06:18 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Syria, Tartus

    Untouched by Civil War: Syrian Island of Arwad Waiting for Tourists

    © Sputnik / Andrey Stenin
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The island's administration told reporters that it has recently held a spring-cleaning and now hopes to attract more tourists from neighboring Cyprus and Lebanon as the island is mainly popular only among the Syrian tourists.

    Some 5,000 people are currently living on the island. Arwad is known for its extensive history as it was settled by the Phoenicians. Over the centuries, it has been controlled by Egypt, the Roman Empire and even France, among others.

    At its height, Phoenicia possessed trading ports in modern day Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and north Africa. Currently, Arwad is a small fishing enclave with a developing tourist economy. local authorities said Sunday that Arwad, Syria’s only inhabited island located several miles from the western city of Tartus, is ready to host foreign tourists.

    It has reportedly been untouched by the Syrian Civil War.

    While the civil war in Syria is not completely over yet, Damascus has already regained control over vast territories that had fallen into the hands of militants over the course of the war. The Syrian government can now pay significant attention to the reconstruction of the affected areas. While Russia and Iran, along Turkey, are the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, they are also assisting in the reconstruction of the country's cities and infrastructure, largely destroyed in over seven years of clashes between the Syrian government, opposition and militant groups.

    READ MORE: Syria's Aleppo Welcomes First Tourists Since 2012


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