Dozens of MDA volunteers, adults and youth, from the Druze villages of Daliyat al-Karmel and Usifiyeh, outside Haifa, spent a week showing up every day at supermarkets in their communities to collect food donations for the Muslims and Druze families in need who celebrated Eid al-Adha last Sunday, Aug. 11 (same day as Tisha B’Av). Many Druze Israelis who recognized the importance of donations for the needy bought food that was handed to the volunteers.
The MDA volunteers, who are engaged through the year in saving lives, were able to gather thousands of baskets filled with food products, and handed them on to families in need, with the help of two groups, “Clothing” and “Yes to Giving.”
“Years ago, when I was a youth volunteer at MDA, I participated in fundraising campaigns for the needy, and I remember to this day the satisfaction I felt with knowing that we fill the refrigerator for families in need,” said Leviv Havi, MDA’s Daliyat al-Karmel Station Paramedic.
“This year’s donations drive was successful, first and foremost, because of the MDA volunteers in Daliyat al-Karmel and Usifiyeh, who invested long hours in collecting food for the needy, to see the joy of every family who received a food basket and can properly celebrate the holiday,” Havi said.
The Israeli Druze are a unique religious and ethnic minority among the Arab citizens of Israel, living mostly in northern Israel. In 2019, there were 143,000 Druze living in Israel, 1.6% of the total population. Even though their faith originally emerged from Islam, the Druze are generally not considered Muslims. In 1957, the Israeli government designated the Druze a distinct ethnic community at the request of its communal leaders.
The Druze are Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel who serve in the IDF. Members of the community have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, the Druze were not recognized as a religious community, and were discriminated against by the judicial system.