My parents weren't strict on it, but it's just what the society taught us." Those who do find spouses outside the Druze community are usually ostracised — both from their family and the community.For Khold, the fear of losing the community and wider family she loves outweighed her father's openness to a marriage outside the faith.As Khold enters her 20s, the age at which many Druze women marry, she finds herself coming face to face with the realities of her culture.The expectation to preserve her heritage and to do so with another Druze person weigh heavily on her.Those pressures weren't always so apparent in Khold's life.She was born in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, and later, the family moved to Beit Jaan, her father's Druze village in northern Israel where her Lebanese-Druze mother opened a restaurant.
She came to Canada annually to visit her grandmother until she moved back to Brampton permanently at the age of 19.
"I don't want to stop talking to my family just because I'm going to marry a non-Druze, so I'm going to marry within the faith. To make things even more challenging, the Druze religion doesn't allow converts, leaving options for potential partners limited to those born Druze.
” Fatin Harfouch tells me from her armchair in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
There were religious sessions for teens and adults. Nearly everyone attended a gala-style party on the last evening.
Several Druze mothers told me they hoped their children would meet their future husbands and wives at the convention. It’s how Rima Muakkassa, current vice president and soon-to-be president of the American Druze Society, met her husband.
Within the Druze communities in the Middle East finding a Druze partner isn't difficult, but for those who were born in the North American diaspora, with a population of less than 80,000, it's a much bigger challenge.