Edited by Léo-Paul Dana
Sibylle Heilbrunn and Khaled Abu Asbeh INTRODUCTION The Druze living in Israel are a minority within a minority. They are part of a religious community located primarily in Lebanon, Israel and Syria including about 1.3 million people altogether. Druze women doing business are a minority within the Druze minority within the Palestinian minority within the Jewish majority in the state of Israel. As such, Druze women doing business are special. This chapter attempts to add to the understanding of these women entrepreneurs. The purpose of this study is to add to the understanding of Druze women entrepreneurs belonging to a minority within a minority within the Israeli society. More specifically we intend to explore the work–family conflict as experienced by women entrepreneurs belonging to such a minority. As a gender minority Druze women are facing the work–family conflict and as a national minority they face deficiencies of infrastructure and government assistance. The success stories reveal that product and/or service innovativeness are a critical factor for developing an outstanding business. Historical Background and Religion The Druze religion is rooted within Ismailism founded as a religiousphilosophical movement by Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt during the tenth century (Aridi, 2002). One of the first prophets of the newly founded community was Al Darazi, thus the name ‘Druze’. Following persecutions the Druze left Egypt and settled in an area which is located where Syria, Lebanon and Israel meet nowadays. Later many moved on to more northern parts, especially Mount Lebanon and the Houran...
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