Syria is located in the Middle East, sharing its borders with Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Iraq. The country is rich in history and is the birthplace of several ancient kingdoms and civilizations. The capital of Syria is Damascus. The country has a total landmass of approximately 71,479 square miles, with a population of 17,950,000 people, last estimated in the 2014. The population is about 74% Arabs, and 9% of the population are Kurds, with small numbers of other ethnic groups.
Syria is currently a semi-presidential republic, with a President as Head of State and Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The People's Council is the legislative body that works on approving laws. The country has been undergoing civil war since 2011, which has isolated Syria from its neighbors in the region, and diplomatic relations have been severed with a number of countries.
Oil accounts for about 40% of Syria's exports, while agriculture contributes about 20%. Because of the civil war, the economy has fallen back by 35% and the currency of Syria, the pound, is only worth 1/6th of its original value.