Syria dating customs
Another 12 percent of the population is made up of Alawites, a sect of Shia Muslims.
Despite being a minority, Alawites have dominated the government for decades; President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite.
News reports suggest the United States will respond to last week's chemical weapons' attacks in Syria with targeted military strikes. From its ancient cities to the current conflict, here are five cultural facts about Syria. The Syrians About 23 million people live in Syria, and the majority of those people, about 74 percent, are Sunni Muslims.
involvement and the growing crisis in the region, most Americans know relatively little about the country or its history.
21, opposition forces say that the government had used chemical weapons in an attack that killed more than 300 people and affected thousands of others in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.
Marriage and Family Most people are careful to choose a potential marriage partner of whom the family approves.
Although their origins are often difficult to trace, the rituals practiced by contemporary Assyrians are perhaps as old as the days of ancient Assyria, and have been treasured and guarded through the centuries.
These ancestral traditions may be observed out of respect for the older generation, but they also represent wisdom and moral values, and perhaps Assyrian culture itself.
In August of last year, President Barack Obama said, "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my equation." After several reports of small-scale use of chemical weapons, on Aug. Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and Science Now.During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, eating and drinking only after sundown. Syrians are somewhat reserved about inviting nonfamily members to their homes.In public, non-Muslims are expected to conform with Muslim practices. It is considered inappropriate to discuss business at home and Syrians often entertain business acquaintances at a private club or restaurant, where the host expects to pay the bill.Along with what is now Lebanon, Syria came under French control after the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918, and became an independent country in 1946.Because the area was once one territory, Syria has traditionally tried to exert influence over Lebanon, and from 1976 to 2005, Syrian troops occupied portions of Lebanon, ostensibly to protect Lebanon from outside threats.