Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Fares Zoghbi

A friend passed away: Maitre Farès Zoghbi (with 50,000 manuscripts private library, opened to all)

He passed away, Maitre Phares Zoghby. He owned the private library in Kornet Chehwan that I patronized in the last 10 years.

The burial ceremony is today Monday at 4:30 at the Church of St. Paul and Pierre.
I posted extensive reviews of his 2 published books and a couple of articles on the library and how it was run.

Maitre Zoghbi was handicapped in the last 4 years and could not come down to the lower level of his library to meet with the readers.
When Maitre Zoghby could come down to the lower floor of the library, he would ask Rita to call me up when I failed to show up and check if I was sick…

Nada CORBANI AKL (she represented the Jesuit university to care for the library before her retirement) wrote in the French daily:

C’était un humaniste doublé d’un philanthrope, un ami de la culture, un homme qui avait trouvé pour l’un de ses ouvrages ce titre admirable : Le salut par la culture. Il y croyait.
Né en 1918 au Brezil, transfere au Liban a l’ age de 13 ans,  licencié en droit de l’USJ en 1943, Farès Zoghbi fut longtemps l’avocat du Nahar et du Casino du Liban. Lié d’amitié à Ghassan Tuéni, il avait notamment joué un rôle-clé dans la jonction entre L’Orient et Le Jour.
Propriétaire d’une impressionnante collection de livres, Farès Zoghbi avait fini par en faire don à l’Université Saint-Joseph, à condition qu’elle demeure sur son site, à Kornet Chehwane, où il résidait, et qu’elle soit transformée en bibliothèque publique. Ce qui fut généreusement fait en 2002.
La santé de Farès avait décliné petit à petit, ces dernières années. Il est décédé hier matin des suites de complications pulmonaires. Seul survivant de sa fratrie, expatriée au Brésil, ce sont quelques proches, et surtout la grande famille de ses amis, qui lui feront ses adieux cet après-midi, en l’église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul, à Kornet Chehwane.


Une bibliothèque vivante s’est éteinte

Il est parti sans bruit, comme il avait vécu ces dernières années, entre ses réflexions, ses livres, ses écrits secrets, et quelques amis.
Il est parti sans savoir qu’on continue de violer les livres et de brûler les bibliothèques !
Pharès, toi dont le prénom signifie chevalier dans cette langue que tu chéris, tu as été chevalier par la noblesse de tes dons et la discrétion de tes gestes, par l’attention la plus généreuse et par le don d’une vie entière dédiée aux autres !
Tu fais partie de ces hommes en voie de disparition, ces hommes cultivés, généreux, simples, attentionnés, humains, à l’écoute des autres, toujours disponibles.
Tu as consacré l’essentiel de tes forces pour aider et surtout pour lutter en vue d’un dialogue des cultures, avec un humanisme et une tolérance reconnus de tous.
Cher Pharès, par ces multiples actions, par ta bibliothèque, par tes écrits, par ta lutte pour un Liban réunifié, tu as éveillé les consciences, tu as tracé les routes, et, après toi, plus rien ne sera comme avant !
Ton départ est une perte considérable pour le monde juridique, pour l’Université Saint-Joseph, pour le monde de la culture et des bibliothèques, pour la francophonie, pour ton pays et ta contrée, Kornet Chehwane, et surtout pour nous, tes amis.
Pars en paix Pharès !


Rita Zoghbi shared a link.
Farès Zoghbi : C’était un humaniste doublé d’un philanthrope, un ami de la culture, un homme qui avait trouvé pour l’un de ses ouvrages ce titre…

Auto Stop in Mount Lebanon: Around Ain 3ar, Kornet Chehwan and Beit-Chabab…

I have been walking to the nearby private library of Fares Zoghbi (50,000 books) almost every day, rain or shine in the last 15 years.

It is no longer private, see note. It is maybe a two-mile walk and I make sure to flag every passing car in the first years when I had no internet connection: my purpose is to reach the library and to type my articles and post them on

Yes, my purpose is to enjoy a climate of quiet and focused brain work and selecting fresh acquisition of books and magazine to read at home.

The manager Rita Zoghbi always bribes me with a cup of coffee: I am the most dedicated customer, and frequently I help myself with a cup of Nescafe around noon.

I am often invited to have pieces of cakes, sandwiches, cookies so that I don’t feel hungry when I arrive home around 2:15 pm.

The library closes at 2 pm and reopens at 3 pm, but I never return in the afternoon; supposedly I have other “cats to whip”.

Recently, Rita allowed me to stay while she is on afternoon break, and I am enjoying a continuous stay till 4:15 and generating plenty of productive works…

I decided to walk to the library, rain or shine, after I sold my car and do prefer Not to drive other people’s cars: You are always blamed for previous car defects that were not repaired…

Only old cars stop to pick me up; but I don’t mind at all: any short lift saves me time and physical energy.

A few drivers extend their arms meaning they are going far; as if I am going to Beirut or asking them to tour the world.

Any short lift is fantastic service to me, but how drivers figure that out?

Drivers of new cars and women drivers never even slow down to check on this hapless guy having the guts and recklessness of flagging them.

Since I start walking by 10 am, after finishing work on my garden and using up the scarce resources on water, I noticed that most cars are driven by women.  Not that they are going to a job, but they look intent on reaching destination and they have got to be driving somewhere.

Invariably, cars driven by women are very new; mostly monstrous four-wheel drive cars, and shining: cars driven by women have got to be shining for glamour reason.

In rainy days, I keep flagging my arms to warn drivers to slow down, lest they drench me worse than the pouring rain. Most people interpret my waving arms as curses and they accelerate. A few understand the gesture and smile to me sheepishly and slow down, then accelerate furiously.

You may be asking the interesting question: “Why do you have to walk?

First, I sold my old car: I could no longer afford to repair it, much less afford the increasing cost of gas.  I figured that 50% of my “savings” went into my old car.

Second, I am very reluctant supporting the huge budget imbalance of my pseudo-government, sort of civic disobedience:  apparently, the government makes tons of money from direct and indirect taxes from the stupid people who own a car.

Third, my monkish life-style (forced hermit) is restricted to about 4 miles around my residence and I don’t need to pay extra expenses renewing my driving license or car insurance or shoulder any other emergencies tasks like giving rides to nieces and nephews.

Oh, I can find many other reasons for why I have to walk, but mainly I am out of work and not in the mood of working at minimum wages or having to commute to a stupid job and wear down my nervous energy in traffic and pollution.

I used to teach at a university and I needed two hours to drive back and forth for a one-hour class.  I figured out that staying put, doing what I love to do best (reading, writing, and publishing for free), was saving me money and useless anxieties.

Thus, the best strategy to save your mental, physical, and nervous health is to decline earning money working for other people.

The less money you have the better; unless you win the jackpot: and you are stuck with an even bigger problem of managing too much money.

You almost always lose your money to scams who are much more astute than you are in these kinds of “money distribution” business.

One more huge advantage for walking to the library and being penniless:  I developed intelligent sensitivities.

I now have figured out that my close relatives are extremely judgmental for no other reasons that they have no guts to change their lifestyle.

I once asked my niece for $20 a month (less than what most people earn in third world countries).  That request was sent by internet two months ago; I have got to receive a reply.

I know that my other nieces and nephews learned about my request but there are no volunteers.

Judgmental are people; worst than Nazi, even if they don’t care about politics or are vegetarians or veg.

I noticed that all my nieces and nephews agreed to punish me for not trying to find an “earning job“. As if spending $100 on a stupid single eating out is an “energy booster” for their stupid “middle class” mentality…

Note: The library is no longer private: Owned by the French Jesuit University and making it hard for people to enjoy reading…They started charging $30 to come in and read.

And this year 2012, the university closed the library for December, and we are waiting for the end of February for the university to decide on a new manager and other higher fees and constraints.




December 2020

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