Wikipedia: Ma'loula or Maaloula (Arabic: معلولا), is a village in the Rif Dimashq Governorate in Syria. The town is located 56 km to the northeast of Damascus, and built into the rugged mountainside, at an altitude of more than 1500 meters. It is known as the last surviving place where Western Aramaic (Aramaic of Jesus) is still spoken. As of 2005, the town has a population of 2,000. However, during summer, it increases to about 6000, due to people coming from Damascus for vacations. Half a century ago, 15,000 people lived in Maalula. Religiously, the population consists of both Christians (mainly Melkite Greek Catholic) and Muslims. For the Muslim inhabitants, the legacy is all the more remarkable given that they were not Arabized, unlike most other Syrians who like them were Islamized over the centuries but also adopted Arabic and shifted to an "Arab" ethnic identity.