ISRAEL 2018: He was selling home grown pickled olives with the seeds already removed.
The small store was in what Americans would call a strip mall. However, it was nothing like a regular strip mall and instead was a long 12 foot wide by 60 foot metal building, gravel parking lot filled with customers and vendors, each selling their local produce.
It is hard to tell a true salesman “No.”
Like many of the vendors, this salesmen had a charismatic attitude and all but insisted you try a sample of his products.
The next step included bargaining for the right price, something that many, I not all vendors expect and invite. I think many enjoy that aspect of Israel. Plus, the customer feels as if they are leaving with a deal.
The location of the market was Yaafuri Valley, named after Nabi Yaafuri who was considered to be a Druze holy prophet. The man photographed is wearing modern traditional Duze clothing. Yaafuri was said to be a “Man of elevated moral standards” and was considered to be the “First Islamic Socialist.”
Druze farmers in the valley grow everything from apples to cherries, most using century old techniques. The area is of high elevation which apparently helps to give a righteous crop.
More About the Druze in Israel
In Israel, the Druze (الدروز الإسرائيليون ) are a minority. Agriculture is huge for the Druze, which explains why the majority live a humble lifestyle in more rural settings as opposed to the faster paced cities of Israel.
While the Druze religion derived from Ismaili Islam, they are not usually referred to as being Muslim. At the same time, they are recognized by the government and do serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Prior to the Druze attaining a status of sorts, they were discriminated against by the judicial system. In 1957, the Israeli Government approved an ethnic community for the followers of Druze. Golan Heights was one of the approved areas.
It wasn't until 1981 that the residents of Golan Heights worked with the government to establish the Golan Heights Law. The Israeli government then offered the Druze the right to become citizens of Israel. Most of those who follow Druze refused the offer and consider themselves to be Syrians, according to a 2006 article in “The Washington Post,” titled “Golan Heights Land, Lifestyle Lure Settlers.”
Younger Druze applied for Israeli Citizenship after the 2012-2012 Syrian Civil War. By 2017, about 5,500 Druze out of 26,000 in the Golan Heights area are now citizens of Israel, according to the Haaretz newspaper article, “This Ethnic Minority in Israel Still Swears Allegiance to Syria. But for Many Young People That's Changing (Oct. 2, 2017).”
This photo was shot in the area of a large crater made lake in Northeastern Golan Heights near Mount Herman. In Hebrew it is called “Brekhat Ram,” meaning high pool. Geologist believe the lake was formed inside an extinct volcano.
Golan Heights consists of 690 square miles in size and is bordered by the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley along with Mount Herman.