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Not to be confused with Kafir, Idlib.
Al-Kafr is located in Syria
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 32°38′00″N 36°38′30″E / 32.63333°N 36.64167°E / 32.63333; 36.64167
Country  Syria
Governorate Suwayda
District Suwayda
Subdistrict Suwayda
Elevation 1,360 m (4,460 ft)
Population (2004 census)[1]
 • Total 7,458
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Kafr (Arabic: الكفر‎‎, also spelled al-Kefr) is a village in as-Suwayda Governorate in southern Syria. It is located 8 km to the southeast of as-Suwayda. It is known for its forest and good wine,[citation needed] and it was the site of a number of battles during the 19th and 20th centuries. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Kafr had a population of 7,458 in the 2004 census.[1]

Modern-day al-Kafr was settled by Druze coming from other areas in central Ottoman Syria between 1857 and 1860, at a time when the Druze sheikh Ismail al-Atrash was becoming the preeminent force of the Jabal al-Druze area over his Druze rivals in the Hamdan clan.[2] Druze settlement in al-Kafr and other villages, like Najran, on the southern borders of the Lajat plain, the Druze were able to encircle the Sulut Bedouin tribe that had dominated the area previously.[3] Al-Kafr was one of two villages (the other being Qanawat) that put up armed resistance to the 30-battalion-strong force assembled by the Ottoman governor Sami Pasha al-Faruqi to suppress the Hauran Druze Rebellion, led by Zuqan al-Atrash, against the government. The Druze sheikhs ultimately surrendered to the government.[4]

During French Mandatory rule, on 22 July 1920, al-Kafr became the site of the Battle of al-Kafr, in which the forces of Sultan al-Atrash routed a French army column sent to defeat Sultan's men at Salkhad. The battle essentially precipitated the countrywide Great Syrian Revolt against French rule.[5]


  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Al-Suwayda Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. ^ Firro 1992, p. 189.
  3. ^ Firro 1992, p. 68.
  4. ^ Firro 1992, p. 243.
  5. ^ Firro 1992, pp. 285–286.


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