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Canada Life is Druze in the Golan

15:10  22 september  2020
15:10  22 september  2020 Source:   liberation.fr

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When the Druze sheikhs of a Golan Heights village wanted to glorify an Assad regime war criminal Most of the Syrian- Druze in the Golan Heights have previously remained faithful to Assad's regime, because of the ongoing protection his army provides to Druze communities in Syria. Life and Culture.

Report about the Druze community who live in the region Israel has been occupying from Syria - the Golan Heights. National identity is always an issue here.

Un rassemblement de Druzes près de la ligne de cessez-le-feu entre Israël et la Syrie dans le Golan occupé, le 6 octobre 2018. © Ammar Awad A gathering of Druze near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria in the occupied Golan, October 6, 2018. Every Tuesday, snapshots of 'Israel and Palestine, discovering the geographical and mental bubbles of a territory as small as it is disputed. Today, Majdal Sham, "capital" of the Syrian Druze in the occupied Golan.

It was cherry time in the Golan Heights. This was before the reconfinement in Israel, but, pandemic obliges, the borders were already sealed, the skies closed. In search of a change of scenery, we drove as far north as possible, climbing until the barbed wire came out of the earth, 1130 meters above the sea. The road stops at Majdal Sham, 60 kilometers away damask.

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Majdal Shams is the largest Druze village in the Northern Golan Heights. The village of 10,000 was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, and ever

When Israel occupied the Golan , the Golan Druze were separated from their relatives in Syria. Their fathers still recall the glory of 1980s strikes, Sultan Basha, and hang Syrian flags beside five-colored Druze ones. This is life until the miracle of peace comes.

On the hillside, it is the largest Druze town on this volcanic and strategic plateau, taken by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. Some 11,000 souls live there in diplomatic-administrative limbo: the the great majority of them are "non-citizens", having refused Israeli nationality collectively at the time of the annexation of the territory by the Jewish state in 1981.

In contrast to the Druze of Galilee, who proudly serve in Tsahal and stand for election on Zionist lists sometimes very right-wing, these Druze feel mentally and geographically Syrians.

Modus vivendi

In the eyes of the international community ( but not Trump ), the Golan Heights is occupied territory. But the vibe has nothing to do with the West Bank. Much less tense. Except when Israel tries to set up an election ballot box, the kind of thing that can end with the throwing of a grenade. A modus vivendi has taken hold: there is space for everyone. The sparse Israeli settlers, who play the gaucho, have their cattle farms, lodges and riding clubs where the Druze go to register their kids, next to the alpine-style chalets of the Tel Aviv bourgeoisie.

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Subscribe to our channel! rupt.ly/subscribe Scores Syrian Druze outside of the gates of a polling station in Majdal Shams in the Israeli-occupied Syrian

Druze demonstrators in the Golan Heights wave Syrian and Druze flags as they gather in front of a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a protest against US President Donald Trump, in the town of Majdal Shams, on March 23, 2019. (Photo by AFP). Hundreds of Druze demonstrators have

Of course, the memory of wars is never far away. Along the way, the IDF erected fake Arab villages to train in urban guerrilla warfare in the event of another invasion of Lebanon. When the troopers are on leave, these settings are a paintball player's paradise. In the abandoned Syrian army buildings, escape game enthusiasts replay the exploits of Spy Eli Cohen , hoping it will end better for them than for the agent unmasked in Damascus.

Hill of Screams

In a bar in Majdal Shams, we shoot shots with a local photographer in his thirties, whose job often boils down to immortalizing the bombing of Israeli F-16s across the border. Faithful to its doctrine of "mowing the lawn", the IDF sends its hunters to shell convoys and bases of Shiite militiamen seeking to link up with Lebanon.

We are talking about the famous Cree Hill, where families separated by the border have talked to each other on megaphones for decades. A folkloric memory, a bit like the traditional Druze with mustache and pompom caps: "Now there is WhatsApp ..." The attachment to Syria? “Most of us studied in Damascus, the most beautiful city in the world! But have you seen Syria today? It doesn't make you dream anymore… ”His wife dreams of visiting Disneyland Paris. For that, better is a pass, even a passport, Israeli.

However, here we pay attention to what we say and do: there is always an echo between Majdal Sham, which remains a pro-Assad stronghold, and Syria. If a local student shouts too loudly "Death to Bashar", the Syrian moukhabarats, informed by local informants, will arrange to visit his uncles on the other side of the armistice line. "But you know, the historic enemy of Majdal Shams is Paris," laughs the photographer, pointing to the bellicose statue of Sultan Al-Atrach in the center of the city. We still revere this awesome warrior who knocked down the French with his saber in the 1920s. It's a cliché, but yes, the East is complicated, and he has memory.

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