Accounting for roughly 1.7% of Israel’s overall population, the country’s national flag carrier El Al hired its first flight attendant from the community in June.

An Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group who residing mainly in northern Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, they are an important part of the complex religious fabric of the Middle East, the Druze practice a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn-‘Ali ibn-Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

The Druze hold a special status in Israel and have formed a close relationship with the Israeli government since the nation’s founding in 1948. While other Arab citizens of Israel do not have to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, mandatory service is required for Druze men and ethnic Circassians, whose origins are in what is now Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus region. Because of this, Druze and Jewish Israelis have a bond, colloquially known as ‘the Covenant of Blood’.

In Druze culture, it is rare for a woman to fly alone, therefore it was of added significance when Merach Kara was officially hired by El Al.

“Merach is very brave and I love her stubbornness,” Kara’s father told the Israeli media last month “We’re proud that she chose to work at El Al. It’s part of us and it’s important that she chose this path. I wish her all the luck in the world and I’m sure she can achieve whatever she puts her mind to.”