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 (ä′lə-wīt′) also A·la·wi (ä′lä-wē′)
n. pl. A·la·wites also A·la·wis or Alawi
A member of a branch of Shiism practiced especially in northwest Syria and adjacent parts of Turkey and Lebanon.

[Arabic 'alawī, follower of Ali, Alawite (from 'Alī, Ali ibn Abi Talib + -awī, variant of , adj. suff.) + -ite.]
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What is happening in Tripoli on the friction line between the Sunnis and the Alawis and the mutual kidnappings which even affected the Shiite pilgrims in Syria, confirms the impossibility of isolating Lebanon from the denominational clash in Syria.
One of the reasons why the Alawis, the Druze, and other minorities have not participated in the revolution is fear of the future.
Alawis live in both locations, though mostly in regime-controlled areas.
Internally, levers of power are held largely by Alawis who, at 12 percent of the population, are one-sixth the size of the Sunnis.
Rifi added that his contenders would run under co existential rubrics between Sunnis Alawis, Christians and civil community activities willing to join his list.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar threw away their good relations with Syria as soon as they saw an opportunity for Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood to take over, seeking to achieve their goal at any price, by supporting extremists and bringing down the alawis.
Which means that Iran must understand that minority Alawi rule over the country will not survive national elections; regional authorities could be created and the Alawis and others could administer their own regions.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has mostly been able to count on the support of fellow Alawis in the regime's coastal heartland in northern Syria.
What sparked off the protests to begin with was a water dispute in Daraa, the so-called epicentre of the (at first) peaceful Syria revolution, with Alawis and Druze doing the protesting.
In Syria, Assad belongs to the Alawis sect which is closely identified with the Shia sect.
And then there's ISIS and what the Saudis call America's 'unholy' alliances with the Shia and Alawis.
Replace the ball with the heads of Alawis, Shiiites, or Christians -- but not Jews," said one fan.