Setting things straight - what we mean by the word "Syria" & why?

The word Syria in the name of the party has often lead the reader to confuse it with the current Syrian Republic under the current regime. Please use the above link to learn more about OUR Syria as we view it
 

Definition

Our Syria has distinct natural boundaries and extends from the Taurus range in the northwest and the Zagros mountains in the northeast to the Suez canal and the Red Sea in the south and includes the Sinai peninsula and the gulf of Aqaba, and from the Syrian sea in the west, including the island of Cyprus, to the arch of the Arabian desert and the Persian gulf in the east. (This region is also known as the Syrian Fertile Crescent).

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The Origin of the name  (By Dr. Haitham A K)

Several theories have been advanced to explain the origin of the name Syria. It is, in form, a Greek name (Suria) first used by the Greek historian Herodotus (20). Herodotus applies the name Syrians to the Phoenicians, Palestinians, and interestingly the Cappadocians. He does not use distinction between Syrian and Assyrian consistently and states: 'These people used to be called Syrians by the Greeks, Assyrians being the name for them elsewhere'. The various theories on the etymology of 'Syria' can be categorized as follows:

- from 'Assyria' by elimination of the prefix. This is a popular theory and has strong elements to support it considering that the Assyrian empire included at various times the entire western part of the Crescent. It is suggested by the statement of Herodotus mentioned above. Further evidence comes from the Syrian writer Lucian who, writing in Greek, referred to himself interchangeably as 'Syrian' and 'Assyrian'.

- from the Semitic name of the city of Tyre, 'Sur'. The Greeks, however, referred to the city as 'Tur' and it is difficult to see how they would derive the name of the land with an 's'. Chroniclers of the crusades have stated that the inhabitants of the region gave this explanation for the etymology of the name of the land. The reliability and relevance of this late testimony, however, are difficult to ascertain.

- from the Ugaritic and biblical 'Siryon', a name for Mt. Hermon. The Greeks, however, would have maintained the 'i' and had no need to substitute a 'u' as in "Suria'.

- from the Egyptian 'Hrw' (Hurri) used to refer to western Syria during the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Dynasties. This assumes a transformation of the 'H' to the Coptic -S-, apparently a development with many precedents. Herodotus could easily have utilized the term the Egyptians used to refer to their northeastern neighbors.

The Unitarian stirring in the confines of the Fertile Crescent became manifest in the development of economic ties, cultural interactions, and population mixing all antecedent to the earliest political forms of unity. The unity of the life cycle within the Fertile Crescent has preceded the political unity of the first territorial empire by the Akkadian rulers. The unity of life has persisted when political unity was lacking. It should be highlighted that the recurring territorial empires arising in Syria under the mantles of the various forming elements of the Syrian nation, have contributed to the maintenance and promotion of the unity of life. Thus the Babylonian empire of Hammurapi, the Assyrian empire, the Neo-Babylonian state, the Seleucide rule etc... have given political and administrative facilitatory forms to the unity of life prevalent within the confines of the Syrian homeland.

Saadeh ascribed the failure of historians in general to grasp the historical unity within the confines of the Fertile Crescent to the influence of Greek and Roman historians. A similar opinion has been independently advanced recently by the British historians Amelie Kuhn and Susan Sherwin-White: 'Traditional approaches to the study of the Hellenistic East after Alexander have been mainly hellenocentric and have selected as of prime importance the establishment and spread of Greek culture. This is a serious lack which stems from the overriding significance attached to the classical tradition in which most scholars of the ancient world have been educated. One of the results of this is that where there is no clear Greek evidence a political, social and cultural vacuum is assumed. Another distorting factor has been the preoccupation of Roman historians who have tended (not unnaturally) to concentrate almost exclusively on those regions of the Seleucide empire which by the first century BC had become part of the Roman empire. This approach has led them to...[ignore] the central importance of the vast territories controlled by the Seleucid east of the Euphrates'.

The question of limiting the term 'Syria' to the western part of the Fertile Crescent is examined by another historian in the same collection, Fergus Millar: 'By 'Syria' I mean anywhere west of the Euphrates and south of the Amanus mountains-essentially therefore the area west of the Euphrates where Semitic languages were used ... This begs a question about Asia Minor (and especially Cilicia), from which Aramaic documents are known, and a far more important one about northern Mesopotamia and about Babylonia; Should we not, that is, see the various Aramaic-speaking areas of the Fertile Crescent as representing a single culture, or at any rate closely connected cultures, and therefore not attempt to study the one area without the others?'.

 

 

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This Portal is intended to be a Single point of contact (gateway) to The Syrian Social Nationalist movement, its ideology and related literature. It is also a meeting place where people can get the latest news and views; debate, or just chat. But we also want to have an added benefit as well. We would like this portal to offer the opportunity for professionals to meet and discuss work related issues, job offerings or business opportunities. 
 
Some of Antun Saadeh's - the founder of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) - works are published electronically here. He was a unique and controversial man who left his imprint on the political and cultural scene in Syria since the founding of his Party in 1932, and beyond his premature death in 1949. His execution that year, which many view as a political assassination, did not diminish his stature; on the contrary, it enhanced it, and he continues to inspire and challenge new generations with his insights and teachings. Publishing Saadeh's works on line is an ongoing project.
 
Other sections include literary and art works of various Syrian writers and artists, especially those who left a large impact on the world literary or artistic scenes.

 
If you have an idea for discussion, throw it in. If you have a project, bring it to the table. Our objective is to bring our people together and serve our motherland in every way possible, and from whatever country we may be residing in.
 
Syria as we know it, is a beautiful country extending from Taurous Mountains to Arabia and from the Mediterranean to the Zagrous Mountains. Right now, it is divided into mini states, and its people are suffering from deep social divisions. In our hearts and minds, it should be one. Its people should stand as equal citizens of one state in one society. This is the essence of our call. This is the essence of our vision for Syria.

 

 

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