Research: Al-Nuseyriyeen “Alawites”:Between politics and clan life

Research: Al-Nuseyriyeen “Alawites”:Between politics and clan life
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By: Issam Khoury

July. 09/2008

The Syrian government adopted the Arabic National method as a basis in establishment building. This resulted in the beginning of the religious classification, which we witness in some neighboring countries. This made it difficult to determine the population enumeration of these clans, especially since all of them were regarded under the Islamic classification during the years of secondary study

صورة توضح بعض من ضحايا الطائفة العلوية في المعارك الجارية خلال الحرب الاهلية في سوريا (2011-2016)

Thus, we mainly depend on previous documents of the French Colonel. The administrative delegate in the western region of Syria numbered Al-Nusayri tribe members at about 1,000,000. From the estimation, we gather that Al-Nuseyriyeen have achieved the highest degree among the Syrian population during the last century. 3 per every thousand and 2.4 per thousand beginning from the 21st Century.

The population of the sect may reach about one and half million in our current time. Estimates also tell us that a significant number of citizens weren’t registered at formal departments during the enumeration of ‘Niger’ The number of those belonging to this group could rise to about 1,600,000.

The diffusion in Syria

At present, Nusayris in Syria diffuse in the following regions

LATTAKIA: Throughout the city except for the Mountain of Kurds, the region of Salma and Suleyeb Al-Turkman which is towards the Syrian Turkish Border. It has been noted that they inhabit modern neighborhoods such as Al Masharee and suburbs of the city. The case is almost the same in the city of Jabble, where they are centered in the Northern part of the city and its coast.

TARTUS: They are diffused in most of the city, besides a few older neighborhoods in Banyas, and the villages of Al Marqab. They also share the city of Kadmous with the Ismaily sect. They are closely connected and on continuous good terms with the villagers of Wadi al-Nasara, which consists of a majority of Christians, where their own neighbors are Christians in the neighborhood of Safita

HOMS: Homs was inhabited only recently, where they were spread in new neighborhoods.They featured a historical existence in some of the villages that are close to Tartus

HAMA: This sect doesn’t maintain a large existence here, except for some villages such as Abu Qubays and Shatha. Most of the inhabitants of those two towns adopted the Al- Ghasani doctrine. Lastly, Al Murshidi at present, where their existence is recognized only in the suburbs of Al- Sukelbiya and Masyaf

IDLIB: They inhabit many small villages in Kawirko and Al Aliya

DAMASCUS: They are centered in the city of Damascus, mainly in military held areas and modern project settlements, which the ruling family established for families of officers. Despite their large existence in Damascus, their percentage doesn’t exceed 0,5% of the total population

ALEPPO: There are some Alawite Nusayri families who have given up declaring their original sect in favor of the dominating sect. Their origin could descend from the times of al-Hamadani, where Alawites played a significant role

Nusayris of modernity:

They are spread out around modern project cities of Syria, such as al-Rmeylan, al-tabqa, and Jibbase. These are areas of importance, which form the base of the Syrian Economy. They feature the homes of Alawite police and army officers in some of the inner regions of Syria and the Eastern regions, specifically in as-Suyada. During their service, they have molded within the community.

In spite of the vast diffusion of this sectarian minority, throughout different parts of Syria, their clan roots are still vivid in their original villages, up until present day. They are greatly increasing, with wealthy and powerful investors and smugglers reside, and they tend to spend money excessively in their villages

Ghazi Kanaan

General Ghazi Kanaan, former Interior Minister of affairs and the unannounced  governor in Lebanon during the Syrian presence there, has built five identical castles in size and beauty in his small rural village in Bhamra**** without inhabiting them. This imposes the importance of mentioning the original clan diffusion of this sect, which influences the process of parallelism and satisfying authority between sons and the representatives of the following clans:

al-Kalbiya clan

Highest population among the tribes, they also maintain strong political influence

Most important sheikhs and leaders (deceased) Area Groups
Kairy Sakr kheer bik, Ahmad Saker Reslan, Othman Hasan Isper, Ali Asad Esmail, Ali Asliman Al-Assad AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Shen Village, Al-Qurdaha City Al-Kalbyia
Kheer Bik Family, Al-Shalahma Family, Abass Family Msiaf Aria. Tal Salhab Al-Rashawna
Ganem Aga Khador, Ali Aga ALjhjah, Ali Abd Al-Rahman AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria Al-Karahla
Amin Afande Raslan Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria Al-Rasalna
Mohamad and Aziz taher Aga Al-Meey, Mohana Family, Tamer Aga Swedan, Gazi Aga Esmail AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria Al- nawasra
Non Jabla Aria the Shalfs
Mohamad Al- Jnid Jabla Aria Ali,Ahmad, Muhammad

 Al-Haddadin clan

 Important sheikhs and leaders (deceased) Area Groups
Hamid Afandi Al-mahmod, Anis Afande Esamil, youns family, mohmad Habib, Azz Al-deen Yousf Al-Hamid Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria the Haddad
Nadim mohamad hasan nassor, Ali And Aziz Aga Kanj, Ali Salim Drgam Jabla Aria the Alis
Nadim mohamad hasan nassor “the Alis” Jabla Aria the Yashout
Nazer kher bik North  Jabla Al- Mahaliba
Jdid Aga Mahmod Jabla Aria Al-Bashalowa
Ali Aga Najeb AL-Hafa Aria Al-Rakawna
Hamid Afande Salama Msiaf Aria Al-Ataryia
Mohamad Anis Al-Nassan, Rashed AL-Omr AL-safita Al-Shamasna


Important sheikhs and leaders (deceased) Area Groups
Aziz Hawash, Abd AL-Hamid Aga Assaf, salih Aga AL-Daiwb Banias Aria and Lattakia, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria and Tal KAlakh , Tartos Aria Al-Matawra, Al-Jawamra, Al-Sawarma
Sleman Al-ahmad, Ali Mohamd Kamil, Mohamd AL-Ahmad, younes Molla, sleman Ali Maroof AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, and Lattakia Al-Nmelatyia
Ali Aga Bador, But Mr. Sleman AL-Morshed control about this septs AL-Hafa Aria Al-Dawasa
Salih Alale, Abd AL-Hamid, Eprahem yousf Aid AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria Al-Bshargha, Al-‘arajna. Al-Maharza “5”

 Al-Khayyateen clan

Important sheikhs and leaders (deceased)  Area  Groups 
Mohamad Afande al-yousf, Abd Al-Hamid Molla, Ali Mrhij, Mohamad Hamid Eprahem, jamil Al-Abd Alla, Hasan Mayhop Harfosh, Aldaly Family, Ali Mohamad Sliman, Aid AL-Kheer, Naser AL-Hakim AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Tartos Aria Al-Khayyats
Jabber Afande, al-Abass AL-Hafa Aria , Banias Aria, Jabla Aria, Msiaf Aria, Al-Faqawra
Jabber Afande al-Abass Jabla Aria Al-Saramta, Al-Halabyya
Sleman al-Morshed AL-Hafa Aria Al-Amamra

Followers of the al-Haydari doctrine are diffused in the northern regions of Lattakia, where their origin descends from the clans mentioned above. However, the difference between them and the Alkazi doctrine made them far from their clan background and close to each other on the basis of doctrine. This resulted in their sheiks obtaining more importance than their own leaders. This is especially so because their political positions are weak, that makes the concept of leadership quite ineffective at present

سليمان المرشد مؤسس الطائفة المرشدي

New leaders and political authorities

In spite of the fact that Hafez al-Assad, late father of the Syrian President headed the leadership of the familial house, al-Kalbi sect from the al-Kalbiye clan, he held little authority compared to leaders of other well known tribes at the time. Since Hafez’ rule, the political authority in Syria and since worked to create a relatively weaker familial leadership. This was known as ‘Beit Alayilaa, (the house of the family) through adopting the policy of ending disputes by dividing lands of capitalists, leaders and representatives over the farmers who worked on them

This decreased the authority of those leaders and enabled late President Assad to increase his popularity, and he later became the ultimate leader between the poor Nusayris Soon, the existing political authority that was based on the authority of the army, started granting important and sensitive positions to common and active personalities from ordinary Alawite families, who on their part owed loyalty to the President and his family. They marginalized the traditional leaderships in order to grant political authority to new Alawite leaders. Those leaders contributed in granting members of the poor to create followers to them. Due to bourgeoisie psychology, the traditional leaders avoided asking any requests or services of persons who were under their clan, which resulted in the loss of their social and economic state and position, by and by, facing the new leaders.

Some of the most important new leaders

فؤاد ناصيف خير بيك “مستشار الرئيس”/ عشيرة المتاورة Foud Naseef


Political figures

Fouad Naseef: Social security head member

Mohamad Naseef: Counterterrorism and security officer

Issam Kher Bik: Significant moderator of the Tlass office

Muhsen Bilal: Media ministry

Religious figures

Hidar Abod, Mahmoud Saeed, Dr.Sleman Ganem, Youns family


فؤاد نصور / عضو مجلس الشعب/عشيرة الحدادينFawaz Nassor

Political figures

Fawaz Nassor: Member of Parliament

Rami Makhlouf: Wealthy Syrian businessman and cousin of President Assad

Religious figures

Abd AL-Latif Youns, Youns family

Al-Kalbyia clancipbiplukaevopw

Political figures

Bashar al-Assad: President of Syria

Maher al-Assad: Syrian general and commander of the Republican Guard and the army’s elite Fourth Armored Division

Muhammad Mansoura: Former head of Political Security Directorate

There aren’t any religious figures in this sect, therefore people learn religion from the al-Khayyateen clan


جعفر الخير /هضو مجلس شعب/ عشيرة الخياطين Jafer Al-Kheer

Political figures

Shel Nasser: Air security commander

Ibrahim Safi and Dr.Jafer Al-Kheer: Parliament members

Religious figures

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Kheer, Ahmad Abd Al-Kheer, Ali Abd al-Wahab

Yarop Essa

Al-Makhousi or Al-Haydaryia

Political figures: Yarop Essa: Ministry leader

Religious figures: Sliman Halom, Fadill Gazal of Youns family.


1-  accessed 4/5/09, report of former French Colonel, dated on 9/10/1919.

2-  Many members of this sect try to increase the population number, which was estimated at about 3,700,000 by writer Mouhamad Hawas in 1920. The British encyclopedia estimated their number in the Middle East in 1964 to be 600,000

//17th file, 15th edition//

3-  In spite of their death, their grandchildren obtain a special credit depending on their ancient origin and the state of their parents //the fifties of the last century//.

4- The leader of the mountain revolution between 1919-1921 and 1921.

5-  The origin of these two sects traces back to the origin of Fatemah. They joined the al-Matawra clan  by means of their inhabited places.

6-  Suleiman al-Mourshed has split from the Alawite sects and established a new religion with the support of the French  mandate. He regards himself as ‘God’ Thus, his followers were called al-Mourshedin after him, and clans and sects who joined him as ‘al-Gasasinah’

Suleiman represents the first split of the Alawite sect, which caused a growing enmity between Alawites and Mourshedins

The Report in Arabic language:

بحث: النصيرين “العلويين” بين السياسة والعشائرية


تأسس المركز عام 2003 في سوريا بجهود عدد من الكتاب والباحثين العرب، ثم توسع في نشاطه وعمله يغطي غالبية دول الشرق الاوسط وشمالي افريقيا، وفي عام 2015 بادرت ادارة المركز لاعادة هيكلة فريقها وتاسيس فريق عمل ينشط من نيويورك في الولايات المتحدة لهدف خدمة منطقة الشرق الاوسط وشمالي افريقيا The Center for Environmental and Social Development demonstrates a commitment to social justice through investigative journalism and human rights implementation. We strive to bring democratic change to the Middle East and North Africa. Emerging from a range of fields including philanthropy, political science, law, human rights, and medicine, we embrace collaboration in order to support peaceful and stable democratic movements across the MENA Region. Our efforts contribute to the foundation’s mission of creating a new culture in the region which is mainly based on the values of citizenship, democracy, and coexistence.

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