Nearly 90 percent of the Alawis live in the coastal area of the country, namely in Latakia Governorate and in Tartus Governorate in the rural areas of the Jabal an Nusayriyah; they constitute over 80 percent of the rural population of the coastal area.The Jabal al-Arab/Jabal al-Druze, a rugged and mountainous region in the southwest of the country, is more than 90 percent Druze inhabited; some 120 villages are exclusively so.Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.Today, it is the seat of the central government and all of the government ministries. The Akkadian spelling is found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC.Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables, cereals and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, which was terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état.), is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, and Turks.Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, and Yazidis.Both sexes usually wore flowing garments comparable to the modern woman's dress. In the Latin language this was called the palla (for women) or the pallium (for men).The toga was a garment like the pallium, more elaborately draped, and worn only by Roman citizens.Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750.