Google Pays Tribute to Lebanese Gibran Khalil Gibran

Google pays tribute to Gibran Khalil Gibran’s birthday. Check out Google’s page!

An interesting story about Khalil Gibran’s birth date:

“The date of my birth is unknown,” Kahlil Gibran once said.

In an isolated village like his birthplace of Bcharri, North of Lebanon, births and deaths were as ordinary as the tasks of the seasons, events only imprinted in the memories of men and women who later told stories without any regards to written history. Through these stories, with a fair amount of accuracy was it deduced that the poet was born on January 6, 1883.

The confusion over Gibran’s date of birth, however, was cleared up in a letter he wrote to one of the foremost women Arabic literature writers during that century. “Gibran and May Ziade” knew each other solely from the letters they exchanged. In one of the letters, Gibran wrote to May:

“… Let me tell you a little story, May, and you may laugh a while at my expense. Naseeb Arida, wishing to collect the articles of A Tear and a Smile and publish them in one volume,  decided to append that assortment of meager pieces with the article “My Birthday” and add the appropriate date to it… As I was not in New York at the time, he began searching for my date of birth. He is an indefatigable researcher until he eventually identified that date in the distant past, and translated the English January 6th into Kanoon al-Awal 6th! In this way he reduced the span of my lifetime by nearly a year, and delayed the real day of my birth by a month! To this day, ever since the publication of A Tear and a Smile, I have enjoyed two birthday celebrations each year….” Here is the footnote to the Arabic date: Kanoon-al-Awal (literally the 1st Kanoon) is the month of December, and January is Kanoon al-Thani (literally the 2nd Kanoon).”

-1883: Gibran Kahlil Gibran was born in Bcharri, a village in the North of Lebanon. He originated from a humble family. His father, Kahlil, worked as a tax collector. His mother Kamle Rahme had one child called Boutros from a previous marriage. After Gibran, Kamle gave birth to Mariana and Sultana.

-1895: Gibran’s mother, Kamle, immigrated to Boston with her four children hoping to flee misery, while his father stayed in Lebanon passing through financial difficulties. In the United States, Gibran met the famous photographer, Fred Holland Day.

-1898: Gibran returned to Lebanon to study Arabic and French at La Sagesse College in Beirut.

-1902: In the space of fifteen months, misfortune struck Gibran’s family three times: Gibran lost his mother, sister and half-brother.

-1904: Gibran met Mary Haskel, an American citizen, who will encourage and help him. He published several poems in prose (which would later be gathered under the title of A Tear and a Smile).

-1908: He settled down in Paris to pursue an artistic training.

-1911: From then on, Gibran settled in New York. He started a rich and an intimate correspondence with May Ziade, a Lebanese intellectual living in Cairo.

-1918: The “Madman”, his first book written in English, was published.

-1920: Gibran founded with other Arab and Lebanese co-writers and poets living in the United-States a literary society “Al-Rabitah Al-Qualamiya”.

-1923: The Prophet, Gibran’s seminal work, was published. The book was an immediate success. Gibran started a solid friendship with Barbara Young, who later became his confident.

-1928: Jesus, the Son of Man, the fruit of 18 months of uninterrupted work, was published.

-1931: Gibran died at the age of 48 in a hospital in New York. His body was transferred to Lebanon. It lies today in his native town Bsharri in the monastery of Mar Sarkis (Saint Serge), that was turned into a Museum.

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

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.