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Articles tagged with: unrest in Syria

Syria’s Ethno-Religious Complexity – and Potential Turmoil

By Martin W. Lewis | March 31, 2011 | One Comment
Map of Languages in Syria

Most Americans would be surprised to learn of the ethnic and religious diversity that exists in present-day Syria. Standard references sources give an impression of clear domination by Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims. The CIA World Factbook summarizes Syria’s cultural make-up as follows:

Confusion About Syria’s Alawites

By Martin W. Lewis | March 29, 2011 | 8 Comments
Alawite region of Syria

News stories about the recent demonstrations and reprisals in Syria routinely mention that the country’s government is dominated by members of the Alawite sect, but rarely describe Alawite beliefs and practices. Many mention only that the Alawites form a minority in primarily Sunni Syria, sometimes noting that the Alawite faith stems from Shi’ite Islam. A March

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