Coordinates: 33°25′27″N 36°13′28″E / 33.42417°N 36.22444°E / 33.42417; 36.22444
Country  Syria
Governorate Rif Dimashq Governorate
District Darayya District
Nahiyah Sahnaya
Population (2004 census)[1]
  Total 13,993
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Sahnaya (Arabic: صحنايا, lso spelled Sihnaya or Sehnaya) is a town in southern Syria, administratively part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate, located southwest of Damascus in the western Ghouta. Nearby localities include Ashrafiyat Sahnaya, Darayya, Muadamiyat al-Sham, Jdeidat Artouz, Khan Danun and Al-Kiswah. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Sahnaya had a population of 13,993 in the 2004 census.[1] The town is also the administrative center of the Sahnaya nahiyah consisting of two towns with a combined population of 44,512.[1] Sahnaya is one of the few towns in the Ghouta with a majority Druze community, along with Jaramana, Ashrafiyat Sahnaya and Deir Ali.[2]


Sahnaya's residents are predominantly Druze and Greek Orthodox. The cavern of St. Paul near the town was supposedly the hiding place of Paul the Apostle when he was pursued in Damascus.[3] A former Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, Malatios Alsweti, comes from Sahnaya. The town is also known for its old olive trees, some of which are around 500 years old.

Geography and population

Sahnaya has a rural population and a hot climate. Most houses are simple; they are mostly made of cement Because it is located in Damascus, one of the oldest cities in the world. Recently, due to the Syrian civil war, Sahnaya has hosted tens of thousands of the inhabitants of neighbouring Daria and Sbeineh,who are mainly Sunni Muslims. The town has a church named after Saint Elijah and a Druze Mejlis ( religious council ).


  1. 1 2 3 General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Rif Dimashq Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. Firro, Kais (1992). A History of the Druzes. 1. BRILL. p. 34. ISBN 9004094377.
  3. Burckhard, 1822, p. 48.


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