Darayya

Darayya (Arabic: داريا) is a suburb of Damascus in Syria, the centre of Darayya lying 8 km (5.0 miles) south-west of the centre of Damascus. Administratively it belongs to Rif Dimashq.

Darayya, Dimashq

داريّا، الغوطة الغربية، دمشق
Darayya
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 33°27′N 36°15′E
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq Governorate
DistrictDarayya District
NahiyahDarayya
Government
  MayorMarwan Ubeid
Elevation
689 m (2,260 ft)
Population
 (2004 census)
  Total78,763
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ClimateBSk

The city had a population of 78,763 as of 2005, making it the 19th largest city per geographical entity in Syria.[1] Darayya has an altitude of 689 metres (2,260 feet). It is one of the oldest cities in Syria, reportedly the place where Paul the Apostle had his conversion (30s AD), "on Damascus road". Patriarch Gregory III Laham, the current leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church was born here on 15 December 1933 as Lutfy Laham.

Darayya during Syrian Civil War

Darayya has seen heavy fighting during the Syrian Civil War. The city was an early hotspot for anti-government protests. In August 2012, opposition groups denounced that government forces performed a mass killing that was later known as Darayya massacre,[2][3] and a second time on 4 January 2013.[4] However, as of summer 2013 fighting continued in the city with most of the municipality controlled by the armed opposition forces.[5]

By mid-2016, the Syrian Army controlled approximately 65% of Darayya, steadily advancing and tightening the siege.[6] In August 2016, an agreement allowed for the evacuation of rebel fighters as well as civilians.[7] Some 700 rebels were safely transported to the rebel stronghold city of Idlib in the north.[8] This agreement was essentially a rebel surrender.

Amid the constant bombings and conflict, a group of young people (mostly former college students) have founded an underground public library that has amassed a collection of more than 15,000 books. Most of the books were found in the rubble of ruined houses, and the librarians are documenting the name of the homeowner so that the books can be returned after the war.[9]

Climate

Darayya has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk). Rainfall is higher in winter than in summer. The average annual temperature in Darraya is 17.1 °C (62.8 °F). About 211 mm (8.31 in) of precipitation falls annually.

Climate data for Darraya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12.2
(54.0)
14.0
(57.2)
17.9
(64.2)
22.8
(73.0)
28.6
(83.5)
33.3
(91.9)
35.5
(95.9)
35.8
(96.4)
32.1
(89.8)
27.1
(80.8)
20.0
(68.0)
14.3
(57.7)
24.5
(76.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.2
(45.0)
8.5
(47.3)
11.6
(52.9)
15.6
(60.1)
20.4
(68.7)
24.3
(75.7)
26.2
(79.2)
26.4
(79.5)
23.3
(73.9)
19.2
(66.6)
13.5
(56.3)
9.1
(48.4)
17.1
(62.8)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
3.0
(37.4)
5.3
(41.5)
8.4
(47.1)
12.2
(54.0)
15.4
(59.7)
16.9
(62.4)
17.1
(62.8)
14.5
(58.1)
11.4
(52.5)
7.1
(44.8)
4.0
(39.2)
9.8
(49.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47
(1.9)
38
(1.5)
26
(1.0)
13
(0.5)
7
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
8
(0.3)
28
(1.1)
44
(1.7)
211
(8.3)
Source: Climate-Data.org [10]

References

  • Darayya, Rif Dimashq Video of bombardment of Darayya during the Syrian civil war - YouTube.
  • Syria's secret library - BBC News

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