The other day, eating lunch in the cafeteria I noticed an unfamiliar face sitting next to me. At a table full of Mexicans, I assumed the same of this student until he spoke up only to find out that he was in fact Lebanese. Since Ramadan began, it’s been a menial task recognizing the non-fasting faces on campus but this one seemed to have fallen through the cracks.
Upon discovering Rami’s Middle Eastern heritage, I was quick to bombard him with questions, since NO Muslims cheat during Ramadan (here in the KSA). It turns out that Rami is a Druze. I know… what the heck is a Druze? Pay attention all party dwellers back in Santa Barbara looking for a religion that supports your ‘healthy habits.’
The Druze religion is an outgrowth of Islam, although Muslims disavow it; and rightfully so. Amongst other things, the Druze don’t fast during Ramadan, they party without fearing death (literally), and believe fully in Reincarnation. Just don’t screw up or you risk being re-born as a dog.
Another point of interest is that the Druze can only marry another Druze, or risk being completely excommunicated from their family. In comparison, although a Muslim woman must marry a Muslim man; Muslim men are free to marry a Muslim, Christian, or Jew in accordance with Islam.
The only bummer to those who’ve just found their calling… NO ONE can convert to the Druze religion. I encourage everyone to scour this website on the Druze for more information, as it’s incredibly interesting: http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Druze.html. Also keep your eyes out, because there’s a good chance I’ll be staying with Rami’s family sometime in the near future while exploring the Beirut Nightlife, without the Druze invincibility of course.
Until next time, a bit of Saudi trivia for you: I was curious why the Saudi flag is green, considering the only green in the Kingdom is in the form of fake grass and money (and more money) so I did some research. It turns out that Saudi Arabia’s flag uses green to honor the country’s puritanical Muslim Wahabi sect, and also because green is widely believed to be the prophet Muhammad’s favorite color! (PBUH)
It was my favorite color at a young age too…