It’s fitting that New York City’s first public Arabic-language and culture school should be named for poet and novelist Khalil Gibran, who embodied the notion of dual identity, published in both English and Arabic, and was an early advocate of the emancipation of women. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Gibran (1883–1931) was born in Lebanon, but moved to Boston in 1895 and to New York City in 1912. He spent a good part of his life moving between the East and West and his most famous works — “The Prophet” and “Jesus, the Son of Man” — reflect that dualism.
“He is the ideal person to name an Arabic-language and culture school after,” said Professor Suheil Bushrui, who holds the Khalil Gibran chair at University of Maryland and has written a Gibran biography.
“He was a bridge between two cultures and he wrote in two languages, and his influence in the Arabic world was responsible for the great literary renaissance in the Arab world. All modern Arabic poetry has been influenced by Khalil Gibran. There’s no doubt the about that.
“Gibran was also a great believer in the unity of religion. In one of his passages, he wrote, ‘You are my brother and I love you. I love you at prayer in your mosque. At your devotions in your church. At your worship in your synagogue. For you and I are the sons of one religion, the Spirit.’
“But what is really very important is that he [combined] the new world… with the time-tested values of the old. How much today we are in need of this marriage of spiritual values and the dynamism and power of progress. If these two can be put together, they can solve all the problems of the world in no time.”
©2007 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.