Posts Tagged ‘Jebran Khalil Jebran’
What is this French Academy? Who is Amine Maaluf?
The French Academy (L’ Academie Francaise) for the illustrious literary individuals who wrote in French (regardless of origin, genders, or religious affiliation) was instituted by the Cardinal Richelieu who was the Prime Minister of the monarch Louis 13 in the 16th century.
Among the pantheon of the literary figures you find, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Poincare, Alexander Dumas the Son (of African descent), Leopold Cedar Segor (Senegal), Asia Jabbar (Algeria)…Amine Maaluf (Lebanon) was inducted a member two week ago. (He will officially deliver his speech and get the chair, exactly a year later)
Amine Maaluf joined the Lebanese daily Al Nahar at the age of 22 in the foreign section. He used to bring a book to work and read it hidden under the desk.
Amine undertook trips to Vietnam, Ethiopia, Haiti…to cover events.
You cannot be a successful journalist if you fail to read books everyday! For example, how could we comprehend the Napoleonic war against Russia if we fail to read “War and Peace” of Tolstoy, or about France if we failed to read Balzac, or about Italy without Luigi Bazetti...?
Amine Maaluf was born in a small village of Lebanon (Ain Kabo) and immigrated to France in 1976, as the civil war in Lebanon set in. He wrote many books about Lebanon, Iran, the Crusaders, his Origin…
How can we feel the feudal system in Lebanon without “The Boulder of Tanios“, or the century of Omar Khayyam in Iran, or how the Arab viewed the Crusaders at the time, or how the Lebanese immigrated and prospered overseas…
Maaluf earned the French Goncour Prize for “The Boulder of Tanios” (Sakhrat Tanios) and the Spanish Literary Prize.
His productions were translated in over 20 languages. I read all his books in the original French language (about a dozen books) and reviewed extensively many of them in English, in my blog under “Book Review” category.
Many Lebanese authors wrote in foreign languages and were famous. For example, Jubran Khalil Jubran “The Prophet” (the highest read in the USA after the Bible), Amine Rihani who corresponded with the New York Times in the 20’s and wrote “Khaled” and many other books, Andre Chedid, George Shehadeh, Salah Stitieh…
Note 1: This article was inspired by the article of the Lebanese journalist Samir Attallah, published in the daily Al Nahar (June 29, 2011)
Note 2: This Nov. 10, 2013, Amine presented his latest book during the exhibition of French book production in BIEL (convention place in Beirut), and the President of Lebanon offered him the Medal of Honor during a reception.