The Michigan Youth Club 1943 -1946
By Julie Makarem
It is pertinent to mention here that the concerned members of the El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat throughout the ten branches in the United States became aware that this society would soon be dormant, if not extinct, in the years to come. This created a new trend of interest, which persisted for several years to follow. It was discussed at every opportune occasion.
At no time was there a large membership of young Druze in any of the ten branches of the El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat because the Bylaws of the El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat required that communications be in the Arabic language. Nafe Katter from Branch #2 El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat called a General Meeting for all the members of that branch to vote on an amendment to the Bylaws changing the Arabic language to English. He had furnished the officers with a list of names of 45 young intelligent and eager American Druze boys and girls from the Michigan area who wanted to be together in a club. However, the resolution to change the Bylaws that Uncle Nafe had made to change the Arabic language to English was defeated.
Nafe Katter, Sr., however, would not give up trying to get the youth into the Organization,. Also, some of the youth were equally determined to be a part of the El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat , so the defeated resolution did not deter the youth from trying something new. With the efforts of those determined youth, as well as those of Uncle Nafe Katter, a new organization was formed. They called it THE MICHIGAN YOUTH CLUB of El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat.
Eddie Igram, from Flint, Michigan, chaired the first meeting of the El-Bakaurat Ed-Dirziyat Youth Club which was held in the Durant Hotel in Flint. This was in 1943. The Michigan Youth Club drew up Bylaws and formed their own organization with English as the official language. However this was not the case throughout the rest of the country. The Druzes were greatly alarmed because there was no fellowship among the Druze youth, so they began to concern themselves with organizing a club for all the Druzes to become involved. This concern finally reached reality in the year 1946. The Druze then and before had not had an opportunity nor occasion to meet in large groups other than at weddings and funerals. The year 1946 gave them both, as well as a grand Convention that, to the date of this writing, has gone on for sixty years (2006).