years, has community
the Druze faced a
challenge like it faces today in its struggle for survival and preservation of its heritage and identity. The adversary may not be violent, but the outcome is no more assured.
challenged by Modernity.
Druze beyond two or three generations. Today with a new influx of immigrants
As to the second and more difficult question on whether we’ll make the needed adjustments to survive and thrive in today’s modern world; I believe the signs to date are very mixed and not favoring success.
the needed critical mass is enhanced; with the establishment of Druze Centers in three states and with stronger emphasis on “preserving the heritage”, the prospects of long term survival have been given a boost.
Born in the town of Shweifat, Lebanon, he graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Engineering, accepted a job with the Michigan based Sorensen Gross Construction Company & moved to the USA. Ultimately became sole owner and president of one of Michigan’s most respected
companies. Ghassan is a generous contributor to our Society and currently serves on the Board of the American Druze Foundation whose aim is to preserve the culture and religious tenets of the Druze faith.
Ghassan is a very strong benefactor for the Druze Society. He resides in Michigan with his family.
Several things however remain sorely lacking. First among them is to make available to our youth, in a user friendly format, the essence of the Druze doctrine, both on faith and social/moral conduct that can be attractive to Young Druze whether growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baakline, Lebanon or Perth, Australia. We are so justifiably proud of the Tenets of our Faith and of our Moral code of conduct; I see no reason to deprive our youth of an easy and structured access to them. Mobility, Modernity and Demographic Changes are combining to deprive the Druze of their historic immunity to dissolution into larger societies with their seductive offerings to young and old alike. Mobility, Demographic Mo der nity Changes and are combining to deprive the Druze of their historic immunity to dissolution into larger societies with their seductive offerings to young and old alike. As a small minority, in even their native lands, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine (now Israel), the survival of this proud community is threatened by marriage outside the faith, conversion and the “modern ways”. Survival in the long term will only be assured by reconciling Druze faith, culture and traditions with the “modern ways” and/or vice versa. We exist today in many societies that can act as laboratories to test this issue, Druze communities in the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Australia and many other countries can be such laboratories. The creation of the State of Israel, apart from the politics of the Druze community in the Jewish state, is another example of particular interest where some of the threatening forces we are discussing have rapidly combined to bear down on the small Palestinian Druze community. What happens to the Druze communities in these societies is most likely a precursor of what will happen to the Druze communities in our native lands in the longer term. Another missing ingredient is the absence of credible Druze institutions, whether religious, academic or social; that seriously address all these challenges, first by asking the tough questions, and then by attempting to Do our philosophy, teachings and values provide for it? Most certainly! Will we do it? This is the big question. To take up the first question on why I believe our philosophy and teachings have well equipped us to face these challenges, all I have to cite is our claim to being the “Creed of Reason”; a very well justified claim given where “Al-Akl”, to which the human mind humbly relates, is placed in the heavenly order of things. If this attribute cannot help us solve a problem as worldly as our surviving and adjusting to Modernity, Mobility and Demographic Change, it would mean that we have lost our path; a course correction answer them. There other missing are ingredients that logically follow once such discussion earnestly gets underway. Until such time that these minimum ingredients become available; I’m afraid that Modernity, Mobility and Demographic Change will continue to be a threat to Druze existence as we’ve known it.
1 – APRIL
will be in order. Another example is that a faith that decreed gender equality one thousand years before the “modern” world took up this worthy cause, should not be
Judging by our track record in the United States where I am most familiar; the prospects have not been promising. Rarely do Druze immigrants remain
S t r u g g l e f o r S u r v i v a l
By Ghassan M. Saab
AL FAJER - THE DAWN - DRUZE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
Struggle for Survival