The Syrian Arab Republic is an independent Arab state (185,180 km2) that lies at the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by Turkey from the north, Jordan from the east, Israel from the southeast, and Lebanon from the west. Its population was estimated at 17 million in 2016. Syria was under a French mandate after World War I, becoming independent in 1946.

Syria’s economy grew quickly under the rule of the al-Assad family beginning in 1971. Syria’s improved economic situation attracted foreign investors who helped promote the country’s educational programs, water resource management, and tourism sector. In 2005, the Syrian government worked with the United Nations to establish procedural frameworks that would boost investment in tourism, specifically focusing on ecological, cultural, religious, desert, camping, and ...

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