Hi friends,

There are a few minority communities in Israel, but the largest one is the Muslim Arab community including Bedouin, Christian Arabs and Druze.  Most of the Muslim Arabs including the Bedouin are in the Negev,  the Christian Arabs mostly in the Galilee and the Druze are concentrated in the Galilee & the Golan Heights.  The Druze population is 150,000 as on May 2024 (1.5% of the total population of Israel).  The Arabs are 21% and its about 2 million people.  Until this year, there are only 1500 people who are involved in the hi-tech industry.  Most of the population working in the hi-tech industry are men. 

Yesterday, I was invited to a meeting with the Portland Foundation and together with them, we share a project of supporting the Druze & Bedouin for employment in the hi-tech industry.  The more important aspect is that we are focusing on women employment.  The first project called “LOTUS” is for Druze women.  This project is headed by Ms. Mysis and this woman succeeded to graduate 100 women until today that are working in Amazon, Google, Pagaya, Wix etc.  The second project called “SAMANA” located in the lower Galilee led by Ms. Bushra (see the photo map attached)  is now working with 75 women that hopefully, next year, will be able to join the hi-tech industry.  They are not only in QA, many of them are also working in Software Development and the salaries are very high compared to not only the minority average salaries but also in Israeli terms.

To organize and to open LOTUS & SAMANA, the two leaders had to overcome the traditional obstacles.  Druze and Bedouin women are not allowed to leave the village without the permission of the husband or father and of course not allowed to drive a car without a man accompanying them.  Therefore, the LOTUS & the SAMANA had to be established in the villages. 

Yesterday, I met Sheikh Tarif (photo attached),  the head of the Druze Community in Israel.  I must tell you that I found that this Sheikh is a very modern and wise man, sympathetic and without his permission, nothing could have happened.  When I met him,  I could feel that he is very satisfied with the SAMANA and the LOTUS projects.  He promised to continue and open two more projects for women and also for men. 

In the meeting yesterday, the Ministry of Economics Manager declared that the Government opened 6000 new jobs for hi-tech industry for Druze and Bedouin in the north and in the south of Israel.  I am sure that these jobs will not be enough in two years as the motivation of both women and men to learn and work in the hi-tech industry is very high. 

I mentioned the Druze community and I cannot stop without adding a few words about the situation of the Druze today :

Israel Parliament made a law that Israel is the state of the Jewish people.  The Druze that are committed to the State of Israel since 1948, serving in the army and having faith in the State of Israel, now feel very bad in this situation.  They tried to change the law saying that Israel is the state of all citizens.  Right now, they failed to change the law and they are very disappointed.  Another law called Kaminitz Law says that the Druze are not allowed to build their houses until the authorities prepare the maps of the lands that belong to the Druze.  This law is logical but the Israeli state refuses to update the maps of the lands and so, right now, there is a shortage of options for Druze soldiers discharged from the army to build their houses.  Therefore, many of them build their houses without permission and get penalties/fines for that ($100,000).  In the present war, 8 Druze soldiers were killed.  At the entrance of the Druze military cemetery, there is a big sign saying that the “Dead soldiers get exception from paying penalties for building houses without permission”.  Such a shame for us !!!!

I think that ICA should continue to support the Druze and Bedouin communities to be part of the world of employment and high salaries.  This way, we will find that co-existence is not only a word, it is a real action. 

Best regards,


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