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For the town in Lebanon, see Daraya.
Darayya is located in Syria
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 33°27′N 36°15′E / 33.450°N 36.250°E / 33.450; 36.250
Country  Syria
Governorate Rif Dimashq Governorate
District Darayya District
Nahiyah Darayya
Elevation 689 m (2,260 ft)
Population (2004 census)
 • Total 78,763
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Darayya (Arabic: داريا‎) is a suburb of Damascus in Syria, the centre of Darayya lying 8 kilometers (5 miles) south-west of the centre of Damascus. Administratively it belongs to Rif Dimashq.

The city had a population of 78,763 as of 2004, making it the 19th largest city per geographical entity in Syria.[1] Darayya has an altitude of 689 meters. It is one of the oldest cities in Syria, reportedly the place where Paul the Apostle had his conversion (30s AD), "on Damascus road". Patriarch Gregory III Laham, the spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church was born here in 15 December 1933 as Lutfy Laham.

Syrian civil war[edit]

In the beginning of the uprising, Darayya was mostly known for its large, peaceful demonstrations against Assad government.[citation needed] It was also known for its nonviolent activists who used to present the security forces with water bottles and roses, accompanied by a small letter which reads "we and you are both sons of this homeland, please let us protest peacefully".[citation needed] Young activist Ghiath Matar (1985-2011) was one of the activists in Darayya Coordination, who was detained and afterwards tortured to death by the security forces. The ambassadors of the US, France, England, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Japan attended his mourning in Darayya.[2] Yahya Shurbaji (1979-) is another name of this Islamic nonviolent movement in Darayya, who was also detained by the government with no news about him.[citation needed]

Darayya has seen heavy fighting during the Syrian Civil War. The city was an early hotspot for anti-government protests and subsequent government oppression. The city fell to anti-government militants from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra and some point in the first half of 2012, and was re-captured twice by the Syrian army and other pro-government forces: first at in the end of August 2012, leading to the Darayya massacre,[3] and a second time on 4 January 2013.[4] However, as of summer 2013 fighting continued in the city with most of the municipality controlled by the armed opposition forces.[5]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°27′N 36°15′E / 33.450°N 36.250°E / 33.450; 36.250