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Deir Mar Musa El-Habashi

14 Reviews
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Deir Mar Musa El-Habashi

14 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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rwyhuang wrote a review Sep 2019
Toronto, Canada485 contributions79 helpful votes
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Magical stay at this monastery atop a mountain overlooking the valley. The monastery is one of community, practicing the unity of religions, and with the war settling, has many visiting religious priests, sisters, etc. There are many rooms to settle, and everyone is involved in set-up of dinner and clean up. This is a place to disconnect- meditate, pray, connect with others and decompress.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Mathias S wrote a review Apr 2019
333 contributions92 helpful votes
it is a monastery dedicated to St Moses the Black of 4th and early 5th century. It was in ruins for a long time, but it was rebuilt thanks to an Italian monk and houses now Syrian-Catholic and Syrian-Orthodox monks. The monastery is located on a mountain in a desert area of Syria, between Damascus and Homs. Nothing grows there, just in the spring the desert someplace covers in temporary flowers. To get there, you have to take a mini-bus. Then, walk a lot, then walk a lot of steps, it is located between two mountains with a view between them on a desert plain. The sunrises are nice. To get a view of the monastery, you can climb the mountains behind it. The monastery ia one big, fort-like building mostly. I believe it used to be a Roman fort originally. Inside the church, there are Byzantine-like, just a bit primitive, paintings covering it completely. There's also a cave which, as it was claimed, has something to do with the 7 sleeping, but the place is obviously not right. It is possible, as I did, to spend the Easter there. Some young local Christians do. You get free food and accomodation, although you can participate in cleaning the dishes afterwards, just don't use much water doing it, as it is scarce there.
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Date of experience: May 2018
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NomadMamaTravels wrote a review Jun 2018
78 contributions13 helpful votes
This blog is one of the series of blogs that I will write about the amazing month that I spent in the wonderful country Syria in 2008. One of my most fondest memory of my stay in Syria was visiting Dier Mar Musa – Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian which was a monastic community of the Syriac Catholic Church located near the town of Nabk, approximately 80 km north of Damascus. A charismatic Italian Jesuit monk, father Paolo Dall’Oglio was both the head and the raison d’être of this singular desert community. In the early 1980s Paolo found this abandoned Byzantine monastery ruin and its remarkable 11th century frescoes. He founded this community, as a a beacon of hope, on the principles of poverty, chastity, hospitality and inter-faith dialogue. This amazing monastery has preserved many layers of history including its main chapel which was built by the eponymous Moses; a 6th century Abyssinian king who first gave up worldly pleasures to become a monk in these inhospitable hills. Wit my friend Caroline, we took a bus from Damascus and were dropped off by the road side from where we took a taxi to make the journey to the unknown. The taxi started its dusty ride into a very mountainous rocky terrain at the thirsty, desert-edge town of Nebek. We literally had no idea where we were heading to and our telephone signals also started disappearing. Eventually the taxi dropped us in a valley and the taxi driver pointed towards a long flight of pilgrim steps that snakes up the mountainside as our destination. We undertook the final 20 minutes of travel towards the tiny windows gouged out of the sheer façade of the monastery winking down on us from above. Far from my imagination of going into a small community of Catholic monks and nuns to be in determined retreat against excesses of the modern world, I found an eclectic and vibrant community of a happy group of people… A French family with 2 young children, several middle-aged academics, artists in beautiful hand knitted cardigans, young college students, hippy European backpackers and Icelandic gap-year travellers….. we were immediately welcomed into this eccentric community. One of the volunteer showed us to our rooms. We started helping the volunteers to prepare the lunch, wash the dishes and linen and immediately felt at home. At night a beautiful silence took over the place. It was a surreal experience for me..a real retreat…far far away from the hustle and bustle of modern world.. a place to reflect and to think about my future…I bought some wool from Damascus and started knitting a scarf…while also making some very important decision of my life. I also wondered a lot about the role of religion in our life…a mean for us to reach though to Allah…I wondered why Allah created many different religions…for those of us who are born into a religious family, we take it up as our nature and believe hat we have the best religion…what if I was born in another religion? All these thoughts were captured through some really memorable photos that I took in the Monastery. Every morning after waking up..we thought of leaving the monastery…but the place was so captivating and peaceful that we would change our decision soon…all in all it was an amazing experience that will always stay with me. It breaks my heart to see the Syrian war, people suffering, historical and religious places being destroyed…I pray and hope that one day the sun of peace will rise in this beautiful country and I would be one of the first travellers along with my nomad family to revisit. I will continue with my Syria blogs with more episodes to come in future…until then ..the journey continues… Facebook: Nomad mama travels instagram #nomadmamatravels
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Date of experience: July 2017
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Javad Abbasi wrote a review Jun 2017
Shiraz, Iran392 contributions254 helpful votes
I like it. I'm in love with this village and whole places in this village. Just wait to war get over and return there
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Date of experience: July 2016
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NJ26 wrote a review May 2011
London, United Kingdom513 contributions66 helpful votes
Wonderful place to spend a few nights away from it all and to make some new friends. As one of the below posters said, the place is not designed to be a hotel, so the mattresses and blankets are very worn, there are a few spiders in the cabins etc etc, but as long as you come with these issues in mind, you'll have a great experience. There are single sex arrangements with the males staying in the lower quality accommodation of course :-) The chapel in the monastery is beautiful, especially during candlelit services - adorned in hand paintings, each one with a story. You are not obligated to attend the services, but I would recommend it at least once for the experience and out of respect. The services are mainly conducted in Arabic, English and French - with a bit of German and Dutch thrown in depending on the nationalities of the other guests. Guests should be prepared to muck in as far as cooking, washing up and preparing food is concerned, especially as you'll be eating it! The food is the same most days (breakfast and dinner is a mix of breads, jams, cheeses while lunch is a hot stew) but is pretty good. During the day, it was nice to take a book up to the rocks behind the monastery and enjoy the view and think - wow, I'm actually in Syria! I did a few short hikes round there with people I met too. If you come with an open-mind and a social attitude, I guarantee you'll have a great time here.
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Date of experience: June 2010
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