Deir ez-Zor

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Coordinates: 35°20′N 40°9′E / 35.333°N 40.150°E / 35.333; 40.150

Deir ez-Zor
دير الزور
Deir Ezzor, Deir Azzor
A collage of Deir ez-Zor
A collage of Deir ez-Zor
Deir ez-Zor is located in Syria
Deir ez-Zor
Deir ez-Zor
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 35°20′N 40°9′E / 35.333°N 40.150°E / 35.333; 40.150
Country  Syria
Governorate Deir ez-Zor Governorate
District Deir ez-Zor District
Government
 • Type Governorate
Elevation 210 m (690 ft)
Population (2004 census[1])
 • City 211,857
 • Metro 239,196
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EET (UTC+3)
Area code(s) 051

Deir ez-Zor, also spelled Dayr al-Zawr, Der Ezzor, Deir Azzor, and other variants (Arabic: دير الزور‎; Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܙܥܘܪܬܐ, Armenian: Տէր Զօր, Դեր Զոր, Ter Zor), is the 6th largest city in Syria and the largest in the eastern part of Syria. Located 450 km (280 mi) to the northeast from the capital Damascus on the shores of Euphrates River, Deir ez-Zor is the capital of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate.[2] According to the 2004 official census, 211,857 people were residing in the city that year.

Names[edit]

Among Syrians and neighbouring regions, Ad-Deir is used for short to indicate Deir ez Zor.[citation needed] The current name, which has been extended to the region around it, indicates an ancient site for one of the Early Christian secluded monasteries spread since the persecution times and Apostolic Age throughout Mesopotamia.[3] Although Deir, which is Arabic for "monastery", thought to be kept throughout Medieval and Modern Age renaming, Zor, which indicates the riverbank bush, appeared only in some late Ottoman records.[4]

History[edit]

Further information: Sanjak of Zor

The modern town was expanded by the Ottoman Empire in 1867 around the pre-existing town. In 1915, the city became a major destination point for Armenians subjected to death marches during the Armenian Genocide.[5] A memorial commemorating the events was erected in the city in 1991.[6] France occupied Deir ez-Zor in 1921 and made it the seat of a large garrison. Meanwhile, the region was locally ruled by Haj-Fadel Abboud, a member of an aristocratic family. In 1941 British-led forces defeated the Vichy French during the Syria-Lebanon campaign, which included a battle over Deir, and they handed administration of the region to the Free French. In 1946 it became part of the independent Republic of Syria.

Deir ez-Zor is situated 85 km (53 mi) to the northwest of the archaeological remains of Dura-Europos and 120 km (75 mi) northwest of the remains of the ancient city of Mari. During Roman times it was an important trading post between the Roman Empire and India. Conquered by Zenobia, it became part of the kingdom of Palmyra. After a successive wave of conquests, it was finally destroyed by the Mongols as they swept across the Middle East.

Since the Syrian civil war erupted, there have been in the city armed military clashes between the Syrian Armed Forces against the Free Syrian Army (associated with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces) and other opposition organizations such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Jabat Al Nusra Front.

Climate[edit]

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies it as hot desert (BWh).

Climate data for Deir Ezzor
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12.5
(54.5)
15.2
(59.4)
19.6
(67.3)
25.8
(78.4)
31.9
(89.4)
37.2
(99)
40.3
(104.5)
39.8
(103.6)
35.8
(96.4)
29.5
(85.1)
20.7
(69.3)
14.0
(57.2)
26.9
(80.3)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
3.7
(38.7)
6.8
(44.2)
12.0
(53.6)
17.2
(63)
22.3
(72.1)
25.4
(77.7)
24.8
(76.6)
20.3
(68.5)
14.1
(57.4)
17.3
(63.1)
3.2
(37.8)
14.1
(57.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 28.2
(1.11)
25.3
(0.996)
27.1
(1.067)
19.8
(0.78)
8.5
(0.335)
0.5
(0.02)
0.4
(0.016)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.008)
6.0
(0.236)
14.7
(0.579)
25.3
(0.996)
156
(6.143)
Avg. precipitation days 8 9 7 5 3 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 44
Source: World Weather Information[7]

Economy[edit]

The city and its rural surrounding is a fertile and prosperous farming area, with livestock-breeding (for awassi sheep), cereals and cotton crops. Many agribusiness institutions work there as well.

Since the discovery of light crude petroleum in the Syrian desert it has become a centre for the country's petroleum extraction industry. It is also a minor centre for tourism with many tourist facilities such as traditional French-style riverbank restaurants, up to 5-star hotels, a hub for trans-desert travel and an airport (IATA code: DEZ) in Al-Jafra suburb. There are salt mines nearby.

Culture[edit]

The majority of Deiries (from Deir ez-Zor) are Arabs, most of them are farmers from Jazira and urbanised bedouins of the Syrian Desert, with few Kurdish, Armenian and Assyrian/Syriac families.

Deir ez-Zor was the final concentration place for Deir ez-Zor Camps for annihilating the Armenian deportation caravans. Tens of thousands of surviving men, women and children were systematically killed on the banks of the Euphrates River. Today the Armenian Genocide Memorial church commemorates the memory of Genocide victims who lost their lives.

Successive waves of new settlers from surrounding countrysides and provinces were heavily related to severe drought in late 1950s and 1990s most of them looking for standard jobs and giving away farming and herding life-style. Mesopotamian dialect of Arabic is used in the city, with slight influence of the North Syrian one can be noticed as well. Dominated by Sunni Muslims, Christianity in Deir ez-Zor can be traced back to the Apostolic Age, with few active churches and chapels belong to different congregations.

The city is also famous for the Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge (Arabic: الجسر المعلق‎) which spans the Euphrates[2] and was completed in 1927. The Deir ez-Zor Museum keeps thousands of antiquities collected from nearby archeological sites in Northern Mesopotamia. Main campuses of Al-Furat University and Aljazeera University are also located there.[8] Many other polytechnic schools and professional institutes provides tertiary education are based in the city as well. The local daily newspaper Al Furat and few other publications are published there and circulated in neighboruing Al-Hasakah and Raqqa governorates.

International relations[edit]

Deir ez-Zor is home to the third Armenian diplomatic mission in Syria; the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia, opened on 11 February 2010.[9]

Deir ez-Zor Airport is an under-development domestic and international terminal and important hub mostly connecting with Damascus and destinations in the gulf region.

Twin cities[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deir ez-Zor city population
  2. ^ a b "Syrian Ministry of Tourism (in Arabic)". Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  3. ^ Moffett, S. H. (1992): A History of Christianity in Asia: Beginnings to 1500. Harper, San Francisco. ISBN 0-06-065779-0
  4. ^ Shaw, S. J. (1978): Ottoman Census System and Population, 1831–1914. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 9: 325-338.
  5. ^ Pouring a People into the Desert:The "Definitive Solution" of the Unionists to the Armenian Question, Fuat Dundar, A Question of Genocide, ed. Ronald Grigor Suny, Fatma Muge Gocek and Norman M. Naimark, (Oxford University Press, 2011), 280-281.
  6. ^ Monument and Memorial Complex at Der Zor, Syria
  7. ^ "World Weather Information - Deir Ezzor". World Weather Information. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Al Jazeera University. Jude.edu.sy. Retrieved on 2013-10-29.
  9. ^ Thawra news (in Arabic)
  10. ^ Al-Baath news (in Arabic)

External links[edit]