Aleppo is a city in Syria that is quite famous for several reasons. One of the most notable aspects of the city is that it is among the oldest continually inhabited places in the world. The city dates back to the 6th millennium B.C. and is even noted in ancient texts such as the Bible. There is much history in this city, but it is not slowing down just because it is old. The thriving economy within Syria has found a way to overcome many wars and uprisings throughout the years and still maintains its station as a high-intensity trading center in the world.
Population and Size of Aleppo
The fact that Aleppo is among the oldest cities in the world means that it has seen its fair share of wars. The city has been marked by destruction throughout the years, and that has had a significant impact on its population. Even though a war is a constant threat from those that oppose the government and other nations trying to lay claim to the whole of Syria, the economy is thriving. That is evident through the 1,602,264 people that called the city home in 1994, which has nearly doubled by 2004 - reaching 2,132,100 as of the 2004 census. The city covers approximately 190 square kilometers or 70 square miles of area.
For most countries, cities, and regions, there is one primary language. The diverse culture of Aleppo, however, has led to many different languages being spoken. The dominant language is Arabic with speakers totaling 89%, although several different dialects are spoken. Those that are closer to the west have the Levantine dialect, while those of the northeast speak Kurdish. Other dialects throughout the city include Turkish and Classical Syriac. Some inhabitants speak French and English, but these tend to be in the more educated areas of Aleppo.
The ethnic composition of Aleppo is quite diverse when compared to many other neighboring cities. The population consists of primarily of those of Arabic descent making up 59.2% of the overall population. Alawites make up 11.3% of the population and Levantines 9.3%. Kurds represent 8.9%, Druze 3.2%, Ismailis 2.1%, and Nusairis 1.3%. There are other ethnicities in Aleppo, but they are a small proportion of the overall population.
The religious aspect of Aleppo is not as black and white as one might think. The main religious group in the area are Sunni Muslims, making up 74% of the population. Other Muslim religions make up an additional 16% of the population, and approximately 10% of the population practice Christianity. Other religions within Aleppo are quite small in comparison. These include Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and the Jewish communities in the city. There is even a tiny ancient religion within Aleppo practiced by the Yazidis that makes up a tiny portion of the population in some of the smaller villages in and around Aleppo.