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soc.culture.syria (FAQ)

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Archive-name: cultures/syria-faq
posting-frequency: monthly
Last-modified: May 22, 1997

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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This document is a compiled list of answers to the most Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) about soc.culture.syria in particular, and about Syria and
Syrian Internet sources in general.  This document will be posted monthly 
to the following newsgroups: soc.culture.syria, news.answers, soc.answers.

This FAQ is Maintained by:       Thabet Birro <>
Date of Last Update      :       5/22/97
FTP Location             :
Version                  :       1.11

This version of FAQ is the official copy to be distributed.  Please email
your suggestions and proposed additions to me personally at
Once your contribution is added to this FAQ, your name will appear in the
Credits section.  If you wish to email this FAQ to someone, please do so
without any modification. This is an evolving document and will be more
comprehensive as readers email me their proposed additions. 

This FAQ is presented without any warranties or guarantees of any kind.  
I have tried to verify the correctness of most of the information in it,
but your use of any of the contents of this document is at your own risk.  
I may not to be held responsible in any way for any of the information
contained herein.  This FAQ may be freely distributed for non-commercial
purposes, but on the condition that it may not be altered in any way. 

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.   Credits Section and a Brief History about SCS
II.  Internet Access in Syria and Internet & Technology sources about Syria
III. Rules of Netiquette (Etiquette and Rules of Thumb for Posting to SCS)
IV.  Syria Data Sheet
V.   Information Concerning Syrians abroad

                             CREDITS SECTION

The names of contributors to this FAQ are acknowledged in this section
(unless anonymity is requested), provided of course the information
submitted is actually published in the FAQ (i.e. it is deemed relevant to
Syrian social and cultural issues, and determined to be suitable, in that
it doesn't violate any of the principles of Netiquette, especially copyright

Thabet Birro, Marc Haddad, Haisam K. Ido, Karim El-Boustani, Azim Hamoud,
Marwan Zakaria, Hossam Haron.

History of soc.culture.syria:

I received the first approval for establishing our newsgroup, 
soc.culture.syria on April 18th, 1995.  It was the official date for
starting this newsgroup.  The establishment of SCS had to be approved
by an Internet-wide vote, then carried through by special Usenet admins
working at UUnet.  SCS passed by a wide margin: 284 yes -- 25 No.  Since
then, SCS has become one of the more popular Mid-East newsgroups.  With
a readership estimated between 10-12 thousand readers a month, it has
surpassed many of the older newsgroups on the net.  Keep up the good
work guys!  Below is the official notification I received upon
finishing the vote count: (I have deleted the name of the vote taker
to protect his privacy)

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 19:44:22 -0700
From: <vote taker> 
To: Thabet Birro <tbirro@BB.IU.NET>
I'm pleased to inform you that your group, soc.culture.syria, passed its
vote and should be created in the next few days.  Congratulations!
<end of letter>


Internet in Syria:  

As of the last update made to this document, Syria does not yet have
a true connection to the Internet.  However, I have established the
top-level domain for Syria,.sy (with that, the Internic root servers have
been updated to acknowledge the .sy). I have built 7 organizational TLDs 
to service the various Syrian organizations with the following designation: (for commerical companies) (for ISPs and NOCs) (for schools and colleges) (for military organizations) (for International organizations, such as the UN) (for non-profit organizations) (for government establishments)

I adopted the above designation as it seems to minimize confusion
about the otherwise home-grown acronyms, by using widely-known
symbols.  Based on a recent MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), it
was decided that STE is to be the TLD manager for the country. 

Regulating Internet in Syria is a cooperative task which is going to be 
managed by the STE, SCS and the HIAST, I believe.  Syria currently hosts
an X.25 public data network, SyriaPac, which is connected to several other
public data networks in other countries.  SyriaPac is run by the STE.

Syrian Businesses Online:

This section was established to provide means for Syrian businesses to
have a worldwide exposure.  However this list is not an endorsment nor
is it a guarantee of any sort. 

AL-Cham Tours & Palaces:

Pacific International Securities

American & International Companies with some business relations with Syria
include (may not be up to date):

* IBM, Apple, Acer, and AST, (USA and UK)
* Harris Corp., USA
* Eagle Computer Systems, USA 
* Austin Computers, USA
* 3Com, USA
* Network Solutions, USA 
* Global Link, USA
* Siemens, Germany
* The Communication Consultant Group, USA
* MENIC (Middle East Network Information Centre), worldwide

Online Sources about Syria:
A travelogue by Doug Burnett

Nizar Qabbani related pages (poetry):

More Syrian pages can be found:

A great source of information about Syria:

IRC channel:
related web page:

Guide to Syria: 
Syria Revealed - by Anthony King - From the Revelation Guides 
series. The first guide in this new British series, and the first guide
in English, in many years, devoted to Syria.
     262 pages - 5 1/4" x 8 1/2" - 1st edition ... 

Statistical and social data about Syria can be found at:


                           RULES OF NETIQUETTE


In addition to being familiar with the general rules of etiquette for 
posting on the Internet (Netiquette), which can be found in the newsgroups
news.answers or news.announce.newusers, one is expected to observe the
following rules of thumb, for the purpose of keeping SCS a worthy
representative of Syria: 

* If you are a new reader, you are encouraged to observe the group for a
  while, and when you decide to post, it is always a welcome gesture to
  post a little introduction about yourself.  Most of us have done that
  at one point.

* Refrain from using profanity and name-calling.  It reflects badly on YOU.
  Inflammatory postings are not acceptable, be them by nature or by language.
  Remember, this is soc.culture.SYRIA and all postings should observe that.

* Use a descriptive title for your posting.  If your posting is meant to
  ask a question, don't make the title to appear as a statement, but rather
  as a question.  Don't use elaborate measures to draw extra attention to
  your posting.  Chances are, readers will start to ignore you after a 
  while.  CAPS MEAN SHOUTING...If you want to stress a phrase/word, use
  _underscores_ instead. 

* Use discretion when cross-posting.  SCS should not become a battlefield
  for flames across newsgroups. Overall, keep it to a minimum and do it
  only when it relates to Syria.

* Be your own critic for the quality of your post and try to be sensitive
  towards the rest of the readers of SCS and their diverse and ethnic

* In the spirit of the national pride that most Syrians enjoy, avoid making 
  remarks which may reflect badly on that pride. 

* Try to take the higher ground when provoked.  Unfortunately, there are
  elements on the net who enjoy starting unnecessary flames.  They are
  best ignored.  Should their flames continue to poison SCS, try to resolve
  the matter via email.  If they continue, you're encouraged to contact their
  Internet access provider.

* When doing a follow-up, please make sure to properly quote the previous
  posting and mark the deleted sections as such.  Try not to echo the
  entire previous posting unless you have to.

* Bear in mind that the minute you decide to share your posting with the
  world, you become responsible for its contents.  Postings on the Internet
  are admissible in the courts of law as evidence in case of violations. 
  Public slandering is _illegal_ and can result in legal action taken
  against you.

* Do not post Copyrighted material without obtaining the proper permission.
  Do not post private email unless you obtain a permission from the sender.
  It is considered rude and you may become liable should the content of the
  email be of importance.

While SCS is an _unmoderated_ group, SCS readers will be quick to let you
know should you violate the agreed upon netiquette.  The above rules are
meant to ensure quality postings and discussions.  Please do your part
in contributing to the overall quality of SCS.  Should you violate the
rules of thumb, chances are; you will get a copy of the guidelines in your
emailbox sent by me or other readers.  Informing one of his/her violations
of the above rules of thumb is a collective duty by ALL readers who like
to keep SCS clean.  Any violation of the above rules is a violation against
all readers.

                             SYRIA DATA SHEET

Proper Name: Al-Jamhouriya al-Arabiya as-Souriya
             (The Syrian Arab Republic) or (The Arabic Republic of Syria)

Capital    : Damascus
President  : Hafiz al-Assad
Population : 15 millions (est. 1995)

Composition: Arabs (90.3%); Kurds & others (9.7%)

Composition: Senni Muslim (70%); other Muslim sects (16%); Christians (14%)

Languages  : Arabic (Official); Kurdish; Armenian; Aramaic; Circassian;
             French and English are widely spoken and understood. 

Total Area : 71,498 square miles, or 184,180 square kilometers
Total Land : 71,062 square miles, or 184,050 square kilometers 

Major Cities: Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Homs, Hama, Tartous, Idlib 
              Raqqa, Dair el Zawr, Swedaa, quamishli, Dara'a, Hasakeh 

Independence: Syria achieved independence on April 17, 1946 from the
              French mandate.

The Syrian Golan Heights: In accordance with resolutions 242 and 338 of the
UN, Syria has been urging Israel to accept the call of the world
community and withdraw from the Syrian Heights in exchange for full peace,
as stated in the relevant UN resolutions.

Source: Northern Sky Publication, which was submitted to me by the
Embassy of Syria at D.C.

Further data on Syria can be obtained from designated electronic sites.


For North America (USA and Canada), the address of the Syrian Embassy is:

Embassy of Syria
2215 Wyoming Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 232-6313

* Travel Agenices:

Sunshine Travel & Tours Inc.
3051 W.Bancroft St.
P.O.Box 2783
Toledo, OH 43606
(419) 531-4440
FAX (419) 536-6611

Sahara Travel

SyrianAir, the official Syrian airlines, does not service North America at
this point.  However, a connecting flight from Europe is possible.  Most
international carriers service Damascus and some service Aleppo too.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

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