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 lives.  

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 vacancies.  

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

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

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

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. I present to you Sheikh Fouad

Congratulations Sheikh Fouad on your lifetime of service to the Druze Community at large.  
Shauki Halime
The Voice of the Druze   
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Dedicated decades to raising
funds for orphans and disabled
children & families.  
Representative of Sheikh El
Akl, one of the foundational
leaders within the ADS.