Acknowledgments and Preface
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals who wrote the 1978 edition of Syria: A Country Study: Larraine Newhouse Carter, "Historical Setting;" Richard F. Nyrop,"The Society and Its Environment;" Darrel R. Eglin, "The Economy;" R.S. Shinn, "Government and Politics;" and James D. Rudolph, National Security." Their work provided the organization and structure of the present volume, as well as substantial portions of the text.
The authors are grateful to individuals in various government agencies and private institutions who gave of their time, research materials, and expertise to the production of this book. The authors also wish to thank members of the Federal Research Division staff who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These people include Helen C. Metz, the substantive reviewer of all the textual material; Richard F. Nyrop, who reviewed all drafts and served as liasion with sponsoring agencies; and Martha E. Hopkins, who edited the manuscript and managed production. Also involved in preparing the text were editorial assistants Barbara Edgerton, Monica Shimmin, and Izella Watson, Andrea Merrill, who performed the final prepublication editorial review, and Editorial Experts, which compiled the index. Diann Johnson, of the Library of Congress Composing Unit, prepared the camera-ready copy under the supervision of Peggy Pixley.
Invaluable graphics support was provided by David P. Cabitto, assisted by Sandra K. Cotugno and Kimberly A. Lord. Susan M. Lender reviewed the map drafts, and Harriet R. Blood prepared the final maps. Special thanks are owed to Paulette A. Marshall, who designed the cover artwork and the illustrations on the title page of each chapter.
The authors would like to thank several individuals who provided research and operational support. Sisto M. Flores supplied information on ranks and insignia; Patricia A. Rigsbee assisted in obtaining economic data; Jonathan Tetzlaff was instrumental in the planning and selecting the word-processing system; and Stephen Cranton installed the equipment and trained the authors to use it.
Finally, the authors acknowledge the generosity of the many individuals and public and private agencies who allowed their photographs to be used in this study. We are indebted especially to those persons who contributed original work not previously published.
Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary Syrian society. Sources of information included scholarly journals and monographs, official reports of governments and international organizations, foreign and domestic newspapers, and numerous periodicals. Relatively up-to-date economic data were available from official Syrian sources, but, in general, this information conflicted with that in other sources. Measurements are given in the metric system. The Bibliography lists published sources thought to be helpful to the reader.
The transliteration of Arabic words and phrases follows a modified version of the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system. The modification is a significant one, however, in that diacritical markings and hyphens have been omitted. Moreover, some geographical locations, such as the cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, and Latakia, are so well known by those conventional names that their formal names--Halab, Dimashq, Hims, and Al Ladhiqiyah, respectively, are not used, although the latter names are used for the provinces.
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