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Final note

 

This site contains information which will definitely benefit someone who is interested in the religious and ethnic Druze minority. The choice of subjects is the result of field research conducted in Syria. In mountainous regions of the cities of Suwayda and Idlib, as well as at the foot of Jabal al-Sheikh, I noticed visible differences in the physiognomy of the Druze and Arabs which stimulated my curiosity about the origins of the former. The Druze religion remained a mystery to me, although I became interested in the person of the Fatimid Caliph, al-Hakim, who was referred to as a man in whom God dwelt, or even as God himself, and who is the basis of the Druze faith.

 

The Druze are a minority fully assimilated in the Syrian society, in spite of the fact that they are governed by an internal code of civil law. The text edited by Sheikh al-Akl proves that the Druze are subject to different laws than Muslims in terms of family relationships and inheritance.

 

During the field research, I was also able me to photograph the original Druze outfit and the places where they reside. It is impossible to overlook the members of the Druze minority in Syria, even though they live in mountainous regions and surround their religion by an aura of mystery. Their significant political activity allowed the Druze to create a strong lobby which upholds their religious and economic independence.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Yahja ibn Said al-Antaki. 1909. Tarih. Paris-Beyrouth. Tłumaczenie Kratchkovski, Vasiliev. 1924-1932. Patrologia Orientalis, Tom XXIII. Paris.

 

Al-Makrizi. 1971. Ittiaz al-Hunafa. Le Caire

 

Aronson, Geoffrey. 1995. “Colonisation du Golan, état des lieu”. Revue d`Études Palestiniennes nr 4, Paris.

 

Bianquis, T. “Al-Hakim bi amr Allah ou la folie de l`unité chez un souverain fatimid”. Les Africains, T XI. Paris.

 

Bourgey, A. 1990. “Les minorités et l`organisation de l`espace de l`Orient arabe”. Cahiers de la Méditerrranée, n 41,T1.Paris.

 

Bouron, N. 1930. Les Druzes. Paris

 

Canard, M. 1965. “al-Hakim bi amr Allah”. Encyclopedie de l`Islam. Paris.

 

Carbillet, C. 1929. Au Djebel Druzes, choses vues et vécues. Paris.

 

Casanova, P. 1893. Les derniers Fatimides. Paris.

De Smet, D. 1986. “Le concept de la gayba chez les druzes, à la lumiere de la Risala al-ghayba de Hamza b. Ali”. Orientalia Loveniensia Periodica nr 17. Belgia.

 

De Sacy, S. 1838. Exposé de la religion des Druzes tiré des Livres Religieux de cette secte. Paris.

 

De Nerval, G. 1927. Voyage en Orient. Paris.

 

Dupont, Mari.1994. Les Druzes.Paris.

 

Guys, H. 1979. La nation Druze Amsterdam.

 

Hichi, S. H. 1973. La communoté druze: son orgine et son histoire. Beyrouth.

 

Levis, B. 1965. “Durūz” . Encyclopedie de l`Islam. Paris.

 

Perillier, L. 1986. Les Druzes. Paris.

 

Planhol, X. 1997. Minorité en islam. Paris.

 

Schaebler, B. 1996. “State Power and the Druzes: Integration and the Struggle for Social Control (1838-1949)”. Berliner Islamstudien.

 

Tayseer, M. 1993. “La vie dans le Golan occupé”. Revue d`Études Palestiniennes, nr 47. Paris.

 

Zahr ad-Din, S. 1994. “Tarih al-Muslimin al-Muwahhidin ad-Duruz”. Bayrut.

 

Abu Turabi Dżamil. 1998. “Man Hum al-Muwahhidun ad-Duruz”. Dimaszk.

 

Captions to photos in the GALLERY

 

A Druze married couple from Suwayda.

A visitor’s room at a Druze house.

A street in Suwayda.

Elder women wear light scarves with which they cover their hair, neck and lips.

Young shop keepers from Suwayda.

The owner of a wonderful sweet chop in Suwayda. A light scarf worn by men is called “hatta” or “keffiyeh”.

Ruins in the centre of Suwayda are no surprise to anyone. A traditionally dressed Druze is sitting on a curb waiting for a minibus.  Next to him, there is a man wearing standard Arab clothes.

The director of the city's Cultural Centre in Suwayda.

The Druze Communists at a congress in Suwayda.

Sheikh Djarbu serving traditional Arabic kahwa murray.

Sheikh gladly agreed to have our photo taken.

Druze buildings adjacent to the Byzantine church in Kanawat.

A Druze standing in the courtyard of his home in Shahba. Many of the houses in the city are built on the basis of the Roman ruins.

Sheikh of the Hudur village in the Golan region.

With a visit to the Sheikh

Three Druze men from Arna in front of a shop.

A Druze man from Arna.

Orchards in autumn near Arna.

Orchards in autumn near Arna.

A visit in a Druze house in Arna.

A view on some Byzantine ruins in the village of Kalb Luza. A woman wearing the traditional Druze clothes. In the area of Suwayda such dress can no longer be spotted.

Children selling hand embroidered cloths. The village of Kalb Luza. Basilica from the 5th century.

From Kalb Luza I walked to the village of Banabil.

An elderly woman is sitting on a terrace of her house watching the road leading into Banabil.

Main road in Banabil with sheep droppings scattered around.

The traditional outfit of a Druze woman. The village of Banabil.

Visiting the village administrator in Banabil.

The village administrator with his daughter.

Boys from Banabil.

To present the differences in the appearance between the Druze and the Arabs, here is a photo of boys from the region of Sergiopolis.

The Druze youths from Suwayda.

Preparation of sacrifice before Id al-Adha.

Three Druze women in a laundry.

Women preparing a meal.

Women kneading traditional al-Kubba, with minced mutton meat filling. Men and women eat meals separately.

Inside the tomb in the area of ​​Suwayda a lot of space is occupied by emblems showing the colours of the Druze banner.

In Damascus, the al-Umawwi Mosque is a place frequented by the Druze.

The Druze women are easily recognized on the streets of Damascus.

A Druze farmer from the area of Suwayda.

 

A description of two maps provided on a CD

Names of places in the region of Jabal al-Arab.

 

Map 1.

 

As-Suwayda

Szahba

Salhad

Al-Mushannaf

Shakka

Khirbat Awwad

Al-Gharijja

Dibbin

Bakka

Umm ar-Rumman

Anz

Shannira

Al-Anat

Imtan

Samma

Madzdal asz-Szur

Malah

Kajsama

Al-Hawajja

Baham

Tal al-Lawz

Umran

Al-Rafika

Hut

Al-Kurajja

Al-Mujajfir

Ara

Rassas

Kanakir

Ṯaala

Walgha

Atil

Salmim

Al-Mazraa

Rima Hzima

Madzdal

As-Sidżin

At-Tira

Kafr al-Luhf

Rmia al-Luhf

Najran

Taara

Ḳrasa

Jadijja

Arika

Majadil

Sumajd

Damma

Lahisa

Rudaymat al-Liwa

As-Sawra as-Saghira

Ḏakir

Halhala

Umm Hartain

As-Sawra al-Kubra

Al-Halidijja

Al-Hokuf

Al-Busajna

Al-Hayat

Amra

Umm az-Zaytun

As-Suwamira

Al-Mutuna

Nimra

Geneina

Barik

Rudajmat ash-Sharqiyyah

At-Tarba

Umm Rawwak

Al-Ajaylat

Sharihi

Salla

Saaf

Al-Harisa

Majamas

Sahwat al-Hudur

 

Symbols on Map 1 indicating the influence of particular families in villages in Jabal al-Arab.

 

The Atrash family: A

The Nasrar family: B

The Nasrar + Kuntar families: C

The Darwish family: D

The Sallam family: E

The Ḳalani family: F

The Sahnawi family: G

The Amir family: H

The Halabi family: K

The Shajin family: L

The Kiwan family: M, T

The Azzam family: N

The Abu Fahr family: O

The Hunajdi family: P

The Abu Assaf family: R

The Halabi family: S

 

Names of places in the region of Jabal al-Sheikh

Map 1

 

Ar-Rima

Hudur

Majdal Shams

Ajn Kinja

Masada

Bukaata

Harfa

Banyas

Kalaat Jandal

Bakasim

Arna

Ism al-Fawka

 

Names of places in the region of Idlib

Map 2

 

Banabil

Kalbluza

Kafr Kabla

Kafr Haris

Taltita

Hala

Kuku

Ad-Dawir

Kafr Bagha

Kiftin

Al-Bayra

Maarat al-Ihwan