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The Assad family, who have ruled Syria since 1971, are well-known Alawites

The Alawites, also known as Alawis (ʿAlawīyyah Arabic: علوية) are a sect within Shia Islam. They live mainly in Syria. They follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam. Alawites worship Ali, and the name "Alawi" means followers of Ali.

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