Imagine living in a country in which men from one family have ruled harshly for more than 40 years. Many people who live there are sad and angry because of the treatment they receive from the government. Even children your age are affected. What if the children were arrested for writing anti-government messages on the wall? Sounds like a scary place to live, doesn’t it?
This is the current situation in Syria, an ancient country in western Asia. Syria is bordered by Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. It was first invaded by the Egyptians in 1500 B.C., followed by the Hebrews, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Persians. Later, it became part of the Roman Empire, followed by the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, France was given control of Syria, which caused more fighting.
In 1961, Syria claimed independence from France. In 1970, Hafez al-Assad took power. His family has controlled Syria ever since. The country has continued to have conflicts internally, as well as with other countries, such as Israel and Lebanon. No wonder people living there are tired of fighting! The country is currently at civil war and more than 100,000 people have been killed.
Fun Facts about Syria for Kids
- More than 18,389,000 people live in Syria, although many people have fled the country in recent years.
- Syria has 71,498 square miles of land. Most of the land is either coastal lowlands, low hills or desert.
- Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the oldest continuously lived-in city in the world.
- Most people in Syria are Muslim. A few are Jewish or Christian.
- People in Syria speak Arabic, Armenian, Kurdish, Circassian, Kurdish, French and English.
- People in Syria can expect to live to be 70 years old.
- 77 percent of adults can read.
- Harsh: fierce, rough, unkind
- Arrest: taken by the police
- Internal: inside, within
- Civil war: war within a country where members of one country fight against each other
All About Syria Video for Kids
Check out this cool video about Syria for kids:
This is a video showcasing the culture and wonderful heritage sites in Syria.
Question: What is life in Syria like for children?
Answer: As of September 2013, over 1 million children have become refuges. They have fled the country and live in tents or makeshift shelters with other people. Conditions are crowded. They don’t go to school and they often don’t have enough to eat. Many children have died in the war.
Map of Syria
Here’s a map of the country of Syria and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Syria! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Syria, as though you are actually there!