Syria’s independence is celebrated on April 17 as a federal holiday honoring the nation. Syria is a nation in Western Asia that is home to deserts, towering mountains, and lush plains. The bulk of the population in the nation are Syrian Arabs, along with Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and other ethnic and religious groups. In addition, it is a country with many different religions, including Sunnis, Christians, and Shiites. Damascus is the country’s capital and largest city, and Arabs make up the majority of the population in terms of both religion and ethnicity. A unitary republic, Syria is divided into 14 governorates. Additionally, it belongs to the U.N.
History of Syria Independence Day
Syria became a component of the Islamic empire when the Muslim Arabs conquered it from 634 to 640 under the command of Khalid Ibn al-Rashidun Walid’s army. The Umayyad dynasty, which ruled the empire in the seventh century, relocated the capital to Damascus. The districts of Damascus, Homs, Palestine, and Jordan made up Syria during this period. The Islamic empire grew so quickly that, at its height, it spanned from Spain to parts of Central Asia and India, which helped Syria, the empire’s capital, prosper economically.
The emperors of the empire permitted Assyrians in the Northeast and Christians, the majority of whom were of the Aramaean ethnicity. These Christians also held several positions in the government. The Caliphate fell in the middle of the eighth century amid dynastic conflicts and religious disagreements. The Abbasid dynasty eventually overthrew the Umayyad monarchy in 750, and Baghdad became the new capital of the empire. The Umayyad dynasty had declared Arabic the official language, and the Abbasids afterward designated Arabic the language of instruction.
The court of Saif al-Daula was a center of culture, owing to its nurturing of Arabic literature. Saif al-Daula resisted Byzantine efforts to reconquer Syria by employing defensive tactics and counter-raids into Anatolia. After his death, however, Antioch and Aleppo fell to the Byzantines, who captured them in 969. Though Syria was fully conquered by the Byzantines as of 996, it was still a backdrop for several power tussles.
Syria Independence Day timeline
The Rashidun army conquers Syria, eventually making it the center of the Islamic empire.
The Abbasids overthrow the Umayyad dynasty and take over the reins of power.
After the passing of Saif al-Daula, the Byzantines take over possession of Syria.
Syria gains its independence from French rule.
Syria Independence Day FAQs
When is Syria’s Independence Day?
Syria’s Independence Day, celebrated on April 17 every year, and also known as Evacuation Day, is a Syrian federal holiday commemorating its sovereignty as a nation.
Where is Syria located?
Syria is a country located on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in Southwestern Asia.
How did Syria get its independence?
A treaty of independence was signed between France and Syria in 1936; it granted France military and economic dominance while allowing Syria to maintain its independence. Syria was occupied by British and Free French forces throughout World War II, but soon after the war’s conclusion, in 1946, Syria gained its formal independence.
How to Observe Syria Independence Day
Say a prayer for Syria
You can commemorate independence by praying for the country. You can do this whether you're a Syrian citizen or not, a resident of Syria or not, or a non-citizen with friends who are Syrians.
Eat some Kubbeh
Eating some of the kubbeh, a range of meals known to be Syria's official cuisine, is a smart idea as you celebrate the country's independence. Try it out today!
Wear the Syrian colors
You may mark Syria's independence day by wearing its national colors! The colors are red, white and black.
5 Interesting Facts About Syria
It gets its name from Assyria
The name “Syria” is derived from the region known as Assyria.
It is multicultural
Syria is a multiethnic nation with a variety of civilizations, including Greek, Armenian, and Arab.
Home to the world’s oldest library
The world’s oldest library is situated in the Syrian city of Ebla.
Syria was part of the Ottoman empire
For 400 years, Syria was an imperial possession of the Ottoman Empire.
Home to the earliest surviving stone mosque
The oldest stone mosque that is still standing was constructed between 705 and 715 and is known as the Umayyad Mosque or Great Mosque of Damascus.
Why Syria Independence Day is Important
It’s a public holiday!
Who doesn't appreciate public holidays? Syria's Independence Day is one of them (at least in Syria). Yes, we do!
It commemorates Syria’s sovereignty
It’s a day to acknowledge and celebrate Syria’s administrative sovereignty as a nation on its own. Celebrate this day!
It’s a day to celebrate one’s roots
It is also important to help Syrians in the diaspora remember where they are from. We love honoring our roots!
Syria Independence Day dates