D I S T I N G U I S H E D   D R U Z E
Sheikh Fouad Sleem
The Voice of the Druze   
صوت الدروز
Distinguished Druze
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Profiled in
Al Fajr - The Dawn Druze
International Magazine

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On July 4th, the Druze community celebrated Sheikh Fouad Sleem as
the ADS Druze of the Year at the 63rd Annual ADS Gala Evening held in
the Grand Ballroom of the Wardman Hotel in Washington, DC.  Mr. Sam
Ackley gave an eloquent speech which summarized Sheikh Fouad’s
many accomplishments.  The following is the speech Mr. Ackley
presented that evening.

“Tonight, we celebrate and salute the accomplishment of a loving and
gentle man, Sheikh Fouad Sleem.  He is truly a great Druze, a loving
father, brother and grandfather, a wonderful cousin, and a loyal friend.

For many of us here--especially for his children, Sheikh Fouad Sleem
represents a different era.  Today, here in a City so far away from his
birthplace, let us remember that he came out of and stood for an era
that we would do well to recall and recapture in our own busy, modern

Sheikh Fouad Sleem cares deeply about his heritage and his old
country.  Despite what we might believe about someone who now lives
so far from "home," his feelings do not simply reflect nostalgia. His
heritage and country mean so much to him because it gave birth, life,
and opportunity to so many people for whom he had such profound
admiration and love.  
His immense regard for family, friends and acquaintances from "the old country" enriched his ability to appreciate, throughout his
life, the many wonderful people he met in his adopted country."  His appreciation of those he meets along the road he travels can
always be measured by the intensity with which he listens and cares, that is the truest measure of the dignity that he accords to all
his brothers and sisters, Druze and others.  He hears with his ears, but listens with his heart; and, with his heart or with his hand,
he responds both genuinely and generously.

Sheikh Fouad Sleem came to America in the early 1970’s, initially working with Matz Child Engineering, a surveying company
affected by the Watergate scandal that closed 6 months after he began employment.  In 1974, he began his career with the Office
of the Surveyor in the District of Columbia Government. While working in this office, he pursued a degree in higher education and
earned his Bachelor of Science degree from George Washington University in 1980 and a Master of Science degree from the
University of Maryland in 1983.  In the Surveyor’s Office, and as a Senior Cartographer, he was in charge of the Computing and
Mapping section, with responsibility in land development, subdivision, computation of boundaries, description of streets and
alleys, closing and opening of roads, and transfer of jurisdictional properties from Federal entities to the District of Columbia and
vice versa.

George Washington was a Surveyor, a Commander of the Army, and the First President of the United States.  He chose DC as
the location for the Nation’s Capital, and asked Pierre L’Efant, a French engineer in the American Army, to lay out a plan for the
Capital.  The plan itself was considered to be an excellent one. However, the engineers and surveyors who started executing L’
Efant’s great plan, did not establish a Coordinate System Plan for the District of Columbia, and did not depart from a geographic
control point as is normally done. Instead, they started from the center line of the street or the corner of the building.  Over the
years this flaw caused a drift of the properties, in some areas causing overlaps, and in other areas, merely appearing as
It was our own Fouad Sleem, ladies and gentlemen, who developed the ‘pilot project’ that corrected, to an absolute degree, the
original L’Enfant plan for Washington, DC!    Just imagine what this young man from Jabaa’ El-Shouf has accomplished in his
chosen profession!  As a result of his exceptional work he received the highest award for refining Pierre L’Efant’s original work of
laying out the plan of the Nation’s Capital.  On May 1, 2008 the Mayor of Washington DC on behalf of the District Government
presented an award to Sheik Fouad Sleem in recognition of thirty-four years of dedicated and exceptional outstanding Service to
the residents of the District of Columbia.  He has been a member in the ADC, AAI, American Society of Photogram, and recently a
recipient of a “Lifetime Award” as member of the DC Association of Land Surveyors

Even before coming to the United States, working as a topographer for the Lebanese government, it was his final word, which
settled complex disputes between landowners in Lebanon. He completed surveys of 12 towns in different parts of the country.  No
complaints were left for the Court to handle before leaving his beloved country, Lebanon.  He did everything in his power to bring
the Lebanese people together and solve their problems.

No one person, ladies and gentlemen, can eclipse the charitable work of Fouad Sleem in the Druze Community.  Over the past
quarter century, his steady hand, guided by an unwavering belief in the inherent righteousness of our homeland has raised and
delivered more than half a million dollars to Druze Charities.  He was personally responsible for collecting and sending more than
$78,000 to help Druze families who suffered during the Civil War.  Additionally, every year he sponsors 10 orphans (5 from the
Martyr’s Children; and 5 from the orphanage in Abei). Sheikh Fouad has a genuine love for creating wealth, so he can support
the hundreds of generous endeavors in which he is involved. He has earned the respect, the admiration, and the affection of the
entire Druze community.

This reminds one of the great saying: “Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”
Sheik Fouad held major positions in both local and National Druze Organizations, such as Chair of the National Membership from
1995-1996, doubling the membership from 600 to 1,200 in only one year!  As you may know, he is the elected Director to the
Council of Presidents and is a direct representative of Mshyakht Al-Akl, performing many legal and religious services in this
country.  This man, Fouad Sleem, receiver of the Cedar of Lebanon award, among many others, richly deserves our gratitude for
his tremendous commitment to the Druze cause.  It is only very special persons that choose to dedicate themselves and their
time, and to give back to one’s community.  You see, they have discovered a great secret that many people in today’s society
neither realize nor appreciate, that you get more out of life by giving more to others.  A Chinese proverb sums it up!  “If you want
happiness for a year, inherit a fortune; but if you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”

Sheikh Fouad is a great Optimist who looks at the “sunny side” of everything!  A person once was asked, “What is an optimist?”  
He responded by saying, “An optimist is a person who, when you throw cold water on their spirits, they warm it up with enthusiasm,
they make steam and they push forward.”  This ladies and gentlemen is Sheikh Fouad Sleem.   Sheikh Fouad is both an
honorable and decent man.  He has been first among us in fostering and shaping the development of the Druze family concept in
our consciousness.  He is a brother who has earned the title of father--a father whom we have come to admire, respect, and love.  
His immense regard for friends and acquaintances from the country of his father, and our fathers, enriches his ability to
appreciate the many wonderful people he has met over the years.  His dedication has enriched them, and us, in turn.

Sheikh Fouad is greatly appreciated by all of us who know him and feel his love, warmth, and gentle nature.  In the good deeds,
he lives, and in the purity of heart that he personifies, he is a giant among men.  Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same. Sheikh Fouad is clearly among them.

Sheikh Fouad, congratulations on a well-deserved honor.  Your dedication and commitment to the Nation of Bani Maarouf is an
inspiration to all of us, and this will never go unnoticed.  God Bless you Sheikh Fouad, God bless the American Druze Society,
and God bless America. Now, please join me in giving due accolade to this honorable Druze citizen of the world.

Honors Received and Positions Held:
1. Druze of the Year
2. Cedar of Lebanon Award
3. Representative of Mashykht Al Akl
4. Chairman of the Charitable Affairs Committee
5. Elected to Council of Presidents
6. Chairman of The Orphans Fund
7. President of the ADS Washington DC Chapter for 4 years
ABU SALEH, Dr. Abbas
Issue 18
AL ATRASH,  Sultan Pasha
Issue 1
Issue 14
Issue 35
ARSLAN, Prince Shakib
Issue 11
Issue 50
ASSAF, Toufic
Issue 30
Issue 25
Issue 40
Issue 2
KASEM, Casey
Issue 55
NAJJAR, Dr. Abdallah
Issue 5, 12
NAJJAR, Anissa Rawda
Issue 9
NAJJAR, Dr. Samir
Issue 15
OBEID, Dr. Anis
Issue 1, 45
SAAB, Afifi & her sisters
Fatina Saab & Zhebad Saab
Issue 4
SALMAN, Dr. Nour
Issue 7
SLEEM, Sheikh Fouad
Issue 5
TAKEDINE,  Judge Halim
Issue 8
Issue 6
Issue 11
TALEEH, Rashid
Issue 19