Syrian

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Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, and Circassians which is reflected in the nation’s rich and vibrant cultural traditions. Even though the fast few decades have been marred by political instability, violence and chaos, the resilient Syrians have emerged to make a mark for themselves in the world. The nation is well known for its literature and has produced writers like Adonis, Muhammad Maghout, Haidar Haidar, Ghada al-Samman, Nizar Qabbani and Zakariyya Tamer who are famous internationally. Salim Barakat, a Syrian emigrant living in Sweden, is an especially well-known figure in the genre of Syrian folk narrative. Syrian music has long been among the Arab world's most important, especially in the field of classical Arab music, and singers and musicians like Asmahan, Farid al-Atrash and Lena Chamamyan are playing a significant role in popularizing Arab music throughout the world. The Syrian Civil War which began in the early spring of 2011 has unfortunately led to the incarceration of several of the country’s illustrious artists, poets, writers and activists, including famed cartoonist Akram Raslam who was killed in 2013. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Syrians.
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 1 
Bashar al-Assad
(President of Syria)
Bashar al-Assad
35
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Damascus

Bashar al-Assad is the current president of Syria and has been serving in this position since 17 July 2000. Over the years, he has also had a major impact on Syria as the commander-in-chief of the country's Armed Forces. In 2011, his decision to impose military sieges on protesters participating in the Arab Spring resulted in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

 2 
Ignatius of Antioch
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthplace: Roman Syria
Died: 0140 AD

Ignatius of Antioch went down in history as a man who was arrested and executed for his non-allegiance to Roman gods. The seven letters he wrote while being escorted from Antioch to Rome as a prisoner later served as a mirror that reflected his concern for Christianity, against false teachings.

 3 
Jacob
(Religious leader)
Jacob
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Canaan
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 4 
Jwan Yosef
(Painter, Artist)
Jwan Yosef
17
Birthdate: September 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Syria

Jwan Yosef is a Swedish artist and painter who specializes in plastic arts. Over the course of his career, Yosef has participated in a number of group exhibitions and art fairs. He is also credited with founding The Bomb Factory Art Foundation in North London.

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 5 
Asma al-Assad
(First Lady of Syria)
Asma al-Assad
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 11, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Acton

Born to Syrian-origin parents in Britain, Asma al-Assad is now the First Lady of Syria, through her marriage to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. In 2021, an investigation related to her alleged involvement in war crimes in Syria was opened, which if proven could strip her of her British citizenship.

Alan Kurdi
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 2012 AD
Birthplace: Kobane, Syria
Died: September 2, 2015
 7 
Hafez al-Assad
(President of Syria (1971-2000))
Hafez al-Assad
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Al Qardahah, Syria
Died: June 10, 2000
Hafez al-Assad was the Syrian president from 1971 to 2000. He also served as the country’s prime minister from 1970 to 1971. The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party leader was part of the 1963 coup that dethroned President Nazim al-Kudsi and the 1966 coup which made him the Syrian defense minister.
 8 
Zenobia
(Queen of Palmyra Who Revolted against Rome but Was Eventually Defeated)
Zenobia
0
Birthdate: 0240 AD
Birthplace: Palmyra, Syria
Died: 0274 AD

A 3rd-century queen of the Roman colony of Palmyra, which is in present-day Syria, Zenobia took over as the regent of her son, Wahballat, after the assassination of her husband, Odaenathus. She conquered Egypt and much of Asia Minor. Though she declared her independence from Rome, she was defeated eventually.

 9 
Pope Gregory III
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Gregory III
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0690 AD
Birthplace: Syria
Died: November 28, 0741
 10 
Bilal ibn Ribah
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0580 AD
Birthplace: Mecca
Died: March 2, 0640
 11 
Baibars
(Sultan of Egypt)
Baibars
2
Birthdate: July 19, 1223
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cumania
Died: July 1, 1277
 12 
Moustapha Akkad
(For producing the original series of Halloween films and directing The Message and Lion of the Desert)
Moustapha Akkad
0
Birthdate: July 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Aleppo, Syria
Died: November 11, 2005
 13 
John of Damascus
(Saint, Best Known for His Strong Defence of 'Icons')
John of Damascus
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0676 AD
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Died: December 4, 0749

John of Damascus was a Christian apologist, priest, and monk. A polymath, John contributed to various fields, such as philosophy, theology, law, and music. He also wrote several works explaining the Christian faith. The hymns which he composed are still used in Eastern Christian practice as well as in western Lutheranism.

 14 
Jacob in Islam
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Syria, Syria
 15 
Nizar Qabbani
(Diplomat)
Nizar Qabbani
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 21, 1923
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Damascus
Died: April 30, 1998

Nizar Qabbani was a Syrian writer, diplomat, publisher, and poet. Renowned for incorporating themes like eroticism, religion, love, feminism, and Arab nationalism into his poetry, Qabbani's poems have achieved worldwide acclaim; they have been translated into many languages, including English and Russian. Regarded as Syria's National Poet, Qabbani is also one of the most respected poets in the Arab world.

 16 
Ibn an-Nafīs
(Polymath)
Ibn an-Nafīs
0
Birthdate: 1213 AD
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Died: December 17, 1288
 17 
St. Simeon Stylites
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0390 AD
Birthplace: Kozan, Turkey
Died: September 2, 0459
 18 
Abd al-Rahman I
0
Birthdate: 0731 AD
Birthplace: Palmyra, Syria
Died: August 31, 0788
 19 
Rifaat al-Assad
(Syrian General Who Supposedly Supervised ‘Hama Massacre’ and Later Served as the Vice President of Syria)
Rifaat al-Assad
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Qardaha
 20 
Asmahan
(Actress)
Asmahan
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Syria
Died: July 14, 1944
 21 
Odaenathus
0
Birthdate: 0220 AD
Birthplace: Palmyra, Syria
Died: 0267 AD
 22 
Salah Jadid
(Syrian General and Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party Leader)
Salah Jadid
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1926 AD
Birthplace: Dwaer Baabda, Syria
Died: August 19, 1993

Syrian general Salah Jadid was a prominent leader of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Syria, also known as the Syrian Regional Branch, which he led as its Assistant Regional Secretary. He became the de facto ruler of Syria but was eventually ousted by the Corrective Revolution of Hafez al-Assad.

 23 
Maron
(Saint)
Maron
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Syria Prima
Died: 0410 AD
 24 
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
(The 10th Umayyad Caliph Who Built Many Palaces and Reformed His Kingdom's Taxation System)
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
0
Birthdate: 0691 AD
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Died: February 6, 0743

The 10th Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik reigned during a relatively calm period. His main goal was to defend the vast empire that he had inherited. He built countless castles and palaces in Syria. He is also believed to have reformed the agricultural taxation system of his kingdom.

 25 
Antiochus I Soter
0
Birthdate: 0324 BC
Birthplace: Macedonia
Died: 0261 BC
 26 
Yazid I
(Second Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate)
Yazid I
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 20, 0646
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rif-Dimashq Governorate, Syria
Died: November 12, 0683

Yazid I reigned as the caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate from 680 until his death in 683. The second caliph of the caliphate, Yazid's appointment was the first succession based on hereditary in the history of Islam. His caliphate was marked by the commencement of the Second Fitna, a period of military and political disorder in the Islamic community.

 27 
Feras Antoon
(Syrian-Canadian Pornographer & Co-owner and CEO of 'Mindgeek', the World's Largest Pornography Company)
Feras Antoon
7
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: June 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria

Canadian pornographer Feras Antoon is best known as co-founder and CEO of the privately held Canadian company called MindGeek that mainly focuses on pornography. It is considered to be the largest pornography company across the world and runs many popular pornographic video sharing websites like Pornhub, YouPorn and RedTube, and also adult film production companies like Brazzers and Reality Kings.

 28 
Pope Anicetus
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 9, 0092
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Homs‎, Syria
Died: April 20, 0168
 29 
Al-Ma'arri
(One of the Best Classical Arabic Poets of All Time)
Al-Ma'arri
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 23, 0973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ma`arat al-Nu`man, Syria
Died: April 30, 1057

Al-Ma'arri was an Arab poet, philosopher, and writer. Counted among the best classical Arabic poets of all time, Al-Ma'arri was also regarded as a controversial rationalist. He advocated social justice and opposed all forms of violence. Some of his best known works include The Tinder Spark, The Epistle of Forgiveness, and Unnecessary Necessity.
 

 30 
Najwa bin Laden
(Osama bin Laden's ex-wife)
Najwa bin Laden
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Syria
 31 
Saints Sergius and Bacchus
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Syria
 32 
Omar Bakri Muhammad
(Syrian Sunni Islamist Cleric Who Supported Terrorist Organizations in the UK)
Omar Bakri Muhammad
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: Aleppo, Syria

A prominent Sunni Islamist cleric from Syria, Omar Bakri Muhammad had a significant contribution to the development of the pan-Islamist fundamental organization Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK. He later switched to the Saudi Arabia-based militant group Al-Muhajiroun. He eventually fled to Lebanon, where he was sentenced to prison for terrorism.

 33 
Imad ad-Din Zengi
0
Birthdate: 1085 AD
Birthplace: Aleppo, Syria
Died: September 14, 1146
Pope Constantine
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0664 AD
Birthplace: Syria
Died: April 9, 0715
 35 
Dündar Aliosman
1
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
 36 
Numerian
(Emperor)
Numerian
0
Birthdate: 0254 AD
Died: November 20, 0284
 37 
Michel Aflaq
(Philosopher)
Michel Aflaq
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1909
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ḥamāh, Syria
Died: June 23, 1989
 38 
Mustafa Tlass
(Senior officer)
Mustafa Tlass
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 11, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rastan, Syria
Died: June 27, 2017

Mustafa Tlass, who had been the Syrian defense minister, was also a lover of Syrian literature and had launched a publishing house named Tlass Books. However, he was criticized for publishing anti-Semitic content. He also once claimed that Gina Lollobrigida and Princess Diana had both expressed their love for him.

 39 
Ibn Kathīr
(Historian)
Ibn Kathīr
1
Birthdate: 1301 AD
Birthplace: Busra, Syria
Died: February 13, 1373
 40 
Al-Walid II
(Caliph)
Al-Walid II
0
Birthdate: 0709 AD
Birthplace: Syria
Died: April 7, 0744
 41 
Publilius Syrus
(Latin Writer Best Remembered for His Sententiae, a Collection of Brief Moral Sayings)
Publilius Syrus
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0085 BC
Died: 0043 BC

Publilius Syrus was a Latin writer best remembered for his sententiae, a collection of brief moral sayings. He was also a popular mime artist who drew the attention of famous political figures like Julius Caesar. Publilius Syrus' work, especially his sententiae, has inspired people like Seneca the Younger and William Shakespeare.
 

 42 
Nesreen Tafesh
0
Birthdate: February 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aleppo, Syria
 43 
Shukri al-Quwatli
(The First President of Post-Independence Syria)
Shukri al-Quwatli
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 6, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Died: June 30, 1967

Shukri al-Quwatli was not just the 8th president of Syria but also its first president post-independence. He was part of the National Bloc and also led the Syrian anti-colonialist movement. He was overthrown by a coup, imprisoned, and exiled. Re-elected later, he was merely a nominal head.

 44 
Salah al-Din Bitar
(Syrian Politician and Co-founder of ‘Arab Ba'ath Party’ Who Served as Prime Minister)
Salah al-Din Bitar
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 1, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
Died: July 21, 1980
Saint John Climacus
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0579 AD
Birthplace: Syria
Died: 0649 AD
 46 
Tatian
(Assyrian Writer and Theologian)
Tatian
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0120 AD
Died: 0180 AD
Tatian was an Assyrian writer and theologian. He is best remembered for his attempt to merge the texts of all four gospels into a single narrative of Jesus Christ's life and death; his work came to be known as the Diatessaron. The Syriac-speaking churches adopted the Diatessaron as the standard text of the four gospels until the 5th century.
 47 
Julia Maesa
(Roman aristocrat)
Julia Maesa
0
Birthdate: May 7, 0160
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Homs Emesa, Roman Syria Syria
Died: 0224 AD
 48 
Eusebius of Nicomedia
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Syria
Died: 0341 AD
 49 
Hashim al-Atassi
(Three-Time President of Syria Who Was Known for His Affinity to Constitutional Rule)
Hashim al-Atassi
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 11, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Homs, Syria
Died: December 5, 1960

Three-time president of Syria, Hashim al-Atassi was a nationalist. Born into a landowning family, he began his political career serving as the governors of places such as Hama, Anatolia, and Baalbek. Known for his adherence to constitutional means of governance, he was respected by his opponents, too.

 50 
Theophilus Of Antioch
(Apologist and Patriarch of Antioch)
Theophilus Of Antioch
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Mesopotamia, Iraq
Died: 0184 AD
Theophilus of Antioch was the Apologist and Patriarch of Antioch from 169 to 182. He made immense contributions to Christian literature, exegetics, apologetics, and polemics. Theophilus of Antioch is also credited with writing a series of books titled Apology to Autolycus, which defends Christianity.