Mieh w Mieh - Gibran Khalil Gibran

Gibran Khalil Gibran Lebanese Writer, Painter & Sculptor, said once: A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.

Gibran Khalil Gibran was born on January 6th, 1883 in the village of Bsharre, in Northern Lebanon, next to the holy Qadisha Valley, and the Holy Cedars of Lebanon.     At the age of eight, Khalil Gibran, Gibran's father, was accused of tax evasion and was sent to prison as the Ottomon authorities confiscated the Gibrans' property and left them homeless. The family went to live with relatives for a while; however, the strong-willed mother decided that the family should immigrate to the U.S., seeking a better life and following in suit to Gibran's uncle who immigrated earlier. The father was released in 1894, but being an irresponsible head of the family he was undecided about immigration and remained behind in Lebanon.  

On June 25, 1895, the Gibrans embarked on a voyage to the American shores of New York. The Gibrans settled in Boston's South End, which at the time hosted the second largest Syrian community in the U.S. following New York. The culturally diverse area felt familiar to Kamila, who was comforted by the familiar spoken Arabic, and the widespread Arab customs. Kamila, now the bread-earner of the family, began to work as a peddler on the impoverished streets of South End Boston. At the time, peddling was the major source of income for most Syrian immigrants, who were negatively portrayed due to their unconventional Arab ways and their supposed idleness.

 

Qadisha Valley or Wadi Qadisha - Gibran childhood great inspiration
 

In the school, a registration mistake altered his name forever by shortening it to Kahlil Gibran, which remained unchanged till the rest of his life despite repeated attempts at restoring his full name. Gibran entered school on September 30, 1895, merely two months after his arrival in the U.S. Having no formal education, he was placed in an ungraded class reserved for immigrant children, who had to learn English from scratch. Gibran caught the eye of his teachers with his sketches and drawings, a hobby he had started during his childhood in Lebanon.

Bsharre under snow.

Gibran Museum at Bsharre

Gibran's curiosity led him to the cultural side of Boston, which exposed him to the rich world of the theatre, Opera and artistic Galleries. Prodded by the cultural scenes around him and through his artistic drawings, Gibran caught the attention of his teachers at the public school, who saw an artistic future for the boy. They contacted Fred Holland Day, an artist and a supporter of artists who opened up Gibran's cultural world and set him on the road to artistic fame...

Lebanese-American philosophical essayist, novelist, mystical poet, and artist.

Gibran's works were especially influential in the American popular culture in the 1960s. In 1904 Gibran had his first art exhibition in Boston. From 1908 to 1910 he studied art in Paris with August Rodin. In 1912 he settled in New York, where he devoted himself to writing and painting. Gibran's early works were written in Arabic, and from 1918 he published mostly in English. In 1920 he founded a society for Arab writers, Mahgar (al-Mahgar). Among its members were Mikha'il Na'ima (1889-1988), Iliya Abu Madi (1889-1957), Nasib Arida (1887-1946), Nadra Haddad (1881-1950), and Ilyas Abu Sabaka (1903-47). Gibran died in New York on April 10, 1931. Among his best-known works is THE PROPHET, a book of 26 poetic essays, which has been translated into over 20 languages. The Prophet, who has lived in a foreign city 12 years, is about to board a ship that will take him home. He is stopped by a group of people, whom he teaches the mysteries of life.

Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

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