As-Suwayda Governorate

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Al-Suwayda Governorate

مُحافظة السويداء
Map of Syria with al-Suwayda Governorate highlighted
Map of Syria with al-Suwayda Governorate highlighted
Coordinates (Al-Suwayda): 32°48′N 36°48′E / 32.8°N 36.8°E / 32.8; 36.8Coordinates: 32°48′N 36°48′E / 32.8°N 36.8°E / 32.8; 36.8
Country Syria
Manatiq (Districts)3
 • GovernorAmer Ibrahim Ashi
 • Total5,550 km2 (2,140 sq mi)
 • Total770,000
 • Density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeSY-SU
Main language(s)Arabic

As-Suwayda or Al-Suwayda Governorate (Arabic: مُحافظة السويداء‎ / ALA-LC: Muḥāfaẓat as-Suwaydā’) is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is the southernmost governorate and has an area of 5,550 km² and forms part of the historic Hawran region. Its capital and major city is al-Suwayda. A large majority of the population are Druze.

Geographically the governorate comprises almost all of Jabal al-Druze, the eastern part of Lejah, and a part of the arid eastern steppe of Harrat al-Shamah.

Most of As-Suwayda inhabitants work in agriculture, planting grapes, apple, olive, and wheat in general. In addition, there are four clearly demarcated seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) which gives As-Suwayda nice weather and beautiful natural sites. As-Suwayda contains many archaeological sites that related to the civilizations of the Babylonians, Sumerians, Phoenicians and Romans.

Demographics and population[edit]

The governorate has a population of about 770,000 inhabitants (est. 2011).[1] It is the only governorate in Syria that has a Druze majority.[2] There is also a sizable Eastern Orthodox minority, and a small Muslim refugee community from mainly Daraa Governorate as well as other parts of Syria.[3]

In the 1980s Druze made up 87.6% of the population, Christians (mostly Greek Orthodox) 11% and Sunni Muslims 2%.[4]

Most of the inhabitants live in the western parts of the governorate, especially on the western slopes of Jabal ad-Duruz. Only nomadic Bedouin tribes live in the barren region of Harrat al-Shamah.


Suwayda's City aerial view October 2011

The governorate is divided into 3 districts (manatiq):

These are further divided into 12 sub-districts (nawahi).

Cities, towns and villages[edit]

The governorate contains 3 cities, 124 villages, and 36 hamlets.[1]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Statistics from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Country Data Page on Syria
  3. ^ Shahba provides refuge for displaced Syrians. 28 September 2012.
  4. ^ Pipes, Daniel (1990). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford University Press. p. 151.