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Levant.

Levant.

is an area located east of the Mediterranean sea. The oldest attestation of the name Syria is from the 8th century BC in a bilingual inscription in Hieroglyphic Luwian and Phoenician. In this inscription the Luwian word Sura/i was translated to Phoenician ʔšr “Assyria.” For Herodotus in the 5th century BC, Syria extended as far north as the Halys (the modern Kızılırmak River) and as far south as Arabia and Egypt.

Geography.

In the most common historical sense, ‘Syria’ refers to the entire northern Levant, including Alexandretta and the Ancient City of Antioch or in an extended sense the entire Levant as far south as Roman Egypt, but not including Mesopotamia. The area of “Greater Syria” (سُوْرِيَّة ٱلْكُبْرَىٰ, Sūrīyah al-Kubrā); also called “Natural Syria” (سُوْرِيَّة ٱلطَّبِيْعِيَّة, Sūrīyah aṭ-Ṭabīʿīyah) or “Northern Land” (بِلَاد ٱلشَّام, Bilād ash-Shām) extends roughly over the Bilad al-Sham province of the medieval Arab caliphates, encompassing the Eastern Mediterranean (or Levant) and Western Mesopotamia. The Muslim conquest of the Levant in the seventh century gave rise to this province, which 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 Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.

The uncertainty in the definition of the extent of “Syria” is aggravated by the etymological confusion of the similar-sounding names Syria and Assyria. The question of the ultimate etymological identity of the two names remains open today, but regardless of etymology, the two names have often been taken as exchangeable or synonymous from the time of Herodotus. However, in the Roman Empire, ‘Syria’ and ‘Assyria’ began to refer to two separate entities, Roman Syria and Roman Assyria.

Killebrew and Steiner, treating the Levant as the Syrian region, gave the boundaries of the region as such: the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia to the east, and the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia to the north. The Muslim geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi visited the region in 1150 and assigned the northern regions of Bilad al-Sham as the following:

For Pliny the Elder and Pomponius Mela, Syria covered the entire Fertile Crescent. In Late Antiquity, “Syria” meant a region located to the east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Euphrates River, north of the Arabian Desert, and south of the Taurus Mountains, thereby including modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the State of Palestine, and the Hatay Province and the western half of the Southeastern Anatolia Region of southern Turkey. This late definition is equivalent to the region known in Classical Arabic by the name ash-Shām (ٱلشَّام /ʔaʃ-ʃaːm/, which means the north [country](from the root šʔm شَأْم “left, north”). After the Islamic conquest of Byzantine Syria in the seventh century, the name Syria fell out of primary use in the region itself, being superseded by the Arabic equivalent Bilād ash-Shām (“Northern Land'”), but survived in its original sense in Byzantine and Western European usage, and in Syriac Christian literature. In the 19th century, the name Syria was revived in its modern Arabic form to denote the whole of Bilad al-Sham, either as Suriyah or the modern form Suriyya, which eventually replaced the Arabic name of Bilad al-Sham. After World War I, the name ‘Syria’ was applied to the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, and the contemporaneous but short-lived Arab Kingdom of Syria.

The climate.

The climate of the Levant is moderate, as it lies between the dry trade winds that blow over the southern part of the Levant, and the westerly winds laden with moisture that blows over the northern part of the north causing rain. In the summer, dry trade winds prevail, which makes the air of the Levant somewhat hot. The westerly winds that pass through the Mediterranean Sea are loaded with moisture, and meet the mountains of Lebanon and the central hills region, and they rise, and as the air rises, it expands, causing rain, and this is the explanation for the large number of rains that fall on the western mountains of Syria. However, the amount of rain decreases as we head east. For example, Damascus, which lies behind the double barrier of the mountains of Lebanon, receives only a little rain, and the same is the case the further south we go, the less rain falls after the heights of Central Palestine and the hills of Transjordan. As for the eastern part of eastern Jordan, it is affected by only a small amount of rain.

In winter, the dry cold coming from Central Asia comes over the eastern plateaus in Syria, and frost and snow are formed. The effect of the cold occurs as we head towards the coast. The mountain range prevents the intrusion of cold sea winds from reaching the interior of the Levant. In summer, hot winds come from the east and southeast, and cause the temperature to rise. As for the toxic or eastern winds, it blows in the spring and autumn seasons.

History of the Levant.

The Levant was historically a single geographical and political entity. The political and administrative divisions have always been based on considering this region as a single block that cannot be separated. However, the British-French occupation and the Sykes-Picot AgreementIt led to the division of the Levant (Greater Syria) into small states, which were divided into what it is now: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. And considering it an alien entity and occupied by all Arab countries and most of the world. While some sources indicate that the goal of the founders of the State of Israel goes beyond controlling the Levant to reach the Nile in Egypt in the west and Mesopotamia in Iraq in the east. Therefore, these sources indicate the desire of the State of Israel to annex the whole of the Levant, and since 1967, Israel has annexed the West Bank, including all of Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. However, the international community rejected these Israeli actions and considered them an occupation. Israel has worked and is working to undermine security in the region Through its aggressive actions, Israel sought from 1982 to 2000 to control southern Lebanon, butThe Islamic resistance in Lebanon forced the Israeli forces to withdraw.

Reference :

Levant/https://en.m.wikipedia.org

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