Local traditions and culture in Aleppo

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

Most Viewed Local Customs in Aleppo

  • Visa info

    by Robin020 Written Feb 11, 2012

    Information on the visa) visa)

    First - General instructions for tourists visiting the country Syrian:

    Must be on the incoming Arab and foreign to be in possession of the following:

    1. A passport valid for a period of not less than one month after the expiry of the visa to be issued by a state recognized by Syria, and he does not have an Israeli visa, and not to be the name of the holder on the list of those barred from entering Syria.
    2. Entry visa or transit visa issued by the Syrian embassy or consulate in the country of origin of foreign or place of residence, visas are granted entry or transit by the Centers for immigration and passports at the border to nationals of foreign countries where there is no diplomatic representation in Syria and foreigners with permanent residence provided they show their residency cards.
    3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions and exit visas for diplomatic and courtesy and task.
    4. Visa: It is of two types

    - Six months: valid for one or multiple trips can be an exception granted for one year.

    - Three months: valid for one time only.
    5. Transit visa: They are two

    - Three months valid for a single trip.

    - Three months valid for multiple entries.
    6. May include entry or transit visa foreign wife and minor children to be the names and ages in the space provided.
    7. A foreigner who wants to stay in Syria for more than fifteen days from the date of his entry, see the Department of Immigration and Passport Department or its branches in the governorates to apply for a residence permit
    8. Permission to stay directly to both the Arabs and foreigners born in Syria, and wives of Syrian nationals
    9. In case of loss or damage to the residence card holder to review the Department of Immigration and Passport Department in Damascus branches in the governorates, within three days from the date of loss or damage to give them a new card instead
    10. Permission is not granted a license to reside and work on those wishes to work in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic to obtain permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
    11. On every Arab or foreigner over fifteen years of age and was recorded on a card and a parent to get a new card similar to an independent and parents in terms of type, duration, date, and the remaining fees regardless of whether a passport of its own.
    12. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have special or ordinary residencies absence abroad for more than six months.
    13. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have temporary residencies and an exit visa to return the country to stay outside for more than three months.

    Lebanese citizens should review the police station within six days from the date of entry into Syria to obtain an ID card to facilitate their stay and movement in Syria.

    Secondly - facilities and exemptions offered to tourists arrivals:
    1. Allows for Arab nationals to enter the Syrian Arab Republic and traffic which is the requirement to obtain an entry visa or transit is sufficient by registering assets "in the records of arrivals and departures after Touchih passports or travel documents or tickets Lebanese nationals who enter under the ID card or output is in the hearts of certified assets under the seal of entry or leave.
    2. "Foreigners coming to the tourism of the categories is listed under the books issued by the offices and travel agencies from the country coming from individuals or groups and overprinted seals these offices and under the passport mass stuck on it are granted or passport for each individual of them, on the condition that properly licensed tourist offices in diameter and depart on the responsibility and grant visas to those for free.
    3. Citizens of all Arab states, Gulf Emirates and Sultanates from entry and transit visas, residence permits and exit visas.
    4. Are exempted from duties:
    ¨ Foreign and Arab students officially registered in one of the recognized universities.
    ¨ clergy.
    ¨ experts and Arab and foreign contractors.
    ¨ journalists and correspondents of news agencies.
    ¨ Non diplomat workers in the political and consular organizations foreign and Arabic.
    ¨ The parents of the member of diplomatic or consular mission accredited in the country and his children and wife, brothers and sisters and his followers of governesses and servants.
    ¨ Palestinian refugees and their minor children.
    ¨ Foreigners and Arabs whom the director of the Department of Immigration and Passports Department exempt them for special considerations: courtesy, or lack of physical ability.

    5. Exemption of Syrian Arab citizens overseas foreign passport holders to obtain a residence and ask those who have not registered them up in the records of civil and subjected to an exit visa when they want to leave Bjoisathm foreign month after the entry after presenting the approval of recruitment for those who are of military age and identity card for those who exceed fifteen and assigning them to pay, scheduled to leave on departure like Syrian citizens and allows them to enter foreign Bjoisathm if the entry is stamped with features of the Syrian Arab missions abroad, and given the features needed by the Centers for free from the border.

    Facilities offered to investors:

    1. Raising the price of neighboring countries, translated in the bank to the equivalent of almost foreign markets.
    2. Increase the amount to be replaced from the remaining foreign currency with travelers when they leave the country and through / / 15 days.
    3. Exemption coming to the diameter of the push / 100 / USD and that the bank on the drawer taken from all comers.
    4. The bank is working on the completion of the credit cards.

    Customs Facilities:

    1. A foreigner to enter the gifts and personal effects and tools for travelers and intended for personal use without any customs duties.
    2. Allows car owners residing permanently abroad and coming to Syria with the intention of temporary residence and enter their cars nicknames registered lawfully in the country of exile under a power of attorney by using the driving tourist outside the country of registration of customs duties according to the following:

    · Fees due for the car under a temporary entry card for a period of / 15 / day of $ / 1685 / l. Q is switched equivalent amount of / 40 / USD or equivalent in other foreign currencies + / / 30 dollars for the obligatory insurance of car to be paid to the escrow company Syria.
    · Duties of the book granted to cars registered in the Arab countries / 5035 / l. Q switch is equivalent / 117 / USD or the equivalent in other currencies accepted + / 30 / dollar insurance company pay for mandatory insurance.
    · Allows for a wife or a family member or adult to bring a car to drive it in the Syrian Arab Republic provided they meet the conditions of residence outside the country.

    Health Regulations:

    1. Travelers coming from places infected by yellow fever when entering a vaccination certificate against this disease.
    2. Those wishing to stay in Syria for a period exceeding one year, free certificate of AIDS (AIDS).
    3. The tourist who brings a pet to accompany his health certificate in English authenticated in his country but for cats and dogs must be accompanied by a certificate of vaccination against rabies.

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  • Traffic at day and night

    by Robin020 Written Feb 2, 2012

    In Aleppo It is normal to hear car and taxi drivers use the car horn to push the other drivers in front to move further,even there is no traffic,
    So my tip is to make sure you have earplugs if your hotel is near high road to be able to asleep the drivers use horn 24/7 they do not care if people are sleep at night.

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  • Drinking tea and coffee

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    Is very common to drink tea coffee public places,Syria is not like Europe you can just call your friends and say lets meet for a pint..when you visit a local you will offered coffee or tea.
    people usually when They drink They meet at home and spend night togther drinkin mostly till they get drunk..

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  • Smoke argila (shisha)waterpipe

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    In Syria smoking Argila is very common in daily life,there are many places and cafes that serve Argila s well.
    do not be surpised to see women in the cafes that also smoke Argila.
    Argila has various tastes ans smells from honey to apple to banana

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  • Men holding hands are they gay?

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    Seeing 2 men holding hand in public Europe will indicate that they are gay couple, but that is not the case in Syria or in Midde-east in general. Men in Syria usually hold hands in public to express their frienship and show that they are close to each other even physiscaly nothing homosexual about it.even married men still walk hand in hand I find it it pure and simple and innocent and sweet as well is also very usual to kiss other man in public or house in his cheeks ofcours.Worth to mention that Syrian men are very flirty even if you are a male They still flirt with you

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  • Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What about drug

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What about drug use?

    Drug use is strictly prohibited in Syria, and carries very stiff penalties for usage or possession, and no distinction is made between “hard” or “soft” drugs”. If you’re carrying pot, weed, hash or marijuana for medical use or otherwise, do not attempt to enter Syria.
    Drinking Alcohol in public is unacceptable and not recommended (and sometimes illegal) except in tourist resorts like Lattakia. In all other cities, you can drink alcohol at the resturants or bars that serve it, as well as in private in your hotel room. You may bring alcohol with you to Syria, but maybe required to pay duty tax.
    Syria is not like Dubai you find alcohol ONLY in bars of hotels.
    in Syria you can purchase alcohol easily from liquor shops and bars as well.
    Bottle of Beer is is aboit half US dollars in shops,while 2 US dollars in bars..

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  • Mud houses Beehive houses

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    Interesting scientific missions Brief mud houses of Aleppo and its quest to add to the list of heritage

    May not occur to one that there is still mud houses in the countryside north of Syria refused the owners of these houses left, but they are not increasing in the limit considered adherent to the basics of life they have.
    Interesting scientific missions Brief mud houses of Aleppo and its quest to add to the list of heritage
    These homes and interact with the distinctive nature of the problem of scene and color yellow radioactive and Tarkan is a village in the rural villages of the most of Aleppo where there is this type of housing and the reason for their adherence to these simple homes.
    Modern accommodation which does not provide a benefit provided by houses of mud such as heat in winter and cool in summer

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  • Internet and Netcafes

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012


    Syrians has easy and cheap internet access. Internet is very common around the cities at internet cafes. since the Syrian upraising and crisis that started january 2011 most of Facebook and YouTube have been blocked and monitored but there are still some websites unblocked. The cafes are very friendly but in order to avoid being price gouged it is best to ask a local how much the internet costs per an hour before agreeing to sit down. It is usually 50 S.P per hour (1$ US),

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  • Taxes in Syria

    by Robin020 Written Jan 29, 2012

    Listed below is a detailed summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions that a medium-size company must pay or withhold in a given year, as well as measures of administrative burden in paying taxes.

    The information appearing on this page was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 183 economies. The most recent round of data collection for the project was completed in December 2010.

    About This Topic

    To see indicator data for all economies, see the Paying Taxes page. To see how economies rank, see the Rankings page.
    Tax or mandatory contribution Payments (number) Notes on Payments Time (hours) Statutory tax rate Tax base Total tax rate (% profit) Notes on TTR
    Employer paid - Labor tax 12 36 14.1% and 3% gross salaries 19.3
    Corporate income tax 1 300 5-28% taxable profits 19.2
    Municipality duties 0 paid jointly 4.00% corporate income tax 0.8
    Tax on insurance contracts 1 USD 60 to 200 0.2
    Motor vehicle registration tax 1 USD 50 to 200 0.1
    Cleanliness duties 1 USD 100 0.1
    Environment duties 1 USD 30 0
    Property transfer tax 1 5-28% capital gains 0 included in other taxes
    Stamp duty on contracts 1 0.40% contract value small amount
    Totals: 19 336 39.7

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  • Wasta

    by Robin020 Written Jan 26, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wasta is a word often heard in Syria. It is Arabic and translates as something like authority, influence, political (or other) power, connections, or a combination of those terms. In practical terms it means that some rules can become more flexible if you have wasta, or know someone who has wasta. Also, a bit of wasta can smooth or speed up business transactions, bureaucratic issues, and other official procedures. At its best (or worst, depending on your point of view), a good dose of wasta could keep you out of jail or save you from other unpleasant consequences of dubious activities.

    The common English expression "it's not what you know but who you know ... " is a rough equivalent of wasta.

    On the wasta scale (not that there is an official one), things that can make a difference in the Syria are your nationality, your profession, who you work for, who you know, your political position in the country, your connections to people in positions of authority. Money and how long you have lived in the Syria don't usually directly affect your wasta level but indirectly they do since longer term residents may have built up a larger network of high-wasta friends, and rich people often associate with other rich people who may be high-wasta individuals.

    Many expat residents learn about wasta through a driving experience. In simple terms, the more wasta someone has, the less likely they are to cop a fine and/or be blamed if there's an accident. Wasta can result in some unusual situations for example, green lights were actually red when you went through them because the person who crashed into you had enough wasta to change the color retroactively. Indications of higher levels of wasta on the road are dark tinted or mirror tinted windows (30% maximum is the law so anything more than that means it's likely they have enough wasta to get around this rule), number plates with fewer than 5 digits (but anyone can buy them now if they have enough cash so it's not as good an indication as in the past).

    Wasta is something that many expats, especially westerners, find difficult to come to terms with but you'll find it easier to enjoy Dubai if you get used to that rather than try to fight it. And of course it helps if you can elevate your own wasta level somehow.
    Wasta and Bribes

    Don't confuse wasta with bribery. If you try to bribe a government official, for example a police officer who has just pulled you up for driving though somebody's garden, you should expect to be punished fairly harshly for trying to bribe them. And if the owner of the garden that you drove through has some wasta, then you'll probably be even worse off. In the business world, things may operate a little differently. Just as anywhere else in the world, the negotiation of business transactions and contracts is not always done on a level playing field, and bribes ... er gifts ... might be part of your discussions with interested parties.

    Wasta also means to pull some strings. is widespread in Syria and bribery as well under Syrian baath party.

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  • Mate (mati)

    by Robin020 Updated Nov 29, 2011

    Mate in Arabic (mati)is south American drink but very popular drink in Syria,
    Is drunk with Massasa (strow )and hot water.
    Those who share the mate join in a kind of bond of total acceptance and friendship.

    some of the benefits of drinking yerba mate tea.
    1. Rich in Antioxidants

    Yerba mate tea is very high in antioxidants; it's got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea. Yerba mate has significant immune boosting properties. It can slow the signs of aging, detoxify the blood and prevent many types of cancer. Yerba mate also helps reduce stress and insomnia.
    2. Enhances Your Ability to Focus

    Proponents of yerba mate tea say that the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, animo acids and polphenols found in this beverage have a balancing effect on the caffeine it contains. Users report increased mental energy, clarity and focus, but they also say that yerba mate doesn't cause any of the uncomfortable side effects associated with drinking caffeinated beverages, such as headaches, stomachaches and jitters.
    3. Enhances Physical Endurance

    The chemical compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently. This means you'll get more energy from the food you eat. You'll also burn more of the calories your body has stored in fat cells as fuel when you drink yerba mate tea regularly. Regular yerba mate consumption also helps keep lactic acid from building up in your muscles so you can decrease post workout soreness and cut your recovery time.
    4. Aids Digestion

    The native peoples of South America have long used yerba mate tea as a traditional herbal remedy against digestive ailments. Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. Yerba mate helps keep your colon clean for effective and efficient waste elimination, and helps reduce the stomach bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.
    5. Helps You Control Your Weight

    Native South American peoples have traditionally used yerba mate as part of a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Yerba mate has stimulant qualities to help you feel full sooner after you begin eating, and it slows your digestion so that your stomach stays full longer. Combining yerba mate with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories, and it can help you eat less by curbing your appetite slightly.
    6. Supports Cardiovascular Health

    The antioxidants and amino acids present in yerba mate help fat and cholesterol move through your bloodstream so that they don't accumulate on artery walls. Yerba mate also helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke.

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  • Some Syrian Mezze (starters ) or for breakfast

    by Robin020 Written Nov 14, 2011


    Sweet red pepper paste
    Crushed walnuts
    Olive oil
    Sliced garlic (optional)

    The stuffing
    Mix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.


    100 gr. bread crumbs
    50 gr. sweet red pepper paste
    10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper
    20 gr. cumin
    40 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    100 ml. olive oil
    100 gr. crushed walnut
    150 ml. water
    20 ml. lemon juice
    15 gr. sugar


    1 bunch of parsley
    7 eggs
    1 teaspoon of flour
    1 onion
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 teaspoon of dried mint
    1 teaspoon of dried sweet red pepper
    1 pinch of cinnamon
    200 ml. olive oil
    Vegetable oil


    1 kg. eggplant
    2 tomatoes
    1 onion
    1 bunch of parsley
    Lemon juice
    Olive oil
    Vegetable oil
    Arabic bread


    500 gr. eggplant
    1 green pepper
    1/2 bunch of chopped parsley
    4 branches of green mint
    150 gr. sesame oil
    1/2 glass of lemon juice
    25 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    30 ml. olive oil
    1 tomato
    1 clove of garlic if desired
    some grains of pomegranate


    1 kg. eggplant (about 5 big pieces)
    Olive oil
    Garlic (optional)
    Lemon juice
    Concentrated pomegranate syrup
    Chopped parsley
    Pomegranate grains

    250 gr. green olives
    60 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
    40 ml. olive oil
    2 green onions
    1 peeled tomato
    1/2 bunch of parsley
    Grains of one pomegranate for decoration
    Branch of thyme for decoration


    500 gr. tomato
    500 gr. cucumber
    100 gr. onion
    75 gr. green mint
    75 gr. purslane
    1 bunch of parsley
    1 lettuce
    2 cloves of garlic
    50 gr. of black olives
    1 lemon juice
    3 teaspoons of vinegar
    1 teaspoon of sumac
    125 ml. olive oil
    Vegetable oil
    Bread cut into triangles as desired

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  • Mosques call to prayer

    by Robin020 Updated Jun 26, 2011

    Syria is a Muslim country and therefore aleppo has many mosques. religious Muslims must pray 5 times a day (called the salaah).

    The imam of the mosque called the muezzin, climbs to the top of the minaret (tower) and call for people to pray.

    The call to prayer can be very loud, guaranteed to wake you up unless you are a very heavy sleeper!

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  • Syrian Tradtional dished and sweets

    by Robin020 Written Jun 15, 2011

    Baba ghanouj - char-grilled aubergine (eggplant), tahina, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic puree—served as a dip.

    Fattoush - 'peasant' salad of toasted pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickweed, and mint.

    Falafel - small deep-fried patties made of highly-spiced ground chick-peas.
    Fried eggplant
    Fuul (Vicia faba) or Ful Halabi (after Aleppo)slow cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils dressed with lemon olive oil and cumin.
    Hummus - Also called 'Müsebbeha" in Damascus, dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and typically eaten with pita bread

    Kibbeh - the national dish, mainly stuffed, can be made in different form like (fried,uncooked,cooked with yogurt)
    Kibbeh nayye - raw kibbeh eaten like steak tartar.
    Kabab - fingers, stars or a flat cake of minced meat and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers.

    A small assortment of Syrian meze: flatbread, hummus, halloum, baba ğannûj, mekdûs and fattûsh

    Kousa Mahshi- stuffed squash, many varieties are used
    Labneh- strained yogurt, spreadable and garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.

    Makdous - stuffed eggplant in olive oil

    Mujaddara - cooked lentils together with wheat or rice, garnished with onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.

    Shanklish -string cheese
    Shawarma -pieces of lamb or chicken layered on a vertical skewer with small pieces fat; slow roasted and served on a sandwich (see Doner kebab)
    Shish taouk- grilled chicken skewers that utilize only white meat, marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and sumac
    Tabbouleh - diced parsley salad with bulghur, tomato and mint.
    Yabraq - stuffed grape leaves
    Za'atar - dried thyme and sumac that can differ from region to region and from family to family.
    Sweets :

    Halawet al-jeben - Cheese pastry, rolled and stuffed with cheese or thick milk cream, served with Atar syrup.
    Kenafeh - shoelace pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup.
    Ma'amoul - date, pistachio or walnut filled cookies shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi made specially for Christian (traditionally Easter) and Muslim holidays (such as Ramadan).
    Qada'ef- Semolina dough stuffed with a paste of sweet walnuts or milk cream and honey syrup (qater).

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • Arak

    by Robin020 Written Jun 13, 2011

    Arak عرق is the traditional drink in Syria.~50%-63% Alc. Vol./~100-126 proof
    The taste of Arak is very close to the taste of Raki
    Arak is a clear beverage that is made from grapes.

    The Arak (Araq) is a very strong beverage with more than 40% alcohol so beware !
    You can drink the Raki alone but you can also add water or ice and the Arak changes the color to a white or pearl.It served with salad or snacks.

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Aleppo Local Customs

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