Syria is home to many diverse languages, peoples, and religions. Although one language is especially common, many others are used in certain parts of the country. Syria’s official language is Arabic, or al Arabiya. Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Syria, and is known to have spread throughout Syria in the 7th century. Kurds take up about 10% of Syrian population, yet their language is quite commonly spoken in Syria. The Kurds, who live in the northeaster regions of Syria, speak Kurdish. Although Kurdish is spoken widely among Kurds, and predominately in the eastern parts of Syria, Arabic is also very common to be spoken among Kurds.
Below is an example of Arabic words and their english translations:
Other spoken languages are Armenian, Turkman, Azerbaijani, Aramaic, and Circassian. These languages are spoken in small villages or by settlers from many years ago. Kurdish and Armenian are known to be the language of minorities. Many dialect variations occur depending on which region or villages one is from. This can cause some misunderstanding among peoples, but Arabic is considered to be known by mostly everyone.
(Map indicating Kurdish regions in Syria)
Syria and IMF
Syria is a part of a the International Monetary Fund, its website states, “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world”. The website also indicates that the organization was created in 1945, with Syria being added to the list of its governing countries in 1947. IMF was initially created to avoid the devastation of the Great Depression by “building a framework of economic cooperation”. The organization began with a meeting of 44 countries at the UN in 1945, and has brown to 188 countries since then.
Due to Syria’s current war state, many of the countries in IMF have been destinations for the refugees. The MENA region includes Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other countries that are taking in refugees that are escaping the violence in Syria. IMF fully supports and appreciates these countries for taking in the at risk citizens. Although, many of these countries in the MENA region are quite poor themselves, and are having a difficult time sufficiently supporting themselves as well as the refugees. In a statement on February 6, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director essentially suggested that Syria is at risk for causing economic instability in the MENA region and to other countries associated with IMF for the country is spilling over into other countries, causing economic pressure. Additionally, Syria itself is not prospering adequately on its own right now, due to its state of war and religious strife. IMF is working to assist the countries in the MENA region in order to, “maintain macroeconomic stability and avoid recessions in a challenging economic and political environment”. IMF has produced several funds to aid the countries taking in the Syrian government, specifically Jordan, which essentially fixed countries economic problems due to the influx of Syrian refugees in the country. Furusawa hopes these efforts will attract other international support.
The issues in Syria are clearly not only local, but are affecting the countries that surround its crisis. IMF is working to aid Syria and others in order to create and restore some sort of economic stability that will hopefully take some pressure off of the situation. Syria is not in a state to necessarily support or flourish IMF, but it is attracting support from the MENA region, thus revealing the strength and unity of IMF, and its persistence to help restore the countries associated with it.