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Majdal Shams ( ; ) is a Druze village in the northern part of the Golan Heightsmarker, the center of Druze life in the region. Majdal Shams is situated in the southern foothills of Mt.marker Hermonmarker, and is surrounded by thousands of dunams of orchards, the main crops of which include first class apples and cherries. Israelmarker captured Majdal Shams in 1967 and has occupied it since.

Majdal Shams in May 2009.
Majdal Shams is the largest of the four Druze villages in the Golan. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of September 2005 Majdal Shams's population was 8,800. The population growth rate is 2.5%. The ratio between men and women is 951 for every 1000 men.The village is politically and spiritually governed by the Abu-Salah and Safdie families.

The inhabitants of Majdal Shams hold Syrian citizenship. For this reason they are not drafted into the Israeli army (although a minority serve voluntarily) and many travel to Syria regularly to visit family or receive university degrees in Damascus. A year after Israel annexed the Golan, a six-month non-violent general strike was launched on April 14, 1982, in which Majdal Shams played a notable role.

One kilometer east of the town center, on the other side of the valley, is the Shouting Hillmarker (hebr. גבעת צעקות), where Majdal Shams' Druze line up with bullhorns to make small-talk with relatives on the Syrian side. The busiest time seems to be Friday and Saturday afternoons.

The Arabic name Majdal Shams is adapted from an Aramaic name meaning "tower of the sun".

Majdal Shams in popular culture

Majdal Shams was the village featured in the award-winning film, The Syrian Bride (2004).

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7353494.stm
  2. Druze history and culture


Bibliography




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