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Genetic Study Confirms Unique Insularity of Druze Community

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Posted March 4, 2015

TAU study finds Druze share a genetic similarity that distinguishes them from other groups in the Middle East.

DNA

The first genetic study of the Druze community has confirmed long-held beliefs about its history: The group was established around the 11th century, and its members have only ever married within extended families. The research, published recently in theEuropean Journal of Human Genetics — Nature, was conducted by an international team including Prof. Eitan Friedman of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

Since the 11th century, according to the study, other ethnic groups have not had any genetic impact on the community. These findings correlate with the Druze people’s beliefs regarding their unique origin, which holds that their community was founded 1,000 years ago as a new religious movement under Egypt’s sixth caliph of the Fatimid Dynasty.

The study was conducted on 120 members of 40 Druze families from Beit Jann in the Upper Galilee and Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights. The mother, father, and son of each family were genetically tested.

For more, read the story in the Jerusalem Post: “International genetic study reveals history of the Druse community”.

Source: AFTAU

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