History of The Druze In America
El - bakaurat ed-dirziyat
Branches of the El Bakaurat Ed Dirziyat
The Michigan Youth Club El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat 1943 to 1946
The First Mihrajan of the Al Bayan 1947
History of the Druze in America 1948 to 1961
History of the Druze in America 1962 to 1970
History of the Druze in America 1971 to 1974
History of the Druze in America 1975 to 1980
History of the Druze in America 1981 to 1985
History of the Druze in America 1986 to 1990
History of the Druze in America 1991 to 1994
History of the Druze in America 1995
History of the Druze in America 1996
History of the Druze in America 1997
History of the Druze in America 1998
History of the Druze in America 1999
History of the Druze in America 2000-2006
The term history has been applied to two somewhat different concepts. On one hand, it designates the sum total of human activities, and on the other, history is the record of the events rather than the events themselves. The object is to know about everything including the thought process, hope, feelings, and the actions of the community. Whatever success daring or indefatigable individuals may achieve, the fact remains that the history of the community must be more and more a cooperative work. The understanding of the vital facts, which contributes to the growing spirit, mutual tolerance, appreciation, and sustaining the values and culture of the community, is the essence of the whole endeavor. It is but human that the truth gets replaced by truth; nevertheless, the attempt should be made to approach deep truth by defining undercurrents, events and their projections.
The inflow of the Druze immigrants increased in the beginning of the 20th century. America was the melting pot of various cultures and traditions. It was essential for the Druze to sustain their identity, culture and faith. The ingenuity of the Druze in this respect has been the driving force for their survival and their history in America. Therefore, early Druze settlers established a system and an organization which was designed to protect the Druze identity, culture, faith as well to serve the Druze brethren in the highest traditions of “Bani Marouf.” These concepts and undercurrents caused the creation of the first Druze organization in America in 1908.
This organization extended itself in different states where Druze habitats were established. The movement helped make a family of the Druze families in America and brought them closer to each other. Within their meager means, they served the cause of the community and the faith. It was in 1947 when the American born Druze were encouraged to take over the leadership of the Druze community in America. They expanded the concept, system and organization which could not only sustain the Druze identity, culture and faith, but also provide grounds for development and extension of the same on national level.
The results of such movement and encouragement to the American born Druze created a tradition of a yearly convention. An informal but strong organization which adopted the name and style “American Druze Society” was thus born. In 1962, the American Druze Society could work out a Constitution and Bylaws which provided the foundation for further development of the organizational structure of the Druze community in America.
On the 25th convention (Silver jubilee) in 1971, a thought process was initiated where the need for a formally incorporated organization with a tax exempt status could be realized with the cooperation and support of the community as a whole. Thus, the Druze activities which started on a national level in 1947, provided a formal organizational structure in terms of constitution and bylaws in 1962, finally crystallized as an incorporated body under the name and style the “American Druze Society.” The tax exemption was obtained in 1978.
The history of the Druze community and its organizations could be perhaps understood better by dividing it in three periods. The first period is from the early Druze immigrants to 1946 where the community established and sustained itself. The second period is from the 1947 to 1970, where the community broadened its base and moved towards developing and formalizing organizational infrastructure along with yearly conventions. The third and the final phase is from the 25th convention in 1971 to the present day which led to the incorporation of the American Druze Society and expansion of the activities of the Druze community. The material has been taken from authenticated written sources. It was discovered that some information was missing as there were no records available for some years. It shall
be our endeavor to trace all published records and improve the articulation of the history of the American Druze Society, and its organizations.
The role of the annual American Druze Society Conventions was known by one and all - bringing together the younger members of our people so that they become better acquainted and join forces in working towards becoming better citizens of our great United States. This role has never been questioned!