The journey of the Druze in America is one filled with pride, hard work, and boundless dreams. In the late 1800’s, with the vast immigrant waves that came to America seeking new life and freedom, also emerged the Druze from the Levant or the East Mediterranean region with aspiring – hope, to forge new paths.
During this era, adverse conditions in their motherland pushed the Druze to leave their homestead in search of a better life, one they found in the heart of America, the land of the free, the home of the brave. Through Ellis Island, many of the immigrants came and settled across the United States with a large concentration in Michigan; Seattle, Washington; and the North East. They were enduring spirits, hardworking individuals, loyal countrymen, and proud patriots.
These newcomers worked diligently to afford a meaningful existence, not one lived for just themselves but one that would be alive for their children, grandchildren, and the American Druze community at large. As their numbers grew, so too did the need to connect with each other and preserve values and traditions they brought to this welcoming American homeland. In February 1908, in Seattle, Washington, a group of dedicated pioneers founded the El-Bakaurat El-Dirziyat, the first Druze fraternal social organization in the U.S. After the adoption of a constitution and bylaws, this organization, often referred to as the Bakourah, was incorporated in 1911.
The early Druze immigrants continually strive to become a large part of the great cultural mosaic that makes up the United States. As they assimilated into the new world, families brought families, friends brought friends; and, soon the Druze became a vital part of the American melting pot, one that is marked with loyalty, honor, service, and fellowship.
Many jobs were assumed and several contributions to American homeland were made in business, art, academia, public service, armed forces and more. These early Druze American immigrants, raised with core values of integrity and trustworthiness, employed their hearts and souls into dutiful tasks. They thrived and succeeded indeed.
As the Druze population continued mounting, so too did their desire and need to assimilate and celebrate, giving birth to the American Druze Society in 1946. Proudly and vibrantly, the society celebrates Druze fellowship through conventions, social gatherings, and networking events for the youth and professionals. Yearly, the American Druze Society conventions unite American and international Druze families in order to rejoice and revel in family and togetherness.
In 1989, a visionary and dedicated group of American Druze pioneers incorporated the American Druze Foundation. They saw what was not; they dreamt of what could be; and, their actions bore the fruit of their labor, forging a strong presence for the American Druze in the United States of America.
Today, the American Druze Foundation (ADF) is dedicated to the study, preservation, and enhancement of the Druze cultural heritage and the advancement of the understanding of the Druze in the American community. The foundation’s realized dream of placing the Druze in the best halls of American academia through partnership with established universities is just the beginning.