Syria Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020
  • Local Customs
    by Robin020

Syria Local Customs

  • mosques

    Aleppo Local Customs

    Muslims are very welcoming to foreigners wishing to see their mosques - but some tourists are cring-making when they gawk and take photos right under the noses of people praying - it is so rude! If you want to look, first go at a time other than prayer time, use the scarves and cloaks provided to cover up and behave with respect e.g. quietly....

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  • No stops for mini buses

    Be aware that there no stops for minibus (van) except the main or start point,you can stop it by rasing your hand,or giving a sign that you want to stop it and when you are on board you can also ask the driver wherever you want.No ticket required You pay cash ONLY when you are on board.Bear in mind the front board of the bus is ONLY writen in...

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  • Israeli stamp on your passport

    Be aware that you wont be allowed to enter Syria if you have Syria Israeli stamp on your passport.Also do not mention Israel while you are in Syria.People prefer not to speak about it at all

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  • Some Syrian Mezze (starters ) or for...

    MAGDOUS IngredientsEggplantsSweet red pepper pasteCrushed walnutsOlive oilSaltSliced garlic (optional)The stuffingMix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.MOUHAMMARA Ingredients100 gr. bread crumbs50 gr. sweet red pepper paste10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper20 gr. cumin40 gr. concentrated pomegranate...

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  • Coffee & Tea

    Drinking coffee and tea is very much part of everyday life in Syria.Tea is served in small glass cups, and is often quite sweet. A cup of tea is offered many times when you visiting shops etc.Coffee is similar to what you find in Turkey. Strong and is is drunk without milk. You will be asked how (sweet) you take your coffee before it is made. Sugar...

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  • Barbers

    Like in most Islamic countries, barbers can be found all over the place. I never bother to take my own shaving kit when visiting the Middle East etc, as it is such a treat to sit down for a shave. It is very cheap and you should not be concerned about safety/health, as a new blade is always used for every new client.

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  • Relaxing in a Hammam

    Visiting a hammam is most probably something you should try to do while in Syria. There are several to choose from in most cities, especially Aleppo and Damascus. Syria does have some beautiful hammams. It is authentic, clean and not expensive.They usually have a price list at the entrance, where you can see exactly what it will cost you, including...

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  • Nargileh - Everywhere

    Smoking nargileh must be one of the favourite passtimes in Syria. It is not only popular with men, but you will see many women smoking these water pipes in restaurants.It seems that the most popular time is from late afternoon, into the evening.There are also many shops selling these pipes, which can make a great gift for someone at home.

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  • Toilet Paper

    Please never throw your toilet paper in any toilet, whether its a squatter or a sitter, its blocks up the system. The water is the cleaner option anyway, but I find a combination is the best, wash and dry!

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  • Dress Conservatively...

    VT member Bavavia traveled with little guide support in Syria, and so her advice will probably agree with mine. Basically, both men and women should generally expect to wear long pants on the street. Short sleeve shirts are OK, but avoid any T-shirts with American/European logos as one doesn't want to invite political or religious complications....

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  • Definately be open to meeting Syrians

    The hospitality and friendliness puts the UK to shame. Every day you take tea with several people, all of whom approach you in the street. Tea is served without milk in tiny ornate glasses, typically in a 50:50 sugar:tea ratio. People are so proud of their beautiful country that they welcome visitors from overseas lavishly. Politics is not readily...

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  • Sometimes it is good to be a woman.

    It is very common for women to cut to the front of a line ahead of men, especially if they are older. On numerous instances, old women just walked to the front of a line and passed everyone by that was waiting while I was in line.

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  • Gifts of friendship

    Throughout your travels in Syria, you will probably be invited to have coffee or tea several times a day. Syrians love to impress you with their hospitality. Some will even give you a gift as a sign of your new friendship. Most often this gift will be prayer beads. Before leaving on your trip, you might want to consider bringing small gifts with...

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  • What to wear

    Women in Syria are not required to cover their hair, although they may be compelled to do so. Syria has a secular government, so there are no laws about dressing in public. However, if a woman wears a revealing outfit she will probably get dirty looks from Syrian women. And the men will probably stare at you like you are naked.In most Syrian...

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  • A Syrian Waterfountain

    I saw "water fountains" like these all over Syria, though the design differed from one to the other.

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  • The beers of Syria

    The two beers of Syria are Barada and Al-Chark. Both are light in flavor and alcohol. A lot of places that serve alcohol are quick totell you about the imported beer first.One other oddity to mention because I thought it was so off the wall. A man next to me at Oxygen in Damascus ordered a Mexican beer and it was served with a salted rim on his...

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  • Definitely not losing their religion

    Syria is a majority Sunni Muslim nation. However, there is a sizeable Christian minority - about 15% of the population. The country prides itself on it's acceptance of all races and religions. There are no hostilities between Muslims and Christians. Also because of Syria's history of so many different people groups coming through and making it...

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  • None of that he said, she said, please.

    If someone is kind enough to share their true feelings about a matter of government or politics, do not repeat what they have said to anyone. You never know if another person you are talking to is a government informer. There are many of these who work for the government to keep things in line. "Subversive" behavior or critical opinions are heavily...

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  • The bottoms of your feet.

    It is an insult to show the bottoms of your feet to someone. If visiting someone, do not stretch your legs out and point the bottom of your feet at anyone. Cross your legs with your feet underneath you, or just kneel and sit back.

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  • Would you like smoking or smoking?

    In all restaurants and hotel rooms I visited, there were ashtrays. I found no "non-smoking" sections in restaurants or "non-smoking" hotel rooms. If there are some available, they are not very common it seemed.

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  • How's this room look for ya?

    In all the hotels I stayed at, the proprieters first took me to the room to make sure I approved first. Then I "decided" if I wanted to stay. (most of the time I couldn't care less...just wanted a place to sleep)

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  • Urban tree planting

    I'm not sure where to put this tip. It is a policy to try and improve the urban environment by planting trees in and around towns and cities, because trees absorb carbon produced by cars and factories. .It is hoped that by planting trees , the polluted atmosphere will improve.

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  • A Step

    A step or just a stone under a kerbstone is common thing in the Middle East. The edge of a pavement is often too high for convenient walking. Forget about crossings for disabled or –more exactly - forget about crossings. To cross a street you must enter a stream of cars and they hopefully stop. To be a pedestrians in Syria is a bit risky but you...

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  • Custom or Danger?

    Pictures of Mr. President, Syria’s Hope, Lt.Gen. Bashar Al-Assad and his father the great leader, Hafez al-Assad are everywhere. There are statues of Hafez al-Assad at crossroads and billboards with Bashar Al-Assad jr along roads. It is difficult to judge opinion of people, but they probably have some kind of sympathy with the leader. There are...

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  • Time for tea

    Being offered tea is a ritual in Syria. Don't hesitate to accept - it is expected. It's the way it's done here - not always, but if the offer is made, it is meant. If you are really sure you can't stop, or you simply don't want it, then be gracious in your refusal. If you do accept, sit down, take your time, relax. The tea is always served in a...

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  • Picnic time

    Syrians love to picnic and to get out and about. Come any fine Friday and off they go -whole families - grandparents, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles and all the children in whatever transport they can arrange. Wherever there is a shady spot and a bit of grass -by a river or a waterfall, in the woods or in the mountains, city parks and...

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  • Traditional women's dress

    You still see older Bedouin women wearing beautifully embroidered dresses in Syria, though they are rarely as elaborate as these in the photo - something like that would be for a very special occasion. The designs are regional and particular to individual tribes. Bedouin women don't cover their face but do cover their hair and neck closely. Some...

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  • The heir

    Bashir al-Assad was never meant to be the President of Syria. His brother, Basel, was being groomed for that job by his father and the Ba'ath party. You still see his image as you travel around Syria - a handsome man, usually dressed in military uniform and almost always wearing sunglasses. A keen horseman (he represented Syria in the sport and...

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  • Gone but not forgotten

    The presence of the late President of Syria, Hafez al-Assad is still everywhere in Syria. His son, Bashir, has replaced him and there are portraits of him loyally displayed as you would expect, but his father's image is never far away. Whilst the huge billboards that carried portraits of him and his elder son, Basil, who was killed some years ago,...

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  • Smoking Narjile

    Smoking a narjile is, in my opinion, along with hammams an essential part of any visit to the middle east, whether or not you are a regular smoker. As you walk in any given city you will likely see cafes filled with people puffing away. As well some restaurants also offer this as an after dinner option to accompany your chai tea.Known to us...

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  • Going to the hammam

    Going to the hammam, or bathhouse, is an old tradition in the area. It is a great experience and you will feel very fresh after a visit.After you have entered you change in a small hut and after that you go to the hot room to sweat for a while. When it is time to get washed you can do it yourself or you can pay for being washed by the attendant....

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  • Entering the mosque

    As you enter a mosque you have to cover your body and head as a female. Many mosques have got long coats with hoods that you can put over your normal cloths.

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  • Holding hands

    If we in Europe see two men holding hands we would assume they are a homosexual couple, but that is not the case in Syria. Men in Syria are physical with each other and seeing two male friends holding hands is common and only a token of friendship.

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  • Hims People

    The People of Hims are the subject of all the Syrian jokes, they are known as the foolish and stupid persons, but be careful, that's only in the tradittions of the jokes, in fact they are very kind and smart in general, and that's only the need to find a city where a country can make jokes about!

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  • River Euphrates

    River Euphrates is the life of the desert, and the Aorta of Syria, supporting irrigation, water for drinking, and mostly of the resource of the electricity from the Euphrates Dam!

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  • Wolf

    This was very impressive in our trip, thanks to our Taxi driver who said he knows a fuel station where the owner caught a little wolf and growled him in a cage, and he make fame as every driver wish to have a look or picture to the wolf while having gas!The wolf was amazing, but sad to see him in the cage!

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  • Camels

    The camels the ship of the desert, and the favorite local animal in it, and exotic to every tourist, most wanted to get a ride on, and Bedouins offer immediately, but they know how to do it for money of course LOLyou can always negotiate the price even here!

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  • Bedouins

    Bedouins:They are the real Arabs in the area!They never admit the politic borders between Arabian countries.So they roam with their animals in a circle between Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi, and Iraqi Desert with no passports or visas. A real Bedouin is famous with the generous spirit, welcoming attitudes and Hospitality!They do it very naturally and...

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  • River Euphrates

    River Euphrates is the life of the desert, and the Aorta of Syria, supporting irrigation, water for drinking, and mostly of the resource of the electricity from the Euphrates Dam!

    more
  • 2 Paradoxes *part II*

    Now here you see the Paradox, who could ever imagine seeing this rich green views in the middle of a desert, well it is an easy secret, the miracle, river Euphrates, it is the life in the desert!

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  • 2 Paradoxes *part I*

    First part of the Paradox is the empty big spaces with of open deserts in most of the places of this region, which is not enough yet to call a paradox, read next and see the paradox ;-D

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  • Desert wolf

    This was very impressive in our trip, thanks to our Taxi driver who said he knows a fuel station where the owner caught a little wolf and growled him in a cage, and he make fame as every driver wish to have a look or picture to the wolf while having gas!The wolf was amazing, but sad to see him in the cage!

    more
  • Camels

    The camels the ship of the desert, and the favorite local animal in it, and exotic to every tourist, most wanted to get a ride on, and Bedouins offer immediately, but they know how to do it for money of course LOLyou can always negotiate the price even here!

    more
  • Old Bedouin

    Bedouins:They are the real Arabs in the area!They never admit the politic borders between Arabian countries.So they roam with their animals in a circle between Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi, and Iraqi Desert with no passports or visas. A real Bedouin is famous with the generous spirit, welcoming attitudes and Hospitality!They do it very naturally and...

    more
  • Finished product ( Syrian Kabobs)

    I just made the Syrian kabobs for dinner...along with a nice glass of chardonnay...perfect Sunday dinner!

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Syria Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Syria local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Syria sightseeing.
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