Sneha Girap (Editor)


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Country  Syria
Area  23 km²
District  Idlib District
Governor  Atef Ghanem al-Naddaf
Population  165,000

Idlib (Arabic: ?, also spelled Edlib or Idleb) is a city in northwestern Syria, capital of the Idlib Governorate, and 59 kilometers (37 mi) south west of Aleppo. It has an elevation of nearly 500 meters (1,600 ft) above sea level. In the 2004 census by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Idlib had a population of 98,791 (2004 census) and in 2010 the population of Idlib was around 165,000 (2010 census) . The inhabitants are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims, although there is a significant Christian minority. Idlib is divided into six main districts: Ashrafiyeh (the most populous), Hittin, Hejaz, Downtown, Hurriya, and al-Qusur.


Map of Idlib

A major agricultural center of Syria, the Idlib area is also historically significant, containing many "dead cities" and man-made tells. Idlib contains the ancient city of Ebla, once the capital of a powerful kingdom. ancient kingdoms of Nuhašše and Luhuti flourished in the Governorate during the Bronze and Iron ages.


During the Ottoman era of rule in Syria, between the 16th and 19th centuries, Idlib served as the capital of a kada ("subdistrict capital") bearing its name, part of the larger Vilayet of Aleppo ("Province of Aleppo.") The city was a center of olive production, which in turn gave way to a prosperous olive-based soap industry. Although the major markets for Idlibs soap were at Aleppo, Antioch, and Hama, the product was exported as far as the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. Idlib was also a major producer of cotton fabrics. Western traveler Josias Leslie Porter noted that Idlib was "encompassed in olive groves, rare in this bleak region." He further remarked that its olives groves were larger than those of Damascus, Beirut, and Gaza. In the mid-19th-century, the town had an estimated population of 8,000, including 500 Christians. In the late 19th-century, Idlib was "flourishing" and contained a number of Christian families, according to German writers working for Karl Baedeker.


Idlib is a major production center for olives, cotton, wheat and fruits, particularly cherries. Other principal crops include almonds, sesame seeds, figs, grapes and tomatoes. In 1995 there were roughly 300 hectares planted with various citrus crop. Olive oil pressing and textiles are some of the citys local industries. The nearby city of Aleppo has an important economic presence in Idlib.


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