By Dida Raouda
Since the beginning of time people have used religion to help guide them through life. There are many different religions out there with different religious paths that all eventually lead up to the same end result, which is a higher power that we look up to (in most cases). Some religions are more common than others and are very well established around the world such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In 1017 the Druze faith branched off the Islamic faith and was established. (Wikipedia, 2014) The Druze faith is a relatively small Middle Eastern religious sect characterized by its close-knit identity and distinctive faith. They are a monotheistic religious and social community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan and account for approximately 2,000,000 of the world’s population. (Wikipedia, 2014) The Druze beliefs incorporate elements from Abrahamic religions as well as Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism and other philosophies creating a distinct theology known to highlight the role of the mind and truthfulness. (Britannica, 2014)
Conversion into this religion is not permitted, so due to the smaller extent of the people in this faith it is important that they have a strong support system for one another in order to maintain strength and posterity. One of the many things the Druze do for their community is support and fundraise for an orphanage with has now become a non – profit Druze organization with a social philanthropic institution for public services called Beit Al – Yateem.
This facility was established by Arif Al – Nakadi who had a great deal of passion for assisting those in need. With little support from the Lebanese social welfare service at first, Mr. Nakadi received the majority of the funds as a loan from the bank, and collateral of his personal properties. (Druze, 2014)
This project was financially very unsteady for Mr. Nakadi, but over the past thirty years the Druze Orphanage with the assistance of private and corporate donors the Orphanage now owns the main building along with the new administration and schooling buildings. The orphanage provides boys and girls who have no family or come from broken homes with housing, nourishment, clothing and schooling. The Orphanage now owns seven buildings in which 900 children are cared for. (Druze, 2014)
The Druze community is very supportive of their own people and has provided much assistance in maintaining the foundation for the Orphanage. I am of Druze faith and we host many events at our community center along with many Druze people in different cities or communities. This Orphanage has always been a focus of ours along with many other Druze foundations. During our events much of our proceeds are donated to the Orphanage, along with clothing drives which take place in hopes to provide these children with bright futures and the tools for great opportunities. (Druze, 2014) This summer I had the opportunity to visit this Orphanage with my family and it was such a blessing to see how strong of a community and belief system we have in order to work together and give these children the opportunities and care they have, otherwise who knows where they could have ended up based on their circumstances.
Druze Orphanage. (2014). Retrieved September 19, 2014, from:
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2014).Druze. Retrieved September 19, 2014, from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/172195/Druze
Wikipedia. (2014). Druze. Retrieved September 19, 2014, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druze