BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt welcomed George Clooney's engagement to Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Alamuddin, offering to throw the couple a party and expressing hope they would set an example of openness for the Druze community.
Jumblatt, the political leader of the Druze community in Lebanon, described the impending nuptials as “rare good news" in an e-mail to Journalist Lee Smith, according to an article in The Weekly Standard.
“Tell me when George Clooney will be coming to Lebanon so I can greet him in Moukhtara," he wrote, referring to his ancestral home in the Chouf mountains. "I will bring a delegation of Druze sheikhs.”
“As for Amal Alamuddin, well, she is lucky," he added.
Alamuddin has become a source of pride and fascination in her home country after news broke of her engagement to avowed bachelor Clooney.
In his article, Smith inquired whether Clooney is “good for the Druze,” the official sect of Alamuddin's father and a tight-knit community that follows a secretive off-shoot of Islam.
Due to religious restrictions, Druze are discouraged from marrying outside the faith. Last year, the family of a Druze woman who eloped with a Sunni man beat the man and cut off his penis, sparking widespread condemnation, including from the PSP.
Jumblatt criticized the insularity of his community and said he hoped that the new couple would spark a dialogue about the future of the sect.
“It would be useful after the occurrence of the barbaric act,” he wrote, in reference to the attack, "for the Druze community to hold an internal dialogue over the future of the sect. ... Where will the culture of rejecting the other that breeds intolerance and hate lead? Does that not create a threat to the future?”.