Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

October 25, 2010

Xavier University welcomes Raslan Abu Rukun, Israeli Deputy Consul General, at 7 pm Tuesday, October 26 in room 412 of the University’s Conaton Learning Commons at the corner of Dana and Ledgewood Avenues. Abu Rukun is a Druze Arab and senior member of Israel’s Foreign Service.

That night, before the consul speaks, the movie Contestant No. 2 will be shown. It is about a Druze Arab woman who wants to advance in life with a scholarship from the Miss Israel pageant. She is in conflict between her relationships and cultural identity as a Druze Arab and her contemporary identity as an Israeli Arab. Her relationship with her family battles with her personal identity. Druze is a mystical, secretive offshoot of Islam.

Like the young woman in the movie, Abu Rukun had to resolve his double identity as a Druze Arab and an Israeli. He will discuss the decision he made and how it has directed his life choices. He will speak to theology classes in the morning and can be available for interviews from about 1:30-2:30 and 3:15-5 upon request to Abie Ingber 513-646-2924.

"The Druze religion is considered a secret religion - not only a secret for outsiders, but secret for secular Druze, like me," said Abu Rukun. "If you want to study the religion, you have to be a religious person." He is the first non-Jewish Israeli diplomat to be stationed in the U.S.

This free event is sponsored by the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, the Women’s Center and the International Student Society.