Fanack Home / Syria / Society, Media & Culture of Syria / Society / Family Structure in Syria

Family Structure in Syria

Traditional Arab family values exert a strong hold on Syrian society. Even the young generations are still experience close family ties. In a study among university students by the Norwegian research institute FAFO, 88 percent of the respondents said that their family was ‘very important’ to them; for another 11 percent, the family was ‘rather important’ (FAFO, 2008).

The man – the father – is still the head of the household in Syria. After the marriage ceremony he receives the family book, a certificate delivered to every Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian groom, in which his wife and later his children are registered. Women are never issued with a family book, except if their husband dies, although not all widows possess this certificate. Divorced women do not possess a family book. The second or third wife of a man living in her own house does not possess a family book either. The family book is required in order to obtain certain allowances (such as an heating allowance) which are accorded only to families. Single or divorced women, widows, second or third wives and their children are not considered as families.

Family laws (including inheritance laws) vary according to the religious community one belongs to (everyone has to register with a religious community, even though Syria is a secular state). In some communities, the right to divorce is denied.

© Copyright Notice

Please contact us in case of omissions concerning copyright-protected work. The acquired copyright protected images used on/as featured image of this page are: ©Hollandse Hoogte

"Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence.
This is the equation."

IBN RUSHD/AVERROES (1126 – 1198)

We are a Dutch not for profit organisation (NGO), financed solely by individuals who share our belief in the importance of publishing and disseminating reliable, unbiased information on the Middle East & North Africa region. To represent the voice of the region’s people, we carefully echo the region’s heartbeat by offering fact-checked and therefore credible information.

Your support is greatly appreciated and helpful!


Get the latest update on the Coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and North Africa.

Regional Update