Languages of Syria
- Official language: Arabic
- Spoken by 90% of the Syrian population
- Branches of Arabic are spoke: Levantine in the west, Mesopotamian in the northeast
- 17 total languages are spoken in Syria
- Notable languages: Kurdish, Mesopotamian Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Assyrian, Levantine Arabic, Western Neo-Aramaic, Najdi Arabic, Standard Arabic, Turoyo, Domari, Lomavren, and classic Arabic
- Armenian and Syrian Turkmen are spoken among Armenian and Turkmen minorities
- Classical Syriac is still used for various Syriac Christian Denominations
- Some of these languages are just spoken in certain villages
- ex: Western Neo-Aramaic is spoken in the village of Ma’loula
Syria and the UN, IMF, WTO and GINI Coefficient
The United Nations and Syria
The United Nations is a global organization that promotes political and economic cooperation around the world by organizing economic and social development programs and improving human rights in hopes to end global conflicts.
Syria has been a member of the UN since its formation in October of 1945. At the time, Egypt and Syria joined as a conjoint member. Since then, Syria gained independence and resumed separate membership in October of 1961.
With the ongoing conflict in Syria, they are a country the United Nations has on high alert. Especially with President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries (including Syria), UN members have had to decide what is best moving forward for the well-being of human rights in Syria.
In an article titled “UN agency ‘alarmed’ by uncertainty facing refugees in the process of being resettled in the US” from the UN News Centre’s website, Filippo Grandi, head of the United Nations refugee agency, says he is extremely worried for the uncertainty refugees who were supposed to be settled into the US prior to President Trump’s ban. More than 800 Syrian refugees were supposed to call the US their new home just this week so the travel ban is a horrifying reality for both the UN and Syrian refugees. The UN has noted that the US has been a global leader in protecting the lives of refugees and they hope that they will continue to be a safe haven moving forward.
Filippo Grandi, head of the United Nations refugee agency
Syria and the IMF
The International Monetary Fund fosters monetary cooperation, secures financial stability, facilitates international trade, and promotes high employment and economic growth to reduce poverty around the world. Syria has been a member of the IMF since April of 1947.
The Civil War has caught the attention of the IMF since the conflict has set the country back decades in terms of economic stance, social and human development. Syria’s GDP (gross domestic product) today is less than half of what it was before the war started. It is predicted to take two decades or more to return to Syria’s previous GDP levels. Rebuilding Syria’s physical economic infrastructure will be a daunting task in and as itself, but there will be an even greater challenge of rebuilding their human and social capital.
In the fragile and crucial state Syria is in, it will be important for IMF members to be looking forward on how to defend and rebuild Syria’s economic state.
Syria and the WTO
The World Trade Organization is the only global program that deals with the rules of international trade. Syria has been a member since their working party established in May of 2010 but they have had no meetings yet.
Syria’s GINI Coefficient
A GINI coefficient is a statistical measure of the degree of variation or inequality represented in a set of values, used especially in analyzing income inequality.
Syria’s most recent GINI coefficient was calculated in 2004 and came out to a 35.77. A GINI coefficient of 0 is perfect equality and a GINI coefficient of 100 is perfect inequality. With Syria standing at roughly a 36, they are not too concerning in regards to inequality in their country, however, globally their level of poverty is very high. (This information is likely not able to be generalized to Syria’s current condition because of the lack of current information because of the Civil War.)