Invited To Israel:Get To Know The Druze Village Of IsFiya Haifa Carmel A Beautiful Druze Village
Isfiya A Beautiful Druze Village
If you have ever been to the Druze villages in northern Israel you will get to see the way Druze have lived in Israel for a couple of hundred years. The Druze have a reputation for honesty and hard work. Their society has undergone tremendous changes during the last twenty, thirty years with many among their youth going to universities inside Israel. In Isfiya, you find three cultures united in harmony: Christian-Jewish and Druse. The village breathes the atmosphere of hospitality of times past. More and more city people are drawn to Isfiya because of its quiet and relatively cheap cost of living.
Isfiya which is situated 5 minutes away from Haifa-South was founded during the 17th and 18th century by the Druze from the Lebanon mountains. The inhabitants made their living from olive oil, honey and grapes. Later on Egyptian families joined the community and in 2003 the village was connected to Daliat Ha Carmel a neighhbouring Druze village. In 2003 the local council was merged with nearby Daliyat al-Karmel to form Carmel City. However, the new city was dissolved in 2008 and the two settlements became local councils again.
Earlier Isfiya was built on the ruins of a Byzantine settlement. Remnants of the Crusader time have been found in the village. In 1930, remains of a 5th century Jewish town, Husifah, were excevated in Isfiya. A synagogue was found with a mosaic floor with Jewish symbols and the words "Peace upon Israel" inscribed . Also 4,500 gold coins were found dating from the Roman period.
Another historical monument is the tomb of Abu Abdallah. Abu Abdullah was one of three religious leaders chosen by Caliph Al-Hakem in 996 CE to proclaim the Druze faith. He is said to have been the first Druze religious judge (qadi). The Druze make an annual visit to this shrine on November 15.
Tourists can wonder through the narrow streets and get easily lost in the endless amount of little alleys. You can take a guide at the Bed and Breakfast where you stay who can tell you everything about the Druse community, its secret religion: an offspring of Islam, its belief in reincarnation, its cultural and religious holidays, events and lifestyle. In the village center there are several old buildings in Lebanese and Northern Israel style. Visitors can learn how olive oil is made as demonstrated on the old olive press in the historical part of the village.
The village attracts tourists and hosts many artists and art shops.
There are more than plenty of Druse restaurants to choose from in Isfiya. There you can eat the delicious Druse bread, falafel, humus, tehina, and meat dishes.
There is a weekly market in Isfiya where you can buy almost everything that is part of the Druse culture: from clothes to vegetables to spices for your cooking. Inquire at the down below B& B on which days this market is held.
Not far from Isfiya you have a Carmelite monastry where according to tradition the prophet Elijah challenged the Baal Priests
From the height of the monastry grounds you have a superb view and can see as fas as the Northern Border and the Valley of Yisreel
If you have the chance to visit the Druze villages of Isfiya and Daliat Al Carmel and want a restful sleep in the mountains , more privacy, and a good breakfast then all that is available for less money than in Haifa. Visit the Druze villages of Isfiya and Daliat Ha Carmel on road 872 South of Haifa university and you will certainly have some very good places you can go to.
Bed and Breakfast at Hanna and Sedika
Get to know one particular family who runs a bed and breakfast in Isfiya South of Haifa. The couple, their parents, children and grandchildren all live close to one another in homes on the slope of the Carmel mountain. It always was a place for guests and after years and years of hospitality the desire emerged to have a separate building for the frequent visitors and guests. Sadika, Hana's wife wanted to run a quality but affordable bed and breakfast so they could continue to host for all their long term friends, acquaintances and whoever was referred to them.
In the meantime, Hanna and Sadika's son in law started his own company that sells all kinds of salves, sports salves, salves for psoriasis, skin problems, anointing oil and much more.
The family has good connections with the other villagers and has helped others in the village whenever there was a need. During the 2006 Katusha firing from Lebanon on the North of Israel which reached as far as Haifa (some of them a little further south) they opened their home to residents of Haifa who needed refuge and shelter and lived with 30 more people on their premises.
One of their dreams is to help the homeless and elderly that live below the minimum income and need to get food and clothes in downtown Haifa Hadar. Go Visit B&B Isfiya Haifa Carmel