Mansaf an exquisite Golani dish you will never forget

Our people in the beloved Golan have a close bond with their homeland Syria in every nook and cranny, giving life evidence on their deep belief in the inevitability of Golan return to Syria. Moreover, they have not and will not lose their faith in their homecoming since they are affirmative to the nth degree that the matter is absolute. They have lived with this fixed heartening conviction; as grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren have all inherited it.

By and large, the Golani personality is an integral part of the Syrian Arab one, however enjoying a particular place close to the heart. In which you can sense the richness of this lively heritage evolving through the passage of time, like antique gold throughout time gains originality and eminence in both mind and heart.

While talking of the Golani heritage we will penetrate its kitchen, that swiftly opens his doors in front of us to introduce a variety of delicious food and drink, savories, and dainties. A rich cuisine, counting an unlimited assortment of viands.

Today, we will present a famous dish that has characterized the Golani kitchen throughout history, since it is a plate symbolizing Golan people generosity, hospitality and their eagerness to unlimitedly honor the guest.

This well-known plate is “Mansaf” (Arabic: منسف‎) ,coming from the term "large tray" or "large dish" made of copper carried by two men by means of two metallic circlets.

Mansaf is a traditional Golani dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt called “Melehi” and served with rice or bulgur. It is the national dish of Golan and all the southern region of Syria. The dish is copious with bulgur, rice, or both where bulgur is placed as a bottom layer topped by a rice layer, so bulgur devourers will dig in Mansaf to find their craving. The Mansaf is crowned with lamb meat, centered by the carcass head, garnished with almonds and pine nuts, and then sauce poured over all. A spice mixture and herbs, add distinctive flavor, with regional variations.

Mansaf is associated with a traditional Golani culture based on an agro-pastoral lifestyle in which meat and yogurt are readily available. Mansaf is served on special occasions such as weddings as well as funerals, births and graduations, circumcision ceremonies or to honor a guest, and on major holidays such as Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha. It is traditionally eaten collectively from a large platter in the rural style, standing around the platter with the left hand behind the back and using the right hand instead of utensils.

Here we must mention that Mansaf is only offered to distinctive guests, before catering hosts begin to entertain and amuse guests. When more than one Mansaf is provided, the Mansaf who holds the carcass head is put in front of the guest of honor, then the host “Almazb” invite the rest of invitees to eat. Guests must stand up to the Mansaf in front of and near them, unless Almazb assigned them a special place on the audience ears.

Around the platter Mansaf meet both invitees and hosts in a warm atmosphere, even in the harsh winter of Golan, as light conversations precede this feast of delights savories. Here begins a familiarity atmosphere weaving warm meeting yarns, reflecting Golan people generosity and their love for guests.

This is the Golani Mansaf tale, a tale we eagerly hear with a hunger equivalent to the return of this precious part of our home to its mother bosom Syria who do not abandon any of her generous sons.

 

Feras Taleb

Translated & Edited by: Lama Al-Hassanieh

Sidqi al-Maqt

After 27 years of captivity and  in an  atmosphere of  exceptional  festivity , the town of Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan  Heights  has embraced its captive  son Sidqy  al-Maqt.

Majdal Shams had organized a national festival which was attended by crowds  from all the Golan Heights' villages and in the presence of a large number of  liberated prisoners and members of the Association of Arab prisoners.

The  administration  of Israeli Prisons has intended to  release the captive  al- Maqt at five o'clock in the morning from al-Gilboa Shatta  prison fearing that he will get a  terrific reception befitting a hero like him . But the Israeli authorities did not succeed in this plan because our people in the Golan Heights  had  prepared a special celebration befitting Sidky al-Maqt.

At the reception in August, 2012, al-Maqt delivered a speech through which he greeted the crowds , hoisting  the  pictures of  his two comrades, the martyr Hayel Abu Zeid and  the martyr Seitan al-weli. Sidqi al-Maqt also telegraphed his greetings to his fellow prisoners in the  Israeli jails , wishing  that they will get their freedom soon .

The  Syrian prisoner Sidqi Suleiman al-Maqt was  born in April 16, 1967 in  the town of Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan  Heights. He finished his  primary school in the village , while he completed his preparatory and secondary schools in Masada village.

Sidqi al-Maqt  with the participation of group of his comrades such  as Medhat Saleh, the  martyr Seitan al-Weli , the martyr Hayel Bouzid and his  comrades Asim al-Weli and Bishr al-Maqt, had  established " The Secret Resistance Movement ". Sidqi and his comrades had participated in all the  resistance's operations , where they were able to monitor  the Israeli military posts  scattered  in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights. In addition, al-Maqt had participated  with many of his comrades in bombing the Israeli camp near the village of Buqata .

On the night of 23.08.1985 and after 12 days  of the arresting of his brother Bishr al-Maqt ,  Sidqi was arrested by the Israeli military authorities  on  the charge of resisting the occupation . On the twentieth of May 1986, the Israeli Military Court in Allad  city had sentenced unfair judgment against Sidqi and he spent  27 years in the Israeli jails.

During his  trial in  the Israeli court,  Sidqi and his comrades refused to stand to  the military judge and  they reject  to confess the legitimacy of this  injustice trial .

In his speech in front of the  lawyers and the military court judge ,  Sidqi al-Maqt said : "You occupied my land , and it is my right to defend it and resist you , I  do not admit  the legitimacy of your court."

Sidqi  al-Maqt and  nine of his comrades were expelled outside  the court because they sang  the Syrian Arab anthem " Homata al-Deyar."
During the years of his captivity , al-Maqt participated in many  activities concerning the  human rights  of the captives in the Israeli prisons . Al-Maqt was  considered one of the symbols of the national movement of the prisoners in the Israeli jails.

 

M.Wassouf

Golan Coffee

In fact, coffee has gained a distinguished and special position in the daily life of our people in the occupied Golan Heights . The coffee in the Golan society is still keeping certain ritual, especially when the relatives and friends meet in one house to drink it in an atmosphere of familiarity and affection.

Undoubtedly, our people in the occupied Golan heights succeeded in retaining many characteristics that distinguish their unique personality . For this reason they had proudly resisted all the Israeli occupation attempts toobliterate many habits and customs of the Golan society.

With the advent of winter, everyone can notice the warm meetings of the family members when they are gathering around the fireplace expecting somebody to knock at the door. Then,the guest room crowded with visitors and subconsciously all the attendees feel that there is something lacking , this warm meeting would not be complete , but with the existence of coffeepot .

For more information, the coffee means the" language of wine", it was named so because it reduces the people's appetite , and when any one smell the coffee , he doesn't not care with hunger any more. For many people, coffee is more important than any other kind of food no matter how delicious it is .

This is a fragrant of the Golan coffee that makes us feel much warmer.

 

Firas Taleb

E&T: M.Wassouf

Golan Null and Void Annexation!

 So far 32 years have passed since the Israeli illegitimate annexation of the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the sacred land of our ancestors and grandfathers. Not a single day would pass without nostalgia and eagerness to this piece of our souls, bitter tears of our family members, and sighs of dear memories and attachment to the stories of the land, which has ever been living in us. Our elders passed away; but we still remember and are eager more than ever to return home. The Golan is part and parcel of our humanity, feelings, identity, history, resistance, tears  and laughter. I still remember the tears shed by my late father upon embracing and kissing the soil of Quneitra in 1974, the lively most beautiful face ever of my late mother in June 1967, when she fed me some of dry wheat grains after chewing them in fear and in a hurry; they are still the most delicious food I have ever eaten! 

On 14 December 1981, the Israeli Knesset ratified the decision taken by Rabin’s extremist government to annex the Golan Occupied to the Israeli territory. Begin stood on the eve of 1 December 1981 to impudently announce that "The Occupied Golan were in the past a part of the Palestine Territory and that those who established the borders of the States in the Region during the First World War drew arbitrary borders with Syria. Such situation is rectified as of now on, and only those who are unrealistically optimistic believe that Israel will withdraw from the Golan".

It is odd that Begin did not have any kind of connection with Palestine during the First World War other than the Zionist Schemes to usurp it. Throughout and after the Second World War, Begin and the other Zionist terrorists perpetrated many massacres to expel Palestinians from their Homeland. Then he was defending the re-establishment of Palestine’s borders which he had usurped together with its adjacent territories in order to devour more land and expel more Arabs from the Golan, West bank and Gaza Strip. He was very much like the burglar who steals a house and then claims that the next house was once a part of the house he had stolen and seized by force.

The following is the text of the Annexation Decision:

• The Israeli State Law, its jurisdiction and administration shall be applied to the Occupied Golan.

• This Law shall be implemented immediately upon being ratified by the Knesset.

• The Interior Minister is required to implement this Law.

SYRIAN ARAB ATTITUDE AGAINST THE DECISION

Hereunder is the text of the Syrian Arab Statement of 14 December 1981:

Within the framework of the Zionist Enemy aggressive expansionist policy, starting with judaization operations, settlements building, displacing and oppressing, Arab inhabitants the Israeli Enemy Government has taken a decision imposing the Israeli laws in the occupied Syrian Arab territories.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, while drawing the attention of the Arab public opinion and the world community to the risk of such procedure and its negative reflections on security and peace in the region and all over the world, would indicate the following:

1. Syria reserves its right to take the appropriate measures against this flagrant infringement of the UN Charter and Resolutions, including Resolution N° 338.

1. Such Israeli decision implies the annexation of the occupied Syrian territories, waging war against Syria and cancellation the cease fire agreement.

1. Such Israeli decision asserts the aggressive and expansionist policy of the offensive Israeli entity and reveals the kind of peace it wants.

The Syrian Government’s political statement on 16 December 1981 included the following:

It is on the Fourteenth Day of this Month that the Israeli Enemy has taken a decision to impose the Israeli laws on the occupied Syrian Arab territories within the framework of its expansionist policy which aims to establish the ‘Great Israel" from the Nile to the Euphrates. Such decision has been taken, following a series of procedures and resolutions taken within the rest of the occupied Arab territories, building of settlements, oppressing and constricting Arab inhabitants to displace them and judaize the occupied regions, right up to declaring Jerusalem as a unified capital of the Hebrew State and applying the civil administration as comprehended for Palestinians autonomy in implementation of the two Camp David Accords. In the light of such events, the Leadership has discussed this question within the framework of our comprehensive vision of the Arab-Israeli struggle and all the surrounding circumstances, and resolved how to confront this national question. In the light of the President’s directives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has:

1. Called for an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to discuss the perilous situation and to take a resolution to delete the Israeli decision, apply the UN charter and penalize the Israeli Enemy.

2. Contacted all the Security Council members to explain the results and potential problems of the risky situation and requested them all to assume their responsibilities in the field of world peace keeping in accordance with the Charter.

3. Contacted all world states in order to explain such situation and how perilous it is, requested their support and backing. Messages have been addressed to the Non-Alliance Movement, Islamic Conference and African Unity Organization.

4. Has contacted Arab States via their Ambassadors in Damascus and the Secretary General of the Arab League.

Communications with sister Arab Countries will be continued in order to unify the Arab stand, and in order to confront such perilous development. The Government and Leadership are both following with great concern these developments.

The Zionist Enemy government of decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan to Israel was confronted by all the citizens with complete rejection and denunciation. Inhabitants of the occupied villages, backed by the Arab citizens of the occupied West Bank, attacked the Israeli military vehicles, decried the Israeli expansionist policy. Syrian Arab national personalities of Majdal Shams and Mas’adeh denounced Israel’s expansionist policy; Sheik Soulayman Abou Saleh said in Majdal Shams, his alert village, "We are and will be, for ever, Syrian Citizens; a few decisions enacted by the Israeli Knesset won’t change our belonging to Syria, our mother Homeland". All citizens responded to the comprehensive strike call on 16 December 1981 to protest against the decision of the Golan annexation; schools from all villages went on strike; teachers, pupils and students refrained from attending their schools despite the Israeli Enemy’s threats. Public struggle is still on to this every day.

The Israeli heinous decision to annex the occupied Syrian Golan was also confronted with comprehensive Arab censure and condemnation on all public and political levels. Statements issued by the Arab States asserted that such new aggressive act against Arab Nation was a violation of the international law and revealed the Israeli expansionist schemes. The statements confirmed that all Arab, people and governments are to back Syria in order to restore its right to its national Territory.

For its part, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution N° 497 early on 19 December 1981:

"The Security Council has reviewed the Syrian Arab Republic’s Permanent Representative’s message dated 11 December 1981, and, while reiterating that acquisition of territories by force is rejected as stipulated under the UN Charter, principles of International Law and its express Resolutions, IT:

• Decides that the decision, taken by Israel, to impose its laws, legislations, administrative regulations on the occupied Golan is null and void, and of no legal effect on the international level.

• Requests Israel, the occupying Country, to immediately cancel, without any further delay, its decision.

• Declares that all provisions of Geneva Treaty, of 12 August 1949 relative to protecting civilians during war times, are still applicable on the Syrian Territory occupied by Israel in June 1967.

• Calls upon the Secretary General to report the implementation of this Resolution to the Security Council within two weeks from today. The Councils decides that, in case of Israeli negligence, it will hold an extraordinary meeting maximum not later than January 5th, 1982 to consider taking the appropriate procedures."

Many Arab Countries submitted to the Security Council a draft resolution which condemned Israeli decision of annexation, but the USA vetoed the decision after absolute majority of nine votes ( USSR, Spain, Guyana, Togo, Poland, Jordan, China, Za’eer and Uganda ), against the USA vote, and five (Britain, France, Ireland, Japan and Panama ) abstained. Thus, the USA asserted its attitude which opposed the Arabs and encouraged Israel to exercise more aggressiveness and further operations to newly annex occupied Arab territories. Abstention was allegedly attributed to a lack of provisions for negotiations and mentioning of Resolutions 242 and 338. The attitudes of the 5 abstaining members were unfair not only because the Golan annexation in a flagrant breach of international law, but also because of its inadequacy to confront Israel acts of continued aggression. The American veto used in the Security Council, to go by the international will to punish Israel, had actually protected it against the Security Council Resolution and roused broad Arab and international condemns and denouncement against the Israeli aggression and American protection of Israel.

The text of the UN Resolution:

The UN:

• Strictly condemns Israel for non-abiding by the Security Council Resolution N° 497 of 1981 and by the UN Resolution N° 226.

• Declares that Israel’s decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan constitutes an aggressive action as provided under stipulations of UN Charter’s Article 39 and UN Resolution N° 3314.

• Declares, once more, that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan is null and void, legally invalid and completely has no effect.

• Insists that all actions that Israel has taken to validate its decision of annexing the occupied Syrian Occupied Golan are illegal, null and must not be recognized.

• Reiterates that all provision of the Hague Agreement of 1907 and Geneva Agreement signed on 12 August 1949 for protection of civilians during the war times are still applicable on the Syrian territory which Israel occupied in June 1967. It calls upon all sides to respect and secure commitment to their obligations according to such Agreements under all circumstances.

• Insist that the continuous occupation of the Syrian Occupied Golan seized by Israel in June 1967 and continuity of their annexation by Israel since 14 December 1981 after its decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on such territory constitute a continuous threat to international peace and security.

• Strictly denounces the negative veto of the American Security Council permanent member which prevented the Council from taking suitable procedures, referred to in the Security Council Resolution N° 497 of 1981 unanimously adopted against Israel, as provided for under the Charter’s Chapter 7.

• Further condemns any political, economical and technological support to Israel which would encourage it to commit more aggression, enforce and prolong its occupation time, and annexation, of the occupied Arab territories.

• Firmly reiterates its request that Israel, the occupying force, should immediately cancel its decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Syrian Occupied Golan which has resulted from the actual annexation of such Territory.

• Reiterates the utmost necessity of an Israeli comprehensive unconditional withdrawal from all other Arab and Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, which is a basic condition for establishing a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

• Declares that Israel’s record and actions confirm that it is not a UN peace-wanting Member, for it does not carry out its obligations neither under the Charter nor under the General Assembly Resolution N° 373 dated 31 May 1949.

• Calls upon all State Members to apply the following procedures:

A. To abstain from providing Israel with any weapon or equipment, and to stop sending military aid.

B To abstain from owning any military weapons or equipment from Israel.

C. To stop all economical, financial and technological aids to Israel and cooperation with it.

D. To break diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations with Israel.

• To immediately stop all their individual and collective links with Israel in order to completely seclude it in all fields.

• Urges the State which are not UN Members to honor this Resolution.

• Calls upon all specialized UN Agencies and International Entities to have their relations with Israel conformed to this Resolution.

• Requests the Secretary General to implement of this Resolution and report accordingly to the State Members and Security Council within two months, and to report to the General Assembly 37th Session which will be held under the title "Situation in the Middle East".

Syria is but to restore the Golan to the Motherland, and as the Late President Hafez Al-Assad declared, in an interview with the British ''Observer'' on March 2, 1982, : "Our battle with Israel, as it has been commonly known to everyone now, is a long one. The Golan occupation, annexation or liberation is but a step in the long battle. We don’t doubt for a moment that we will regain our rights, regardless of how long it takes, because aggression everywhere in the world is destined to retreat and fail. We are rightful in our position, and we have been attacked. We have prove and moral potentials which , if well used and managed by us, will enable us in the long run to fully regain our rights." The Syrians, according to H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's July 17th, 2000 inauguration speech, would like to achieve peace because it is our strategic choice and because the Syrian people have always been, through history, peace lovers and because we would love to restore our beloved Golan complete and because we want its people to go back to their homes, but we are not ready to give up an inch of our territory nor to achieve peace at the expense of our national sovereignty. Our brave people on the Golan will always be today and tomorrow and forever Arab Syrians because no matter how long it might take this land will always be ours and will be returned complete to us one day sooner or later. We are not prepared to pay the price of the helplessness of the Israeli governments and their inability to make decisions that push the peace process forward at the expense of our sovereignty and dignity."

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

 

 

 

The Golan National Document

The Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights issued on December19,1981, their National Document in rejection of the Israeli illegal, and void decision to annex Golan.

 Our people in the occupied Golan Heights had issued a  document stressing  their strong adherence  to their  Syrian identity. This document was  addressed to the United Nations and its institutions , the world public opinion and to  all the official and popular  establishments all over  the world.

 Undoubtedly, this document  expresses  the  real  stance of the Syrians in the occupied Golan and their rejection of  the Israeli occupation.  The Syrians in the occupied Golan have a  responsibility towards  the future generations and they are determined to resist the occupation till realizing liberation. The  document contains the following:

1– The occupied Golan Heights is an integral part of  the Syrian  Arab Republic .

2 – The Syrian Arab nationality  is  a real  and lasting characteristic which is  inherited to  us from  our parents. It is our responsibility  to give this inheritance  to our children .

 3 - Our territories  are  a sacred ownership to all our sons  of the  Syrian society. And every  Syrian citizen  tries to sell or give  up any inch of  our lands to the Israeli  occupier, is treated as  committing  a great crime and unforgivable national treason  against our society,.

4 – We do  not recognize  any decision issued  by  the Israeli occupier  to annex us to  the Zionist entity. Besides we  completely reject the Israeli government's decisions aiming at stealing   our Syrian Arab identity .

5 - We do not recognize  the legitimacy of the local  and sectarian  councils. For these  councils are appointed by the Israeli military government and they receive their  instructions from it.  And the members of these councils do not in any way  represent us.

6 – No one deserves to express Syrians' ambitions  except  those people  from all our social sectors , who reject the occupation through their  true national stances .

7 - Every citizen in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights who accepts  to replace his Syrian nationality with the  Israeli  one is considered a traitor.

8 - we decided an irreversible decision which  is :  we will dismiss all people who accept to be an Israeli citizen. And  every one  violating  the content of this document will be expelled from our religion and Syrian society . Besides, he will be deprived  of  dealing with the other people, and no one would  share him  his  joys and  sadness until he  confesses his guilt. Then he must ask  permission from the society , so as to restore his real nationality .

9 - We have adopted this document depending on our authentic  spiritual,  national and humanitarian  heritage which  encourages us to offer our  deep sincerity  to  our homeland, Syria.

 M.Wassouf