|Governorate||Rif Dimashq Governorate|
|Elevation||689 m (2,260 ft)|
|Population (2004 census)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Darayya (Arabic: داريا) is a Syrian city administratively belonging to Rif Dimashq. Darayya has an altitude of 689 meters. It has been on of the oldest cities in Syria, known for being the place where Paul the Apostle had his conversion (30s AD), "on Damascus road". The city has an altitude of 689 meters. The city has a population of 75,134 as of 2004, making it the 19th largest city per geographical entity in Syria. It is sometimes regarded as a suburb of Damascus. 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
In the beginning of the uprising, Darayya was mostly known for its large, peaceful demonstrations against Assad regime. It was also known for its nonviolent activists who used to present the security forces with water battles and roses, accompanied by a small letter which reads "we and you are both sons of this homeland, please let us protest peacefully". 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. Yahya Shurbaji (1979-) is another name of this Islamic nonviolent movement in Darayya, who was also detained by the regime with no news about him.
Darayya has seen heavy fighting during the Syrian Civil War. The city was an early hotspot for anti-regime protests and subsequent regime oppression. The city fell to anti-regime 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-regime forces: first at in the end of August 2012, leading to the Darayya massacre, and a second time on 4 January 2013. However, as of summer 2013 fighting continued in the city with most of the municipality controlled by anti-regime forces.
As of May 2013 there was a Russian-Abkhazian TV crew based in Darayya. The war correspondents were from the Abkhazian Network News Agency (ANNA), providing live footage of their Syrian Army fight against the rebels. Sergey Berezhnoy, a Russian judge and a volunteer reporter for ANNA News, was wounded there by an anti-government sniper in January 2013.
- "Syria: Helicopter crashes in Damascus". BBC News. 2012-08-27.
- Ghiyath Matar: Aljazeera English
- Сирия пересчитывает расстрелянных (Коммерсантъ, 27 августа 2012)
- Сирийские войска вытеснили боевиков с юго-запада Дамаска (Russian)
- Эвакуация раненого солдата под Дамаском
- ANNA News
- Российский волонтер ранен в Сирии
- Vacation on Syria’s Front Lines Goes Wrong for Russian Judge
- Daraya, Rif Dimashq Video of bombardment of Darayya during the Syrian civil war - YouTube.