Because the American Druze Foundation’s mission is deep and long term, its main objective is to support scholarly research and publications regarding the Druze. This is achieved through the sponsorship of academic events, in university or other settings that enhance Druze research studies. This is also achieved through the provision of grant support for the conduct of such research and publications in the format of articles and/or books.
American Druze Community Homes and Cultural Centers
The ADF funds the establishment of American Druze homes and cultural centers across the nation. In addition to their educational and social values, these cultural centers help strengthen ties within the community and enable preservation and sharing of the rich Druze values and traditions. To date, ADF has supported four of the five existing American Druze Community homes, namely Southern California, Michigan, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Our Featured Scholarly Research and Publications
Druze in America – The Early Years
The ADF created and published a book on Early American Druze Immigrants, titled “Druze in America – The Early Years. A Collection of Stories.“
Synopsis: This book is a compilation of stories about American Druze who immigrated from Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine to the United States of America in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Following a brief introduction highlighting the history, geographic distribution, faith, and values of the Druze people, as well as the conditions that led to the spike in immigration from the homelands, is a gripping presentation of individual stories of immigrants from this early period. The stories are actual recollections of the immigrants themselves, largely recorded in their own words or in the words of their descendants, of their journeys to their adopted home country, and of their new lives there. The book focuses on significant events in the voyage that brought the immigrants and their beloved ones to the New World. It covers details of life in America. The newcomers’ accounts highlight their dreams and hopes of peace, freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. They are testimonies to their struggles, worries, sacrifices, failures and successes – their own individual realities. Expressed in this work is the immigrant’s courage, perseverance, resilience, unwavering attachment to their roots, and loyalty to the land of their dreams, America. The stories published in the book represent materials that were made available prior to book publication on people of varied backgrounds, statuses, and achievements. Druze in America – The Early Years. A Collection of Stories is an unprecedented endeavor that documents the lives of our beloved fathers and forefathers, safeguarding their memories for generations to come.
This book won the 2016 Printing Industries of America (PPA) Certificate of Merit Award. You can order the book directly from Amazon.
The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid
The ADF supported the research and publication of the book “The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid”, Syracuse University Press 2006, by Anis Obeid M. D.
Synopsis: This book is intended for Druze individuals and families born and/or raised in the West, particularly the U.S., who do not have access to Druze religious writings or teachings designed for the Western mind.
The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid is also intended for individuals and groups from outside the Druze community who have a keen interest regarding the Druze in general, and their faith in particular. In either case, based on the author’s interpretation of the message of Tawhid, the aim was not to preach but to enlighten and to have an ongoing quest for spiritual and moral growth and evolution. According to Dr. Obeid, Tawhid is built on cyclical stages that spiral upwards from one level to the next and not on linearity with a defined beginning and end. It incorporates into its core concepts philosophy and mysticism, in addition to the religious traditions of monotheistic faiths.
The most recent of these cycles took place in the era of the sixth Fatimid Caliph, al-Hakim bi Amr Allah, about a thousand years ago.Starting with a brief introduction on the historical backdrop of the Islamic incubator from which the most recent cycle emerged, the book moves on to discuss the basic tenets of the faith. These are grouped under three main headings:
- First is the concept of God who, in the absolute sense (Lahut), is totally beyond human capacity to comprehend. Yet, God reveals aspects of his countenance as reflections in human image, the clarity of which depends on individual capacity.
- The second concept deals with the idea of creation whereby the first of God’s creation is the Universal Mind, which emanates from the Creator by Divine Will. As such, the Mind is a concept that preceded the emergence of space and time and is beyond historical parameters. From the Mind followed a cascade of five Cosmic Principles leading to the creation of the physical universe.
- Reincarnation is the third major tenet. Through reincarnation, the body dies and the soul continues its journey from one abode to the next, until the end of time. And from each stage, the soul carries the gist of spiritual experience to the next level in the spiral of evolution.
In addition to the basic tenets are a set of behavioral traits advocated by the faithful: truthfulness in tongue and deed; care for brothers and sisters in faith and humanity at large; excision of falsehood and idolatry; rejection of tyranny and injustice; devotion to Tawhid of God at every age and at every stage; and acceptance of and submission to God’s will. The author then deals with how Tawhid fits (or should fit) in the Islamic and global spiritual traditions and paths. He highlights the need for reforming the Druze traditions to adapt to an open and changing world. Having few rituals and no proselytizing, the Druze can become an example of inter- and intra-faith harmony and understanding.
Scholarship and Educational Funds
As part of our core mission to enable and better the Druze people through education and other mechanisms, the American Druze Foundation maintains a structured scholarship program supported by endowed educational funds, as well as variable efforts based on ad-hoc external requests. Featured here is the Muneer and Nouha Zaineldeen Educational Fund – An ADF-owned fund. The fund provides financial support to graduate Druze students.
Documentaries serve to provide objective and accurate accounts on the subject or entity examined. As such, documentaries are great tools used to support ADF’s mission and its objectives of presenting Druze people, scholars, historians, and the general public. This tool also aids in preserving Druze heritage and culture for generations to come. ADF supports such activities in its effort to fulfill these objectives.
The Documentary on Arab-Americans by Detroit Public TV, a 13-part series for Public Television entitled Arab American Stories, aims at introducing the American people to Arab-Americans. It captures and presents stories of a select few, painting a memorable picture of details of their daily life, their struggles, aspirations, and successes; and celebrating the aspects that make them unique, while highlighting their similarities with other citizens of this great society and their integration into the fabric of America. The program is directed by the nationally-renowned Alicia Sams– an American of Druze descent – and produced by Detroit Public Television; ADF is one of the program’s sponsors.ADF also sponsored the Documentary Series: Druze in America – An Oral History Project that encompasses a series of professionally produced movie documentaries aimed at recording the history of Druze in America ‘…a humble beginning to document our great history as American Druze over our first 100 years in this great country… to capture those moments before they are lost forever.’
Symposiums & Lectures
Because education is one of the most powerful gifts one could give, ADF extends regular invitations to renowned scholars and religious authorities to participate in symposia and panels/seminars held at various community events nationwide. Topics covered include history, ethnicity and identity, philosophy, anthropology, human rights, and sociology.In February 2008, ADF sponsored a symposium entitled “Druze Heritage: Roots, Development and Challenges of Modernity” at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The day-long symposium featured ten renowned Druze and non-Druze scholars from major academic institutions and the American Druze Foundation.
For more information about the symposium, visit The Library of Congress website at http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/index.php and search for Druze Heritage Symposium.
Cultural Exhibits and Events
A main focus of ADF is the preservation and propagation of the history and heritage of the Druze in America. ADF enables, supports, and promotes short- and long-term exhibits of Druze heritage and culture and events such as piano concerts, musicals, and art exhibits featuring Druze musicians, singers, and fine artists, to name a few. In particular, ADF plays a direct role in the identification, acquisition, preservation and display of historical documents and artifacts pertaining to the Druze, and an indirect role through monetary support of efforts led by other Druze organizations and entities.In 2010, the American Druze Foundation supported the Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash Exhibit featured at the 64th Annual American Druze Society Convention in Detroit, Michigan. Through this exhibit, the life, memories, and contributions of Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash, leader of the Great Syrian Revolution, were highlighted – a well-deserved memorial for a highly-respected Druze and Arab personality.The American Druze Foundation contributed valuable historical Druze documents from their historical collection to the Druze Exhibit of Heritage and Culture, “A Thousand Years of Progressive Values. A Journey into the World of the Druze.” This Exhibit was multifaceted, featuring information, artwork, documents, and artifacts on the origins of the Druze as a people; numbers and geographical distribution of Druze in the world; history of the Druze; Druze pillars and values; and immigration to America.