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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Syrian politician and former military personnel Rifaat Ali al-Assad, brother of late President of Syria, Hafez Assad, and uncle of current President Bashar al-Assad, served as Vice President of Syria from March 1984 to February 1998. According to some sources, he allegedly supervised Hama massacre (1982), carried out by the Syrian Army, resulting in suppression of Islamist insurgency in Syria.
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.
Muhammed Faris is a Syrian aviator who became the first Syrian to spend time in space. He also played an important role in the Syrian Civil War. In 1987, Faris was honored with the Hero of the Soviet Union title. In September 2017, he was appointed as the Syrian Interim Government's defense minister.
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.
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.