|Country||Golan Heights, (Internationally recognized as Syrian territory occupied by Israel)|
|Israeli District||North District|
|Syrian Governorate||Quneitra Governorate|
|Syrian District||Quneitra District|
|Elevation||1,130 m (3,710 ft)|
Majdal Shams (Arabic: مجدل شمس.; Hebrew: מַגְ'דַל שַׁמְס) is a Druze village in the northern part of the Golan Heights, in the southern foothills of Mt. Hermon. Since the June 1967 Six-Day War, the village has been controlled by Israel, first under martial law, but since 1981 under Israeli civil law, and incorporated into the Israeli system of local councils. Majdal Shams is the largest of the four Druze villages in the Golan.
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of September 2005 Majdal Shams's population was 8,800. The population growth rate is 2.5%. The ratio between men and women is 951 women for every 1,000 men. The village is politically and spiritually governed by the Abu-Saleh and Safadi families.
The inhabitants of Majdal Shams are considered Syrian citizens by the Syrian authorities. Since 1981 they have also been considered permanent residents of Israel. While they are entitled to full Israeli citizenship, only 10 percent of the Golan Druze have opted to become Israeli citizens. Those who apply for Israeli citizenship are entitled to vote, run for Knesset and receive an Israeli passport. For foreign travel, non-citizens are issued a laissez passer by the Israeli authorities. As Israel does not recognize their Syrian citizenship, they are defined in Israeli records as "residents of the Golan Heights." Residents of Majdal Shams are not drafted by the Israel Defense Forces.
As permanent residents, Majdal Shams inhabitants are free to work and study in Israel and are entitled to state services such Kupat Holim health insurance. They are also free to move at will and live anywhere they choose in Israel.
Nevertheless, many have kept up their contacts with Syria and travel there to visit family or study. Syrian universities are open to them free of charge.
The village is surrounded by apple and cherry orchards. During winter, villagers also sell or hire ski equipment to visitors of the Hermon ski resort.
One kilometer east of the town center is Shouting Hill, where residents used to line up with bullhorns to make small-talk with relatives on the Syrian controlled side before the advent of cellphones.
Cultural references 
Majdal Shams was the village featured in the award-winning film, The Syrian Bride (2004).
- "Golan Druze celebrate across barbed wire". BBC News. April 18, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "هوية الجولان من خلال أسماء قراه وبلداته" (in Arabic). The Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Druze history and culture
- In the Golan Heights, Anxious Eyes Look East
- Religious Freedoms: Druze
Further reading 
- Sakr Abu Fakhr (Autumn, 2000). "Voices from the Golan". Journal of Palestine Studies 29 (4): 5–36. doi:10.1525/jps.2000.29.4.02p00787.
- Bashar Tarabieh (May – Aug., 1995). "Education, Control and Resistance in the Golan Heights". Middle East Report (194/195, Odds against Peace): 43–47.
- Shmuel Shamai (1990). "Critical Sociology of Education Theory in Practice: The Druze Education in the Golan". British Journal of Sociology of Education 11 (4): 449–463. doi:10.1080/0142569900110406.
- R. Scott Kennedy (Winter, 1984). "The Druze of the Golan: A Case of Non-Violent Resistance". Journal of Palestine Studies 13 (2): 48–6. doi:10.1525/jps.1984.13.2.00p0005b.