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As-Suwayda, also spelled Sweida or Swaida, is a mainly Druze city located in southwestern Syria, close to the border with Jordan.It is the capital of As-Suwayda Governorate, one of Syria's 14 governorates, bordering Jordan in the South and Daraa Governorate in the West and Rif Dimashq Governorate in the north and east. The city is referred to by some as "Little Venezuela" due to the city's influx of affluent Venezuelan Syrians immigrants.The city has been held by the government for the duration of the Syrian Civil War and has seen relatively little fighting.Demographics and populationThe inhabitants of the city are mainly Druze with a prominent Greek Orthodox Christians minority.The population of As-Suwayda Governorate is 313,231 (2004 census). According to estimates from the Venezuelan Embassy in Damascus, almost 60% of the population of As-Suwayda was born in Venezuelan territory and possesses double nationality, making the city referred to by some as Little Venezuela.HistoryThe city was founded by the Nabataeans as Suada. It became known as Dionysias in the Hellenistic period and the Roman Empire, for the god Dionysus, patron of wine - the city is situated in a famous ancient wine-producing region.Add As Suwayda and other destinations in Syria to your travel itinerary using our Syria trip planner.
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