature foods. Syrian diets are mainly influenced by the Greek, South West Asia, and Southern Mediterranean foods, which include grilled meat kebabs, falafel, hummus, sweet pastries, and mujaddara.

Syria's Military Conflict History

Syria has been at war with itself over the last seven years. It all started with the 2011 Arab Spring that toppled presidents of Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia. Syrians were protesting against economic woes and lack of freedoms. But the government responded with brute by harshly cracking down on protestors, which subsequently inflamed public anger. The detention and torture of fifteen boys who wrote graffiti in support of the Arab Spring was met with peaceful protests across the country. President Bashar al-Assad's government reacted to the protests by killing countless number of demonstrators and throwing a lot more in prison. In July of 2011, some soldiers defected from the national military and formed the Free Syrian Army. This was a rebel group whose intention was to topple the government of Bashar. This was the first move that began to roll the country into a civil war (Brosche, Legner, Kreutz, & Ijla, 2017).

The emergence of the armed conflicts in the country brought with it stark sectarian divisions, which was in sharp contrast with the 2011 non-sectarian protests. While the Sunni Muslims form majority of Syrians, the Alawi sect members are the one that dominate the country's security establishment. Incidentally, Assad is a member of the sect. Bashar's father had authorized the military crackdown and execution of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982 in Hama. This led to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and destruction of the city. When Bashar succeeded his father as president in the year 2000, he promised that he will be a reformer and a modernizer. He raised a lot of hopes to a people grappling with economic hardships but barely fulfilled any (Halasa, Amrin, & Mahfud, 2014).

The war in Syria has had devastating consequences in the country. Millions of people have been killed and many more displaced. In effect, it has caused the greatest refuge crisis across the region and in Europe. Moreover, the conflict has hurt the country's identity. Incidentally, Syria is considered the origin of human civilization. Its city of Aleppo stands remains one of the few ones in the world that has been continuously inhabited. Furthermore, some of the country's most treasured cultural and archeological sites have been destroyed by ISIS fighters. Similarly, the Assad regime has also contributed to the destruction of these cultural sites by bombing them to flush out rebels. As a result, the country has lost some of its most significant heritage that served as important human contacts. Bosra, an ancient city that incorporated modern houses in a splendid manner was destroyed as well. The destructions in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo have also contributed to significant cultural erosion of the country.

The massive uprooting of populations from their original homelands to neighboring countries to seek refuge has had significant impacts of the people's culture. Although Syrian refugees have met stiff resistances in their attempts to spread their cultures to their host nations especially in Europe, they have managed to spread their Islamic religion and its associated cultural practices everywhere they go. On the other hand, they have been forced to abandon some of their dearly held cultures because of their circumstances as refugees. In many cases, loss of husbands, poverty and diseases have forced women to fend for their families, contrary to their cultural norm where men are the providers (The World Bank, 2017).


Brosche, J., Legner , M., Kreutz, J., & Ijla, A. (2017). Heritage under attack: motives for targeting cultural property during armed conflict. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 23(3), 248-260 .

Halasa, M., Amrin, Z., & Mahfud, N. (2014). Syria speaks: art and culture from the frontline. New York: Saqi.

The World Bank. (2017, Jul. 10). The Visible Impacts of the Syrian War May Only be the Tip of the Iceberg. The World Bank. Retrieved from:

Turku, H. (2018). The destruction of cultural property as a weapon of war: ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

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