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Greater Syria

Map depicting Syria as the lands ranging from the Taurus mountains to the Sinai to the Euphrates, not including Upper Mesopotamia

Greater Syria (Arabic: سُوِرِيَّة الْكُبْرَى‎, romanizedSūriyyah al-Kubrá), also "Natural Syria" (Arabic: سُوْرِيَّة الطَّبِيْعِيَّة‎, romanizedSūriyyah aṭ-Ṭabī‘iyyah) or "Northern Country" (Arabic: بِلَاد الشَّام‎, romanizedBilād ash-Shām),[1] is a Levantine region which extends roughly over the medieval Arab Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham. The Hellenistic name of the region, "Syria", was used by the Ottomans in the Syria Vilayet until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The wave of Arab nationalism in the region evolved towards the creation of a new "Great Syria" over French-governed Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, declared as Hashemite Kingdom on March 1920, claiming extent over the entire Levant. Following the Franco-Syrian War, in July 1920, French armies defeated the newly proclaimed Arab Kingdom of Syria and captured Damascus, aborting the Arab state. The area was consequently partitioned under French and British Mandates into Greater Lebanon, various Syrian states, Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. Syrian states were gradually unified as the State of Syria and became the independent Republic of Syria in 1946.

Historical background

The Arab conquest of the Levant in the 7th century gave rise to the Bilad al-Sham province, which functioned under the Caliphates. The province encompassed much of the region of Syria and came to largely overlap with this concept. Other sources indicate that the term Greater Syria was coined during Ottoman rule, after 1516, to designate the approximate area included in present-day Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Mustafa Abu Sway. "The Holy Land, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Qur'an, Sunnah and other Islamic Literary Source" (PDF). Central Conference of American Rabbis. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28.
  2. ^ Thomas Collelo, ed. Lebanon: A Country Study Washington, Library of Congress, 1987.

Further reading

  • Pipes, Daniel (1990). Greater Syria: the History of an Ambition. New York: Oxford University Press. viii, 240 p., ill. with b&w photos and maps. ISBN 978-0-19-506022-5 pbk.; alternative ISBN on back cover, 0-19-506002-4