Posted by: bogel0708 | September 4, 2008

one Lebanon Forever

“I believe in you, and I believe in your destiny.
: I believe that you are the contributors to this new civilization.
: I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an acient
: dream, a song, a prophecy, which you can proudly lay as a gift upon the
: lap of America. I believe that you can say to the founders of this
: great nation, “Here I am, a youth, a young tree whose roots were plucked
: from the hills of Lebanon, yet I am deeply routed here, and I would be
: fruitful.”
:
: – Gibran Kahlil Gibran

: I feel that this quote applies now more so than ever to all Lebanese abroad
: and should be used to strengthen our glorious Lebanese heritage in our
: children so that they may not forget that * We are one people – ONE
: LEBANON – let us stand up proud and proclaim to the world “LEBANON FOREVER” !!!
Marhaba khaye Jamiel,
Isn’t our heritage something to be proud of? I think Gibran was only one of
the many greats that we produced over the ages. However, Gibran was not an
isolationist. SO…
please allow me to put Gibran in perspective. Here is one of my old posts:

Excerpt from ‘This Man From Lebanon’ by Barbara Young published
by Alfred A. Knopf. This is from the chapter titled “Vigorous and
Full of Living Force”.
In it Barbara Young wrote of Gibran Khalil Gibran:

To the younger generation of his countrymen, those born in the West
of parents who had grown up on their native soil, Gibran was one of
the elect of God. They went to him in their perplexities, and he
met their problems with quick understanding and divine gentleness
that won their undying gratitude and devotion.

He entertained a profound belief in the power that the traditions
of the Arabic world still possess in the life and thought of the
young Syrian. And he wrote a message To Young Americans of Syrian
Origin that may well be pondered by young Americans of whatever
origin. This is the message:

[Begin Gibran’s message]

I believe in you, and I believe in your destiny.
I believe that you are contributors to this new civilization.
I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an ancient
dream, a song, a prophecy, which you can proudly lay as a gift of
gratitude upon the lap of America.

I believe that you can say to the founders of this great nation,
“Here I am, a youth, a young tree whose roots were plucked from
the hills of Lebanon, yet I am deeply rooted here, and I would be
fruitful.”

And I believe that you can say to Abraham Lincoln, the blessed,
“Jesus of Nazareth touched your lips when you spoke, and guided
your hand when you wrote; and I shall uphold all that you have said
and all that you have written.”

I believe that you can say to Emerson and Whitman and James, “In my
veins runs the blood of the poets and wise men of old, and it is my
desire to come to you and receive, but I shall not come with empty
hands.”

I believe that even as your fathers came to this land to produce
riches you were born here to produce riches by intelligence, by labor.

I believe that it is in you to be good citizens.
And what is it to be a good citizen?

It is to acknowledge the other person’s rights before asserting your
own, but always to be conscious of your own.
It is to be free in word and deed, but it is also to know that your
freedom is subject to the other person’s freedom.

It is to create the useful and the beautiful with your own hands,
t is to produce by labor and only by labor, and to spend less than you
have produced that your children may not be dependant upon the state
for support when you are no more.

It is to stand before the towers of New York and Washington, Chicago
and San Francisco saying in your heart, “I am the descendant of a
people that builded Damascus and Byblos, and Tyre and Sidon and
Antioch and now I am here to build with you, and with a will.”

It is to be proud of being an American, but it is also to be proud that
your fathers and mothers came from a land upon which God laid His
gracious hand and raised His messengers.

Young Americans of Syrian origin, I believe in you.

..
[Barbara Young continues]
Many of these young Syrians and Lebanese have great beauty of
counterance and eyes of a depth and soft darkness to be seen rather
than described. They speak excellent English, but they speak it,
many of them, with a lingering suggestion of the poetry and subtlety
of their homeland. And they are gifted in many diverse directions.

Gibran once said, “Some of you Americans think that all we have come to
this country for, from our native Syria, is to sell oranges and
bananas, or rugs and brasses.”
But as I write there are thousands of his countrymen represented in
almost all of the arts and sciences and professions in many parts of
the land. There are distinguished professors in the universities; there
are eminent physicians; there are brilliant musicians and composers;
there are poets and editors and lecturers, and there are financiers and
diplomats and lawyers.

And today there are officers in our Army and our Navy and our Air Force,
men in the ranks and on the home front, “young Americans of Syrian
origin”, who are “vigorous and full of living force.”

And all of them everywhere know Gibran Kahlil Gibran as he is called in
his country. They know him in the cities, in the delightful Syrian
restaurants where toothsome dishes are prepared with real art and
served with distinction. I have never entered one of these restaurants
without hearing some meantion of him, without someone knowing, and
saying “You are the friend of Gibran?” And then such lavish and
ardent attenion and service as they render, in his name! It is when
I dine in one of these places that I am reminded how Gibran would say,
emphatically and smile, “You are Lebanese!” For there is no food that
I have eaten in any country that so pleases my palate as the Syrian
cuisine.
Gibran himself, being as he was of simple tastes, had a menu for the
perfect refreshment,”dark bread and ripe olives, Syrian cheese [halloum]
and white wine.” And this is indeed, a satisfying and comforting repast


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