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Interviewed by the local Lebanese press, Alamuddin’s grandmother Safa asked if Clooney was Druze. In an incident widely reported in the Lebanese press last July, a gang of Druze men beat and mutilated a Sunni man who’d eloped with a family member. “It would be useful after the occurrence of the barbaric act,” he wrote, “for the Druze community to hold an internal dialogue over the future of the sect. Given Jumblatt’s open contempt for the Syrian president, who regards him similarly, his end may come sooner rather than later.
One of the faith’s earliest adherents certainly did—Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin al-Darazi, a renegade Ismaili preacher from whom it seems the Druze derive their name and whom other early adherents, including the Druze imam, Hamza ibn Ali, quickly came to consider a heretic.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.“It would be good,” adds Rabah, “if Clooney learned how to dance the “Clooney better acquire a taste for yerba maté,” says Rola Abdul-Latif, a Lebanese-born Druze who lives in Washington, D. Maté is the tea-like beverage that Druze immigrants to Latin America brought back home with them.“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.
The more interesting question is whether Clooney is good for the Druze, the small confessional sect of which his fiancée is a member.