Hurfish is a city in Northern Israel close to the Lebanese boarder ,Lebanon can be easily seen from a high point of the city.
The boarder is just beyond the hills.
Most of the population is from Druze religion they are loyal to the country they live in ,speak Arabic and Hebrew ,In 2012, there were 130,600 Druze living in the country. In 1957, the Israeli government designated the Druze a distinct ethnic community at the request of its communal leaders. The Druze are Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Members of the community have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service. They live mainly in the north of the country.
We were meet by Sheik Jamal and Farag that took the time to show us the around while the main thing at this time of the year was harvesting olives and producing fresh good olive oil.
The hospitality of the Druze people is very known all over the country ,while we were harvesting the Druze women prepared strong coffee and sweet cookies ,but did not allow us to take their pictures and stayed in the background as a sign of modesty .
After harvesting for an whole hour we were served on the ground near the olive trees in the tradition way this great strong coffee and the delicious cookies.
Jamal was very proud to show us the old Olive Grove where some olive trees were 400-600 years old….
The next step was visiting the place where olives are cleaned ,crashed and olive oil is produced.
Ones that own olive groves bring their olives after harvest to the place and pay for the process only, others that have no groves come to buy ready olive oil from the place,the oil here is pure and much better than the one sold in bottles in the supermarkets.
Once the olives were crushed with this instrument but today it is a total different story.
Olives are loaded into the pan,they travel up the convert,get washed,crushed,and pure oil is coming out from the other end.
We bought some fresh tasty olive oil and continued to the Sheik's house for some more refreshments that included Druze thin pita with white cheese and olive oil .This time we also meet his son and his wife from a distance.
Here we said thanks and goodbye to the Sheik Jamal and took a tour of this beautiful city nestled in the North Region Mountains.
Our first stop was at the one of the spirit Druze leader’s shrine,located on the top of the mountain facing the Lebanese boarder.
To enter the place we had to be dressed modestly and barefooted.
Then we strolled through the narrow clean alleys in the oldest part of the city watching with concern how the cars drive through them sometimes folding the the side mirrors to be able to pass, some of the alleys allow 2 way traffic……
This fantastic day ended at Merav’s house where we had more great food,the whole event was planned by her and she made sure we were meet and treated right all the way….THANK you Merav,Jamal and Farag for this experience, it sure looks like a beginning of a life time friendship.