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Area:185,180 sq km, slightly larger than North Dakota land: 184,050 sq km water: 1,130 sq km Terrain: primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west. lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberius -200 m highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m Climate: mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus.
chief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD
unicameral People's Council or Majlis al-shaab (250 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 2-3 March 2003 (next to be held NA 2007) election results: percent of vote by party - NPF 67%, independents 33%; seats by party - NPF 167, independents 83; note - the constitution guarantees that the Ba'th Party (part of the NPF alliance) receives one-half of the seats
A traditional method of plowing, near Menbij, Syria. Such methods are still used in countries where mechanized farming is rare, and in developing countries where mechanization is common but the animals can still be used on very small plots or where the ground is too muddy to support a tractor.
Bosra is an extremely ancient city mentioned in lists of Tutmose III and Akhenatcn in the fourteenth century BC. The first Nabataean city in the 2nd century BC, it bore the name Buhora, and then Bustra during Hellenistic period. Later the Romans took an active interest in the city, and at time of Emperor Trajan it was made the capital of the Province of Arabia (in 106 BC) and was called Neatrajana Bustra.
The city flourished when became a crossroads on the caravan routes and the official seat and residence of the Imperial Legate. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Bosra played a significant role in the history of early Christianity. It was also linked to the rise of Islam, when a Nestorian monk called Bahira met the young Mohammad (pbuh) when his caravan stopped at Bosra, and predicted his prophetic vocation and the faith he was going to initiate.