Ta'aluma Druze

Ta'aluma Druze (Druze Mystery)

Druze families usually live together within the same house. Generation after generation, they build new floors in the same property. Their walls are decorated as a sanctuary: pictures and drawings of spiritual leaders of the Druze community, as well as pictures of dead members of the family, hang on the walls. It is forbidden to take pictures inside of the house; and it is strictly forbidden to take pictures of most of the Druses.

Unlike Jews, Muslim and Christians, the Druses avoid the use of religious iconography in the public space. In their villages there are no portraits of prophets or sacred verses, and their temples are modest and hidden from the public. The traditionalist women cover their heads with white silk handkerchiefs, while the men are recognized by the round white hats and their unmistakable mustaches. Their rites and prayers are inaccessible: nobody, except the Druses themselves, know what their faith is about, and it is incredibly difficult to get access inside a Druze community. 
The Druses arose in the 11th century as a monotheistic religious community with deep beliefs in reincarnation, which incorporates elements of Islam, Hinduism and even Greek philosophers. In addition to maintaining secrecy about their scriptures and rites, they do not allow others to convert to their religion, and marriage with people from other religions is forbidden. They are organized under rigid clan structures, and usually obey the dictates of local patriarchs. They speak and pray in Arabic, though they divorced from Islam when their sect migrated from Egypt to Lebanon. Like the Kurds and other religious minorities throughout the Middle East, the Druses were divided into new states created by the French and British colonizations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Since 1956, the Druses began to enlist in the Israeli army, since, according to some Druses, it is written in their sacred books that wherever he or she lives, a Druze must be faithful to his or her country. That is why they are loyal to Israel. In Israel there are several Druze villages, and Peki'in is one of them, located in the Upper Galilee. The Druze Youth Movement in Israel, a movement with 19 branches around the country and a membership of 12,000, has its headquarters in Peki'in. The founder of the movement is Hamad Amar, an Israeli Druze member of the Knesset. 
Druze in Syria have traditionally supported Assad's regime. The problem is that if Israel and Syria would start a war against each other, Druses would fight against their brothers, since most of them have family members on the other side of the border: Syria. The Golan Heights belonged to Syria, but after the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied it, and Druze families of this area were separated.