1 – APRIL
By Lina Shehayeb
Lebanese American who lived & worked twenty years in New York City, 12 years on Wall St. Lina has always been a proactive person & through the years joined many organizations & volunteered in others. Moved back to Lebanon in 2002 where she continues working on making a positive change within the Lebanese and Druze com- munity. Founder of the "Sponsor Child" program & the president elect of the Rotary Club of Aley (2008-2009). Has been a guest speaker on many occasions & was interviewed several times & appeared on many TV stations such as "Al Hurra" & "Future TV". Mother of Malek (Senior at Bard College)and Tamer Rasamny (High school).
itself in secrecy and be reluctant in accepting more people within the ranks of its believers. I did encounter some resistance from various conservative Druze while writing this article, I decided to go ahead with what I had set-up to write. This article is just a personal opinion, coming from the personal freedom of thinking & expression that I believe in so much, and the knowledge that no harm will be done since I myself am a true believer & defender of our faith & have always been. Druze into its religion, neither by marriage nor by conversion. In the United States where religion is viewed as a choice and a birth certificate does not include religious registration it is easier to integrate children from mixed marriages. However even the uncontested Druze children for whom both parents are Druze, are left in the dark about their religion and remain ignorant of the faith and its teachings because of the secrecy that it is shrouded with. Since the books of Wisdom “Al Hekmeh” are not allowed to most Druze, we are only left with books written about the Druze. These books that are sold in bookstores do shed a light mostly on our history and overall believes but often fail to portray While The only difference is that all the others, from the Sufis to even the Alawis that were once very strict about such matters, reopened the door to welcome whomever wanted sincerely to accept their faith. Although these fears leading to secrecy and the intense protection of religious beliefs were justified at the time, in view of the terrible and bloody oppression that was inflicted on the Druze due to the refusal of other religions to accept them and their teachings, this is certainly no longer the case in the 21st century. The world is getting closer and closer When will we be ready to open up and talk about "Al Tawhid" to our own & to others? Nadwa is a pleasant and energetic mother of three teen-age daughters. Although her father and husband are both Druze and she has lived and worked among Druze families all her life, Nadwa and her two daughters are not accepted into the Druze faith and will never be regarded as Druze. Nadwa is one of many individuals that were forced out of their spiritual choice of the Druze faith and not given their biological rights to claim their ancestors' faith. together and all human beings are claiming their rights for equality regardless of color, religion or nationality. the faith in a clear and sincere way. In this century where the internet has invaded every home and every school, and where all religions have taken pride in promoting and glorifying their beliefs, we the Druze find ourselves forbidden to learn or to talk about one of the most important, truthful and sincere faiths, leaving room only for ignorance and speculation to settle in. The "Tawhid" faith believes in all monotheistic religions going back as early Akhenaton as the Egyptian pharaoh, going through the Greek philosophers (especially Socrates and Plato), moving on to proclaim Abraham, Jeremiah, Daniel and many other Jewish prophets as their own, also believing in Jesus Christ and the Christian saints and finally accepting the Koran and its claim: “There is no God but God and How could have such an open minded, avant-garde and spiritual religion stay so closed in on itself when other sects or religious movements have decided to accept and adapt to the new times. The Tawhid was not the only offshoot faith from Islam that decided over 600 years ago to shroud Like thousands of people that are the fruit of a mixed marriage or have entered a mixed marriage they are shunned and rejected from a faith and a society, one that will not accept anyone who is not a (Continued on page 12)
“IN A DAY, WHEN YOU DON’T COME ACROSS ANY PROBLE YOU ARE TRAVELING IN A WRONG
MS – YOU CAN BE SURE THAT PATH”