View of Zweitina
|Elevation||420 m (1,380 ft)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+3)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+2)|
Zweitina or Zuwaytini (Arabic: زُويتينة / ALA-LC: Zūwaytīnah) is a small Greek Orthodox Christian village located in Western Syria close to the Lebanese borders and administratively belonging to the Homs Governorate. Its location in the midst of a coniferous mountain makes it a popular and favored summer destination. Its altitude ranges between 400 and 450 meters. Nearby localities inclue Marmarita to the north, al-Huwash to the east, al-Huwash to the east, al-Husn to the southeast, al-Zarah to the south, Naarah and Tell Hawsh to the southwest, al-Mitras to the west and al-Bariqiyah to the northwest. Zweitina is perhaps most famous for its al-Fawwar spring, which is named so because it flows sporadically. Zweitina is home to the historic Saint George Monastery, one of the oldest in Syria. It is also very close to the Krac des Chevaliers, or Qal'at al-Ḥiṣn. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CNS), Zweitina had a population of 1,540 in the 2011 census. Its inhabitants are predominantly Greek Orthodox Christians.
The name Zweitina is derived from the word zeitoun which is Arabic for olive. Zweitina is Arabic for a single olive fruit. Olive trees dominate the forests of Zweitina and are considered the most important crops in the village which produces large amounts of olive product, thus justifying the name. Others argue that the name was derived from the Aramaic language and means "the land where silkworms grow" and refers to the silkworms which live and grow on berry trees found in the village's forests.
Due to changing weather conditions, Zweitina has a changing population, reaching approximately 5,000 inhabitants in summer. It is a village where Christianity dominates. Almost 75% of the original population live outside the village. Pennsylvania, USA, which has the highest number of immigrants from the village, is home to approximately 500 families. Zweitina is also very close to the neighboring village of Marmarita, another Christian village.