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09-Oct-2016 11:25

” Fatin Harfouch tells me from her armchair in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Are you only marrying this person because he happens to be Druze?

Druze is a tiny Arab religion that originated in the Middle East 1,000 years ago.

There are just over 1 million adherents in the world, with large concentrations in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel and roughly 30,000 in the United States.

Harfouch is 23 years old with green-blue eyes, lightly freckled skin, and long, dark hair.

On her left hand she wears a big diamond engagement ring.

“It’s not like we can go grab coffee and see somebody sitting there reading a book and say ‘Hi, can I get your number? Harfouch was at the gala dinner at the National Convention in Florida during the summer of 2011 when she met Samer Abou-Zaki, a media engineer at Microsoft. Then, in December of 2011, Harfouch and her mom flew across the country to see him and other friends in the Seattle Druze community.

They stayed in a hotel for about a week and met his family and friends.

In the hotel’s hospitality suite, catered Middle Eastern meals were served.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.