Golan allegiance to the Syrian Arab identity

Israeli media insists every once and while that those protestors in the occupied Syrian Arab Golan represent only a minority of young people driven by a feverous passion that quickly extinct without leaving a trace. That minority in the eyes of the Israeli illusionary "fact" has no significant impact, yet Israeli politicians are forced to cope with those few anger to defeat their fear of them. Moreover, they say it is absurd to claim that this minority is alarming the Israeli army, which knows how to deal with it by all means legal or illegal.

Lieberman! Golan is ONLY OURS!

 Once I published this article in the Syria Times, the paper-copy, and I repeat it here following the reckless hawkish statements by the foreign Minister of Israel, iberman , who crazily called for “settling the Israeli sovereignty in Golan heights in the framework of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the events in Syria,” saying that “part of this comprehensive bargain has to cover an understanding between Israel, the international community and the US stating that Golan is part and parcel of Israel!

The unfulfilled will of my father deep ever lives in my conscience, heart, soul and mind. Dear to my heart his death will as to be buried in his native birthplace, the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. My father’s last words, before cancer finished him were murmurs mingled with bitter tears in the loving memory of his 1967 lost village, Al-Qarana, five kilometers from Tiberias Lake. Indeed, this isn’t the wish of my father alone, but of all the Syrians, who were uprooted from their ancestors’ roots in the Golan Heights, in whose honor I named my daughter. Once I look at this very innocent young girl, I imagine and do see my father deep buried alive in my Golan. We have inherited not only their unfulfilled wills, wishes, unrealized dreams, desires, and ambitions; but their organic attachment to the land of the ancestors and their determination to return back HOME as long as hearts beat.

The Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights is an Arab Land since time immemorial. The Arameans inhabited the Golan Heights since the 2nd Millenium BC. The Arameans, whose capital was Damascus, established several kingdoms stretching to the southern part of Damascus and Yarmuk; then the Golan became part of the Assyrian and Chaldean. After that, the Golan came under the rule of the fifth Persian State during Kursh era; in the year 106 AD , the Golan was part of the Arab State during the Roman Age. By the end of the Nabateans kingdoms, Arab armies gathered at ‘ Al-Yaqousa’ village in the Golan Heights and defeated the Byzantines in the famous Al-Yarmuk Battle in the year 636. In 1118 the Crusaders occupied the Golan Heights save its fortified forts like ‘ Al-Ssibaya’ Fort near Banyas and ‘ Al-Hosson’ near Fiq village before Saladin Al-Ayoubbi liberated it in Hittin Battle near Tiberias. Afterwards, the Golan came under attacks by the Moguls, and then ruled by the Ottoman occupation, then the French occupation. On June 5, 1067, Israeli occupation forces occupied this dear part of Syria.

 On July 10, 2001, the late Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon in a visit to Katsarin settlement in the Golan Heights, called in provocative statements for the expansion of Jewish settlements in the Syrian Golan Heights as to turn ‘’ the settlements of the Golan to a reality that cannot be reversed,’’. He also claimed that "the Golan was part of the Israeli historic land, ‘’ archaeologists, even though the Israeli archaeological excavations works and surveys carried out in the Golan are illegal in contradiction with international laws and regulations, including Geneva Conventions, UN Charter and UNESCO regulations which ban excavation in occupied territories, have unearthed findings related to the Israeli existence and deep-rooted Jewish existence in this land!!! Sharon, warmonger, be sure; the only fact, which can never be reversed is the Syrian Arab Identity of our Golan. This very identity is internationally recognized by the world community and legitimacy through the tens of issued resolutions, especially 242, 338, 476, and 497 of the UN Security Council not to mention ten others by the General Assembly and other international organizations, fora and summits. You can never change the realities of geography and history; as long as the Sun rises from east as sets in west, the Golan is ours. You should very well know that the Syrian Golan Heights does have brave men as those of Hizbollah freedom fighters, who, heroically liberated the South. Before this provocation, Avigdor Liberman should have read the Torah well and considered some previous official Israeli statements including those of the extremist Rabbi, Ovadia Youssef, who described Arabs as snakes to be killed. Youssef, who once backed the then Israeli premier, Barak’s decision as to withdraw from the Syrian Heights, said ‘’ The Golan is a Syrian territory and will be returned to Syria in any settlement and we have to admit that and not waste time’’ ‘’ The Golan doesn’t form part of the land of Israel.’’. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak himself admitted on Feb.28th, 2000, as Israel Radio reported on this very day, that former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had deposited with the Americans a pledge of withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to June 4, 1967 border lines for security arrangements. Barak indicated that the US administration conveyed this pledge in due time to Syria. Even the Torah never mentioned any hints considering Sharon’s fabricated lies; the Torah spoke of the Arameans supremacy in defending Damascus against enemies citing the battle of AFiq,( Fiq) the Syrian village in the Golan, where Ben-hadad, the Aramean King heroically defended the capital Damascus‘’ Once the wrath of God intensified on Israel, He pushed them into the hands of Hazza’el, the King of Aram, and then to the hands of his son Ben-hadad,’’. Actually, this Israeli provocation was met by international uproar and condemnation. On July 11, France-the real France- criticized Sharon’s call for settlements expansion in the Syrian Golan Heights: " The global peace we are seeking, founded on the pertinent UN Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace, supposes that the Golan will be returned to Syria,’’ said a French Foreign Ministry spokesman.

For his part, the then European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana criticized Sharon’s statements too ‘’ This will go in the wrong direction, no question about that,’’ adding ‘’ Sharon’s statement isn’t of the type of statement that will contribute to create a climate that is necessary now to move the process forward into peace,’’. Earlier on different occasions in protest against the Israeli settlements expansion, the UN, affiliated organs, and its Secretary General, Russia, and even the US criticized settlements expansion as an obstacle before peace resumption. The said Israeli statements would but reinforce Syrians' pledge as to restore the Golan Heights recalling the late President Hafez Assad’s saying that we would make the Golan in the middle of Syria. If it was a matter of few meters as president Bashar said why don’t the Israelis withdraw from the Golan ‘in implementation for related international resolutions, and give us some few meters on the Western side of Tiberias; which is of course an occupied Arab piece of land.

Sharon’s hawkish and war mongering statements and practices on the ground disappointed even the Israelis of whom 70 percent have lost faith in your claims to bring them security according to the Gallup poll conducted recently for Maariv newspaper. Such statements and stances could never bring security but the opposite! Wars could never put an end for a single dispute along history. Step down, Sharon! Let peace loving forces have a say in the region affairs. You were given more than a chance to conclude the last chapter of your blood-tainted book differently; you have missed every single opportunity; a leopard can never change its skin. In the ongoing crisis in Syria, Israel foolishly is collaborating with the forces of darkness and ignorance which aim but at its destruction!

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Golan .... seat of homeland affections

You cannot separate the inherent spiritual condition experienced by all Syrian Arab citizen from the core of their minds and the depth of their firm conviction, the state that refers to the belief in the inevitability of the Golan return to Syria warm breast. This state is born as a complete certainty, since any Syrian maiden gaze at life, sees that dear part of their beloved homeland confined with the manacles of the Israeli occupier.

This native knows that occupation is going to an end, carefully observing the Arab nation current situation, shorn of despair as he sees the Israeli occupier is ultimately in charge of the state of fragmentation and dispersion. It is as well responsible for the political and economic conditions of the Arab nation. By means of awareness, natives are able to absorb the fact that the Zionist entity planted by Western colonialism, is but a poisoned knife in the heart of the Arab world to engage them in a struggle draining their energies and capabilities to conduct them toward a battle of liberation rather than a battle for construction and development .

This reality does not anticipate optimism, but at the same time do not allow depths of despair to penetrate into our hearts. The darkest hour is just before the crack of dawn. From the midst of despair, hope is born with a bright-face grinning from ear to ear. As the proverb says desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.  Oh heavens, we see in every cloud passing Golan a silver lining of victory, dropping pure water to rinse up the dirtiness of the occupier.

Our faith in Golan return is identical to the confidence that no mother would not give up her beloved baby, who was taken away from her compassionate heart by treachery hands.

We are in Syria convinced that Golan is from us and to us. But those who are doubtful of this fact, we say we are not responsible for the mists that obscured the truth from your eyes. You have been hostages of the Israeli false misleading media, falling in Zionist propaganda traps, which is trying to rape the land of others and then claim that Zionists are the true proprietors of this land .

Come back to your souls depths, to transparency to discern that all Israeli excuses for aggression on others land by force are false feigned ones, akin to escape. An escape that can be viewed sedating or numbing, but which effects will rapidly disappear.

  Firas Taleb

Edited &Translated by: Lama Al-Hassanieh

Nimrod Castle

  One of the famous  Golan  Historical castles . It was built  during the rule of the Ayyubids and Mamluks era in the middle Ages  . Located on a steep hillside to the west of mount Hermon (Jabal al-Sheikh) between Banyias village and Majdal shams and rises 816 meters above sea level.

The castle was built by the Ayyubids in the 13th century in 1230 to face the invasion of  Crusaders the thing that gave rise to its historic significance. In 1260 Mongols finished the rule of the Ayyubid where they  occupied  Banyas and destroyed the fortress. After the defeat of the Mongols by  Zahir Baybars, he renewed the citadel and revamped it into a luxury palace where he took residence. 

In the 13th century and after overcoming the Crusaders, the castle lost its strategic importance but  mmaintained its historical and political significance. In the 15th century, the Mamluks turned the castle  into a prison of governors who rebelled against the rule.

 The citadel is a magnificent fortress. It is about 420 meters long and 60-150 meters wide.   Surrounded by four-meter thick stone wall in addition to  protection towers destined to protect the entrance and serve as an observatory place of the rulers.

The fortress is divided into two parts : the top one comprising the north tower and the southern part accommodating livery stables ,water tanks and a number of rooms which signified that  the ruler of the castle had once lived in.

N.H.Khider

The Loaf Of Firmness Is The Bread And Butter Of Golanis

The Golani tale of bread is not like other tales, it is a story made of exceptional ingredients. An ecru flour grinned from wheat, like a waterfall of warm memories that ignites in the heart of every Golani, flushing a tape of nostalgia to that fertile earth that knows how to breastfeed her children land attachment with milk, from their tender age until their last breath.

“Saj” (baking tin) bread, also known as Markook (Arabic: مرقوق) is a type of flatbread common in the countries of the Levant. It is baked on a domed or convex metal griddle, known as "saj". It is usually large, about 2 feet in diameter, and thin, almost translucent. Similar to the procedures for making some other flatbreads, the dough of markook is flattened and kept very thin before cooking, resulting in a very slender depth. It is commonly compared to pita bread, which is known in Mediterranean cuisine, and is among the most ancient kind of bread.

Whereas, water that enters in the composition of Golani bread, is made from every Golani mother tears, seeing off her departing son, to receive education in Syrian universities where he will receive extra lessons in land attachment and unremitting readiness to offer the most precious in defense of this land freedom and dignity. When those dear tears reach the dough, the loaf will  come to be more delicious and full of flavor. The yeast leavening bread dough, rise as well the deep ties that root Golanis to the pure soil of their land. Which is translated in hard work to restore freedom that Zionists had assaulted.

For these reasons, Saj bread enjoys significant position in Golani villages, but also in the minds and hearts of all Syrians, who will not lose their confidence in the inevitability of Golan return to Syria. Golanis do not live by bread alone, as they break bread with the loaf of persistence to get rid of the Zionist occupier, a bread mingled with a delightful taste of determination when renewing refusal to carry Israeli identity, and insisting on the use of Arabic in order to not allow Zionists to turn them in part of Israeli community.

Saj bread make a great match with the dough of firmness to Golan return. Then extra virgin Golani olive oil is added to this twofold bread, to get the perfect composition, in harmony with all ingredient strings to play the land anthem. Here, the Golani olive seed blossom to become a blessed tree, which oil will shine freedom path heralding the dawn birth, independence dawn.

Noticeably, hardly any village or farm in Quneitra province, is devoid of traditional baking tools including Saj (baking tin), “al-Kara” (a thick round cloth to thinly knead the dough), in addition to ancient mud rooms specially furnished for handmade bread.

Golani Bread is a pristine bread kneaded with Golan children love for their compassionate Land, and their insistence to liberate it of the Zionist usurper. Whereas Golani olive oil sparkles freedom path for coming generations.

Firas Taleb

Translated & edited by: Lama Al-Hassanieh