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Shy Druze Women

By R. Norman Matheny / June 5, 1989



`HOW, sir, do you stand there and expect us to allow you to photograph our meeting when your government sends money to the Israelis that they use to kill our men?'' That was the essence of the questions from two very determined women in this group of concerned mothers gathered at the Majdal Shams meeting hall.

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When I had visited this remote community over a decade before, I failed to net any shots of Druze women, who are reluctant to be photographed.

But before my translator half finished his sentence, I knew the women had the situation clearly in hand, and I realized that (a) they were going to win the discussion and (b) as a photojournalist I needed to avoid taking sides.

I thanked the women for their questions, but suggested that a good impression might be made if they would allow me to show the world their earnest faces. Yes, it was a dodge, but they understood the honesty within my reply.

Only a few faces left the room.