Every year, thousands of people from all over the world come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different skills and with the hope of contributing to their new society. This cultural profile was written to help Canadians welcome Syrian immigrants to Canada. It will tell you something about the Syrian people and what life is like in their original home. This information will be useful if you are hosting a Syrian family as part of the HOST Program, learning about Syria in school or working with Syrian colleagues who have recently settled in Canada.
Syrians come to Canada for many reasons. Some come to further their education or to find employment. Others come to join family members or simply to experience life in another country. You can help newcomers settle in by answering their questions about Canadian society. Knowing something about Syrian culture will enable you to understand your new friends better. It will also make them feel at home and help them build a new life in Canada.

 Although this cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Syria.

  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Syrian Arab Republic
Capital City Damascus
Type of Government Single-party Socialist State
Population 16.6 million
Area 185,150 sq. km 
Major Ethnic Groups Arab, Kurdish, Armenian
Languages Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian 
Religions Islam, Christianity
Unit of Currency Syrian Pound (or Lira)
National Flag Three horizontal bands of red, white and black, with two five-pointed green stars on the middle white band
Date of Independence April 17, 2022
  Did you know?
Syria is part of an area known as the Levant, which also includes Lebanon. Levant means "rising" in French, and refers to the sunrise, because these countries are east of the Mediterranean. The word came into use during the 1920s and 1930s, when the French ruled Syria and Lebanon.