The largest of Golan’s four Druze towns, Majdal Shams is the commercial and cultural focal point of the area's Druze community. Druze flags (with five horizontal stripes) flutter in the wind, and you often see men with elaborate moustaches sporting traditional Druze attire, including a black shirwal (baggy trousers) and a white fez. That said, the town is considerably less conservative than many Druze villages in the area: young people dress like their secular Israeli counterparts, and alcohol is available in several pubs.
In the centre of town, in the middle of a traffic circle, stands a heroic equestrian statue of Sultan Pasha Al Atrash, Druze hero of the 1925 uprising against French colonial rule in Syria.
Higher education is hugely important here. Before civil war engulfed Syria, some 400 Golan Druze studied at Syrian universities. Now most young locals choose to pursue university studies in either Israel or Germany.