An opponent of the Syrian regime and onetime pillar of Lebanon’s pro-democracy movement who now sees his sect caught in the middle of a Shiite-Sunni regional war, Jumblatt welcomes the Clooney-Alamuddin announcement as rare good news.
He is eager, he wrote me in an email, to throw a party for the actor at his ancestral home in the Chouf Mountains.
“But the really big thing is food,” says Abdul-Latif.
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“Instead of being on the front page of the news section when we’re killing and dying, we’re now featured in entertainment magazines.”And it’s good for the future groom, too, says Rabah.
“My advice to Clooney is to take advantage of his association with the Druze.
“I could be Geronimo.” For such a tiny sect, the Druze have been an object of fascination for centuries.
After Napoleon’s 1798 conquest of Egypt, Europe was mad for all things Oriental and the Druze’s esoteric wisdom—seemingly bred from a mixture of Ismailism, a heterodox branch of Shiism, as well as Sufism and Gnosticism—was appealingly exotic.
Researchers and travelers visited the Druze heartland in the Lebanese mountains to uncover the sect’s mysteries.
They came away with only wisps of smoke, albeit very colorful ones.“Tell me when George Clooney will be coming to Lebanon so I can greet him in Moukhtara.I will bring a delegation of Druze sheikhs,” Jumblatt gushed.was closed in 1043, at which point the Druze would theoretically accept no more converts—in practice it appears that there were many subsequent conversions.In any case, timelines are somewhat beside the point when it comes to the Druze.And then he should also drink arak,” the anise-flavored liqueur that is Lebanon’s national drink, and which the Druze, in spite of their Muslim identity, drink in abundance.