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The Second Coming: Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Via Poland and Gemany

Summer 2008

Syria Flag  Israel Flag Israel / Syria: Ein Kinya Flag Syria  Flag Israel

Druze man at Nebi Hazuri's Tomb. Golan Heights, disputed by Israel and Syria The Mausoleum of Nebi Hazuri lies about 1 kilometer from Nimrod Castle, near the town of Ein Kinya.

Sheikh Ottoman el Hazuri was a Druze opposed to war. His grave is on a hill surrounded by some very old oak trees.
There's a legend about why those trees have survived while others in the area have been cut down.

It's said that once upon a time a farmer took a branch of one of those trees to repair his plow. He scattered splinters all around and his hand dried up when he touched the plow. He realized that he had unleashed Hazury's fury and gathered all the splinters to return the branch to the tree.
Metal Traveller in Ein Kinya, Golan Heights I was very pleased to stop by a Druze Shrine. I absolutely wanted to go to a Druze Village, but because of lack of time we couldn't.

It is a very interesting place, and it’s the only time I’ve visited a Druze Temple.

If one day I have the chance to come back here I'd like to stay a couple of days in Majdal Shams to learn more about the Druze.
We met a Druze man from Tiberias who came with his family for the day.
He welcomed us to the shrine and seemed very pleased that foreigners stopped there.

He explained us a lot of things his religion, but we also talked about politics in this disputed region.
He was Israeli, but for him this land had to be given back to Syria one day, when peace will be signed.
As usual, that’s all about politics, control and power…
So Who are the Druze?
There are a lot of secrets surrounding this community.Even for themselves: most Druze aren't even allowed to read their Holy Book.

To sum up, the Druze are monotheists. They believe in God but recognize other prophets than Judaism, Islam or Christianity.

They're officially classified as Muslims...but Muslim say they're not!

They have their own Holy Books, which not everyone may read: some of them are reserved to the enlighted of the community.
Druze Star at the Nebi Hazuri Mausoleum, Ein Kinya, Golan Heights, Israel The Druze Symbol is the star you see on the roof of the shrine, on the picture to the left.
Most Druze live in Syria, but there are sizable communities in Lebanon, Jordan Israel and the United States.
Druze describe themselves as "Unitarians".

The faith was officially revealed in 1017 by Persial Ismaily mystic Hamza ibn Alī ibn Ahmad. The Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah became the Imam and central figure in the Druze faith.
When Al-Hakim died the Druze did not recognize his son and next Fatimid Caliph, Ali Az-Zahir, as the Iman. He found nothing better than to destroy the movement and massacred thousands of Druzes around the region, mostly in Antioch and Aleppo, in 1021.

He didn't suceed and Druze prospered, reaching the golden agen during the Ma’an dinasty. they controled most of Syria by the 16th Century.
The Druze Village of Ein Kinya in the Goland Heights, disputed by Israel and Syria, as seen from Nebi Hazuri's tomb No one knows exactly how many Druze are there today: the community counts anything from 450 000 to 2 million.

If you think that becoming a Druze would be cool, then it's not your lucky day. Druze leader Bahā' ad-Dīn as-Samuki decided to stop conversions in 1026 and since then, none can join the community. Sorry, you're just a thousand years late.
Druze Flag in the Village of Ein Qiniyye in the Goland Heights, disputed by Israel and Syria This is the Druze village of Ein Kinya, also spelled Ein Qiniyye. As we had to drive down to Tiberias we didn't have time to really visit it.

Druze have their own flag, which you can spot here on the picture to the left.

Not far from here there's a monument dedicated to the Sayeret Egoz Army Scouting Unit soldiers who died in the area.
Sunset in the Golan Heights
We took the road southbound to Tiberias again, passing through the cities of Kyat Sharmona and __.

We had a nice night out at a good restaurant, actually the only one that was open, due to Shabbat.

On the next day we woke up early, as we had planned to go to the Dead Sea.