The monastery at Deir Mar Musa dates back about fifteen-hundred years, to 586 AD. In the 19th century, the place was abandoned, and it stayed this way until its refoundation in 1982 by Fr. Paolo.
The monastery receives so many visitors now that a new monastery is under construction, the other side of the river gorge. Parts of it are already inhabited by the community there, but there is still work to be done.
Due to its location, several hundred metres up from the road, the materials are transferred up to the monastery by a sort of téléphérique. During my time there, I spent a morning with one of the workers, shifting a couple of tons of rocks to be transported up to the new monastery. A bit of manual labour felt good.