Syrian Culture


  • Most people use Arabic naming conventions in Syria. This formatted as: [personal name] [father’s personal name] [grandfather’s personal name]. For example, Youssef Khalil Hamed (male), Fadwa Khalil Hamed (female). It is important to understand that this naming convention does not involve the use of a surname. 
  • Sometimes people may use their family’s name instead of their grandfather’s personal name: [personal name] [father’s personal name] [FAMILY NAME]. For example, Youssef Khalil AL-NOURY.
  • One’s family name is often linked to a person’s heritage and may indicate their region of origin or ethnicity. However, some are chosen for their meaning. For example, the President’s family changed their name to “Al-Assad” which means “the Lion”. Family names frequently begin with ‘Al-‘ or ‘El-’.
  • Traditionally, Arab Muslim women do not alter their name upon marriage, although some women may adopt their husband’s family name.
  • The English spelling of Arabic names can vary depending on whether one uses contractions. For example, Saladdin could also be spelt Sal-ad-Din or Sal-Addin. 
  • Many Syrian Muslims use names derived from Islam (e.g. Muhammad). Syrian Christians may use biblical names, such as Mariam (Mary) or Ittack (Isaac).
  • Some Syrian’s personal names are compounded words. It is common for a name to begin with ‘Abd’, ‘Abd al’ or ‘Abdul’ (meaning ‘servant of’) followed by one of the names of God. For example, ‘Abdul-Aziz’.
  • Parents are commonly referred to as the “mother” (Umma) or “father” (Abu) of their child by their community. For example, President Hafez al-Assad was sometimes referred to as “Abu Bassel”, after his son Bassel al-Assad died.
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Syrian Arab Republic
  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    Arabic (official)
  • Religion
    Sunni Islam (74%)
    Shi'a Islam (13%)
    Christianity (10%)
    Druze (3%)
    Judaism (>1%)
    Note: The Christian population may be considerably smaller as a result of Christians fleeing the country during the ongoing civil war.
  • Ethnicity
    Arab (90.3%)
    Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian and other (9.7%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Syrian Ancestry
    19,963 [Census, 2016]
Syrians in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Syria.
  • Median Age
    41 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (48.7%)
    Female (51.3%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Islam (37.2%)
    Catholic Christianity (16.6%)
    Assyrian Apostolic Christianity (10.2%)
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity (8.3%)
    Other Religion (18.7%)
    No Religion (4.1%)
    Not Stated (4.0%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Syrian (47.5%)
    Assyrian (16.5%)
    Arab [not defined] (10.6%)
    Armenian (7.0%)
    Other Ancestry (18.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Arabic (68.8%)
    Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (16.7%)
    Armenian (6.5%)
    English (4.2%)
    Other Languages (3.2%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 37.7% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (60.6%)
    Victoria (25.1%)
    South Australia (5.3%)
    Western Australia (4.0%)
    Other (5.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (45.2%)
    2007 - 2011 (8.5%)
    2012 - 2016 (41.3%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country Syria