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Isfiya

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Isfiya is a Druze village that is located on Mount Carmel. In 2003, the local council merged with the nearby village of Daliyat el-Carmel to form the town of Carmel but this town dissolved in 2008 and the villages returned to their independent statuses. Isfiya was built on the ruins of a Byzantine settlement and Crusader remnants have been found in the village. In 1930, remains of a fifth-century Jewish town, Husifah, were discovered in the village, including a synagogue with a mosaic floor and the inscription, "Peace upon Israel." The modern village was founded in the early eighteenth century with inhabitants making their living from olive oil, honey and grapes production. The tomb of Abu Abdallah is located in Isfiya- he was one of the three religious leaders who was chosen by Caliph al-Hakem in 996 CE to proclaim the Druze faith. He was also the first Druze religious judge and an annual visit to his shrine is made by Druze pilgrims on November 15. The village has opened itself to tourists and the warm hospitality that the Druze are known for is highly apparent to those visiting. Visitors can walk through the streets alone but a guide is recommended in order to gain a true appreciation of the richness of the community history. It is also possible to lodge in an authentic Druze home or guesthouse. There one can enjoy traditional Druze foods, listen to stories and watch special performances of traditional music, song and dance. The western entrance to Isfiya also has a beautiful promenade with a spectacular view. Isfiya is a good departure point for nature walks in the nearby Carmel Mountains. Where: Five minutes away from Haifa-South

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