Syria, a country full of cultures, traditions and history, has been suffering from a horrific civil war since 2011. Syria’s biggest cities as well as smaller towns have been hit by government forces and Russian military – killing thousands of civilians and destroying not only Syria’s historical buildings, but also residential areas, hospitals and schools.
Damascus is the capital of Syria and was home to more than 1.7 million people. With more than 10 universities and higher education institutions, Damascus was Syria’s center of education. Damascus University was Syria’s largest and oldest university. I am not sure if any of these institutions still operate because of the scarce information available.
With more than 2 million people, Aleppo is Syria’s largest city, possessing multiple historical buildings, such as the Citadel (a palace built in the 12th century), the Al-Shibani Church (built in the 12th century), the Central Synagogue of Aleppo (built in the 9th century), and the Great Mosque of Aleppo (built in the 13th century and destroyed in 2013).
UNESCO inscribed both, the ancient city of Damascus and the ancient city of Aleppo as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Damascus was inscribed in 1979 and Aleppo in 1986. Both ancient cities are now on UNESCO’s list of endangered world heritage.
Homs, Syria’s third largest city was called “The Capital of Revolution” due to its powerful protests against the Assad regime in March 2011. But after multiple government strikes during the ongoing siege and an estimated 700 killed, the city is now a ghost town.
- As of 2016, more than 470,000 people have been killed in the Syrian war.
- Almost 5 million have fled the country and seek refuge.
- More than 6.5 million people are homeless and displaced within the country.
All of these numbers above are constantly rising and have probably increased by the time you’re reading this.