But Is It Good for the Druze?: George Clooney and his future in-laws


George Clooney’s reps have yet to make the official announcement, but all the tabloids and gossip sheets are reporting that the Hollywood heartthrob recently popped the question to his girlfriend of less than a year, Amal Alamuddin. The 36-year-old Beirut-born and London-based human rights lawyer (who speaks French, English, and Arabic) is said to be a good match for the screen star who celebrated his 53rd birthday last week, but that’s a given—Clooney’s past paramours have included cocktail waitresses, models, and a professional wrestler. The more interesting question is whether Clooney is good for the Druze, the small confessional sect of which his fiancée is a member.

The Druze are a heterodox offshoot of Shia Islam that dates back to the 11th century. Most of the world’s less than a million-and-a-half Druze live in the Levant. There are roughly 20,000 Druze in Jordan, 125,000 in Israel, 700,000 in Syria, and a quarter of a million in Lebanon, home to what is perhaps the most influential Druze community, led by Walid Jumblatt.

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. “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. “As for Amal Alamuddin, well, she is lucky.”

Weekly Standard

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