Assal al-Ward
عسال الورد
Assal al-Ward is located in Syria
Assal al-Ward
Assal al-Ward
Coordinates: 33°51′57″N 36°24′48″E / 33.86583°N 36.41333°E / 33.86583; 36.41333
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq
SubdistrictAssal al-Ward
1,850 m (6,070 ft)
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Total5,812
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Area code11

Assal al-Ward (Arabic: عسال الورد; also spelled Asal el-Ward) is a town in southern Syria, administratively part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate, located northeast of Damascus along the Syrian–Lebanese borders. Nearby localities include Hala, Hosh Arab and al-Qutayfah to the southeast, Rankous, Saidnaya, Douma and al-Tawani to the south. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Assal al-Ward had a population of 5,812 in the 2004 census.[1] The town is also the administrative center of the Assal al-Ward nahiyah which consists of three towns with a combined population of 8,766.[1] Its inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslims.[2]


Assal al-Ward ("the rose makers") was long famous for its flower produce. The flowers produced in the town were supplied to the attar makers of Damascus.[3] But unrestricted grazing reduced the town's once burgeoning yearly harvest of sixty to seventy Kantars (hundredweights) to one or one and a half by the end of the 19th century.[3] During the early 1870s, the village was described as a "well-to-do place" with an entirely Shafi'i Muslim population. Armed men from the village possessed about 250 guns and were led by a local chief, Shaykh Salih. The inhabitants were noted for their hospitality, intelligence and willingness to fight.[4] In 1874, the town was visited by British geographer, Sir Richard Francis Burton, and he noted that the town was affluent, with cool fresh air and healthy inhabitants.[3] In its Quarterly Statement of 1892, the Palestine Exploration Fund described Assal al-Ward as a "village of a few hundred people" with a cool water spring.[5]


Assal al-Ward lies on a high plateau that starts at 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) between the Qalamoun and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.[6] The large Tertiary-Quaternary basin[7] of Assal al-Ward is watered by several springs, and drains northwards towards the towns of Jayroud and an-Nabek.[6] The area's forest vegetation is dominated by Juniperus excelsa (Greek Juniper) which is observed between 1,880 to 2,200 metres (6,170 to 7,220 ft).[8]


  1. ^ a b c General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Rif Dimashq Governorate. (in Arabic)
  2. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 172
  3. ^ a b c Burton; Drake, 1872, p. 45.
  4. ^ Royal Geographical Society, 1872, p. 415.
  5. ^ Palestine Exploration Fund, 1892, p. 167.
  6. ^ a b Hastings, 2004, p. 92.
  7. ^ Beck, 1989, p. 18.
  8. ^ Merlo; Croitory, ed., 2005, p. 183.