Embarking on a journey to the governorate of Al Qunietra in the Golan Heights region of southern Syria promises a unique experience filled with historical significance and breathtaking landscapes. Al Qunietra shares borders with the governorates of Dar’a and Rural Damascus, as well as Lebanon, Jordan, and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The governorate is divided into two districts: Al Quneitra and Al-Fiq.
The city of Al Qunietra, once a bustling urban center, suffered extensive damage during the war in 1973 and remains abandoned to this day. Following its destruction by Israel in 1974, the city was included within the UN-patrolled buffer zone as outlined in United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 and the Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria. The ruins of Al Qunietra now stand as a poignant symbol of the devastating impact of the conflict.
During your visit to Al Qunietra starting from Damascus, you will have the opportunity to explore the remnants of the old town, witnessing the lingering traces of its tragic past. The debris of the hospital and the damaged old church serve as sombre reminders of the city’s former vitality. As you wander through the deserted streets, you can reflect on the human stories that once unfolded here and the resilience of the people who called Al Qunietra home.
Additionally, your exploration will take you to the Israeli-controlled side of the border, where you can catch a glimpse of the neighbouring Israeli city of Majdal Shams. From a nearby hill, you will be treated to a panoramic view that reveals the stark contrast between the war-ravaged Al Qunietra and the bustling Israeli city. On the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, flags and various inscriptions may still be visible, serving as vivid reminders of the ongoing geopolitical complexities in the region.
As you immerse yourself in this journey, you will witness first-hand the aftermath of conflict and the profound impact it has on communities and landscapes. The visit to Al Qunietra and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights offers a unique perspective on the complexities of the region and serves as a reminder of the importance of peace and understanding in overcoming the challenges faced by these territories.