The roughly 26 million inhabitants of Syria are an overall indigenous Levantine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history, they are, in fact, largely a blend of the various Aramaic speaking groups indigenous to the region. During colonial years, the region had a fairly large minority of French settlers. Many of them stepped out after the recognition of Syrian independence, but their influence is still evident on fluency of French by the educated class in Syria. Syria's population is 74% Sunni Muslim, Other Muslims (including Alawites and Druze) make up 16% of the population, Various Christian denominations make up 10% and finally, a few Jewish communities in Aleppo and Damascus.
1,500 people of Greek descent live in Syria. The majority of them are Syrian citizens.
Arabic is the official, and most widely spoken, language. Arabic speakers, including some 400,000 Palestinians, make up 85% of the population. Many educated Syrians also speak English and French. The Kurds, many of whom speak Kurdish, make up 9% of the population and live mostly in the northeast corner of Syria, though sizable Kurdish communities live in most major Syrian cities as well. Armenian and Turkmen are spoken among the small Armenian and Turkmen populations respectively. Neo-Aramaic is still used by Assyrians and in some villages in the Anti-Lebanon mountains.
Syria (/ˈsɪriə/ ( listen) SIRR-ee-ə ; Arabic: سوريا / ALA-LC: Sūriyā, or سورية / Sūrīyah; Syriac: ܣܘܪܝܐ; Kurdish: سوریه, Sûrî) is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Turks, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Arab Sunnis. The latter make up the majority of the population.