Majdal Shams Things to Do
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This is not a fancy ski resort in European standards, but it's the only one we have in Israel... People come here to ski, or just to play in the snow or enjoy some of the attractions built for the kids.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
- Skiing and Boarding
Majd al Shams used to be a Syrian village until the war of 1967 when al the Golan Heights area was conqured by Israel.
Many of the people in Majd al Shams still have relatives in Syria and since there's no way to keep in contact (except for the internet this days and that is if its possible there...) there's the shouting hill... where people from both sides of the border comes to see each other and the only way of hearing each other is shouting.... and therefore its name ...
For all of you who wants to get some sort of clue about it look for the Israeli movie " The Syrian Bride".
Majdal Shams translates in Arabic as the "tower of the rising sun". There a few Druze settlments within the area this being the largest. There is not a great deal to see in Majdal Shams, it is en route to the Mount Hermon Ski Resort & not far from Banyas & Nimrods Castle so it is worth stopping for a drink in of the cafes (much cheaper than the Ski resort!) & walk if your in the area.
Many of the people in Madjal Shams have relatives over the boarder & apparently on Fridays they go there & shout over to each other.
Majdal Shams Restaurants
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At a height of 1115m above sea level, this is one of the highest restaurants in Israel. From here you have a beautiful view. The place itself a beautiful, rustic, cabin offering a selection of quiche, soups, locally made cheese, casseroles, fish, lamb and beef. All served with local herbs. This is the perfect place to end a day of snow on the Hermon.
Favorite Dish: This village has its own dairy where they make their own cheese. The cheese is served here in the restaurant and can also be bought here to take home. They also sell here some other local products like wine, confiture and more.
Majdal Shams Transportation
There are special busses from Tel-Aviv to the Hermon every day at 5:00 AM and back at 4:30 PM, for details call (03) 641-3066.
Majdal Shams Local Customs
Majdal Shams is right on the border with Syria. The fence separated the Golan Druze from their brothers in Syria. This place is where Druze from both sides come to see each other. As the distance from the other side if minimal here. People come here and shout to their relatives on the other side.
In the centre of Majdal Shams you'll find a big statue of a man riding a horse. This is Sultan El-Atrash, the Druze hero. He was the leader of the 1925 revolt against the French who ruled Syria back then.
Notice the Syrian flag hanging from the monument. Since 1982, when the Israeli government annexed the Golan heights and declared the local Druze Israeli citizens, there is a fight between the people who want to be a part of Israel and the ones who claim they are Syrians and refusing the Israeli identity cards.
The Druze religion was established in Cairo, Egypt in 1017 by Muhammadu d-Darazi. it is believe the religion is an of shoot from Shi'is Islam, although Druze do not give the Koran the same importance as other Muslims do. They also believe in reincarnation in to human form. The better you are in this life the better life you will be reincarnated to, a great incentive!
There are over 1million Druze world wide, most living in Syria & Israel.
To learn more about this fascinating religion have a look at the website below.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Majdal Shams Warnings and Dangers
Do NOT TOUCH IT !
When we arrived to Majdal Shams we went to see the shouting hill where relatives talks to each other from both sides of the border by shouting.
We sneaked through one of the locked gates that was possible to go under it and we were right there, on the border it self !! as you can see in the photo I’m standing by the electric fence and of course not touching it. Behind the fence...simply Syria !
Unfortunately cause of the sun its hard to see well but on the other side on the hill there's a little balcony where people can watch the Israeli side with a binoculars or with unarmed eyes.