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July 29th, 2009
Contestant No. 2
Slideshow: Who Are the Druze?

The Druze are a tight-knit social and religious community of mostly Arab descent with an estimated one million members worldwide. Most Druze live in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, and about 40,000 live in the United States. They do not allow conversion to their religion, and only the child of a Druze mother and a Druze father is considered Druze.

Click on the photos below to learn more about the Druze faith, culture and history.

  • Tali Shoaga

    after view of wide Angle of Druze young woman’s dream, I love these people for their culture and beleives,because I am a muslim and beliver May Alah bless them.

  • ARTIST SUZANNE

    Ben,I love these photos and the information with them. Most of us know nothing or so very little about the Druze. You are doing us a great service. Thank you for coming to our art reception and bringing Bernadette Wulf. You are a very special person to me.
    Love,
    Suzanne

  • Thomas

    Sharia law is the most oppressive and unconscionable system of social control in the world today and people who live under its precepts are the most racist and elitist people with no sense of acceptance of others who are different. These Druze people, of whom many attend classes with me the University of Chicago, are among the most elitist of tall Sharia followers and they should not be celebrated but censured.

  • PROUD TO BE DRUZE

    BANI MAROF THE BEST PEOPLE I BLESS AL THE DRUZ OVER THE WORID I AM FROM THE GALIL IN PALSTINE FROM THE CITY SAHFARAM /

  • WAEL

    Hi all
    Just i want 2 say that , The Druze are the best.
    Thanks for the photos.

  • Adele

    Dear Thomas,

    Aren’t we taught to accept others as they are? If you believe that the Druze are one of the most strict and old-fashioned religions, then yes they are. But it works. Some religions have been known to lose control. The Druze have a good reputaion and are very conservative. But if you think that a religion should be censured, aren’t you being a non-accepting person of another religion? We all accept others religions, and people. I for example, have many friends of all races, hispanic, african american, arabs,and europeans. i love them all so dearly, and all of them can verify that I as a person, am not defined by my religion, but by me. We do not catogorize people by their religions, do we? Do we ONLY have Muslim friends, or Christian friends. I guess not. Just from YOUR experience you shouldn’t make a conclusion based on such a small quantity of people, that our religion is one that should not be celebrated. I respect yours, you should repect mine! thank you! <3
    Adele

  • NADA

    THOMAS,

    I agree, it is a shame that the University of Chicago is admitting such ignorant people into such a fantastic University…….
    having said that, I’ll make it clear so that there is no confusion, I am referring to YOU.

    I hope in the future, the University of Chicago will use more discretion when admitting.

    Thanks! :)

  • Rami

    Wow Thomas, I really appreciate your candor… it’s refreshing to know that the frustration in your tone can only be attributed by a level of inadequacy, driving you to comment on a PBS website… entertain me for a moment?

    Could it be that at the root of your post are scorned feelings you had developed over one of those classmates? Perhaps you fell for someone who happened to be druze, and she (along with her peers) were unimpressed by your advances. Left wanting more and seeking validation, you wrote off the culture and all of those who are in it. But honestly, who could blame her? Anyone that name drops their alma mater more than likely has self-esteem issues that seem to be mitigated through smear tactics, so I ask you, how long has this behavior gone unchecked?

    Normally, I wouldn’t celebrate such deviance but I find it comical in this instance. But unlike you, I wouldn’t want your retort censured. You’re free to speak your mind, but please understand this… despite your claim of being a student at a reputable academic institution, does not make the sound bytes of knowledge that you have acquired (from whatever feeble sources you’re referencing), accurate. Cheers

  • Faissal

    The Druze religion is one of the few that does not recruit new members, therefore has no adganda. In the Levant and all over the world they are law abiding and if left alone they leave alone. If attacked they fiercely react. We all should be respectful of others religions and at the end it is about how nobly you lived your life and what you leave for humanity.

  • http://phpwebmaster.info drupal install

    Hi, really enjoyed this post! Well written.

  • Emaan

    I don’t understand why both your parents must be Druze in order for you to be considered a Druze. Isn’t this supposed to be about God, and your relationship to Him? In the context of striving to have a divine relationship it doesn’t matter who or what your parents are or were – does it? This seems more racial or cultural rather than religious. I am sorely disappointed.

  • nas

    hi, many may find it racial if they comprehend the idea of never accepting outsiders in this religion. any way this privacy adds comfort to the druze because they aren’t supposed to be missionaries at this time. they keep scilent enough about the religion and interfere with others normally in all other aspects of life.

    let us be more logical, to be a religious cristian for example means that you differ quite a lot from a moslem. if two of different religions get married they should naturally keep the religion believes aside to complete their life whether they confess about this or not, they will naturally do this. when i hear lectures that talk about true christianity and how to be a true christian believer, as you should believe in christ as God, i feel for a moment that i’m for sure going to go to hell!! because i’m not a christian. so the point is in reality, religions differ in nature. and to be a believer, you should deal with your religious mattres the way you like as long as it does’t hurt others.

    whether your religion is a secret one or not, you are different than the other. in all we are all God’s cerations and we’re here to serve his will for the sake of a better life beside him and in his heaven. all we have to do is work on our souls, nourish them with the good thoughts, and watch the soul grow as we plant good deeds. and after that be happy because we have done the greatest job on earth which is rescuing our self.

  • Slayman Shehayeb

    i am so moved by these posts, i have few things to say: i, being one of the durze community, want to insist that our culture is no more closed; unlike what dear thomas said, i can’t find a relation between how a man in the university can be ignorant, elitist and don’t accept others as dear thomas claims druze people are. i with all the power inside me proud to be a member of this culture. i respect all other relegions and believe with no difference between all man kind and this is what our masters teached us. we are not just a relegion we are a hub-like machine that is connected to all relegions and people races.
    thank you all

  • Dr. Raymond H. Hamden

    The Druze are the Muwahhidoun (Monotheists) with great historical ties to many other people of the planet Earth varified by DNA uniqueness. Read the valid and reliable resources of this flexible and adaptable culture. Remember, tolerance is a form of of arrogance; acceptance is a mature understanding that ALL of GOD’s creation is significant and part of the living balance. This, I learned from my immigrant Lebanese parents who proudly joined the citizenship of the United States of America with total regards for membership in the human race on planet Earth …

  • adel

    The brain occupied the head of the body, and the AL-AKEL inspires and control the brain. Since the DRUZE do understand what is AL-AKEL then they are above the brain. Nature says that humans do refuse what they do not understand, and the reason for not understanding is related heavily to ( IGNORANCE ). Therefore, DRUZES are not responsible for this human ignorance. As one philosopher was asked ” why don’t you write what people understand, he replied why not people understand what I write.) To me you can’t bring a student from the elementary level and ask him to attend and understand fourth year college.

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