Kahlil Gibran Biography

Kahlil Gibran Biography
Gibran Kahlil Gibran was born on January 6, 1883 in the Christian Maronite town of Bsharri in today's northern Lebanon - at the time part of the Ottoman Empire. Gibran was very poor and did not receive any formal schooling during his youth in Lebanon. But he studied the Bible with the priests, learning the Syriac and Arabic languages. He traced many of the ideas he would later express in The Prophet back to this early informal education from the priests.

Gibran’s father was imprisoned and Ottoman authorities confiscated his family's property. Authorities released Gibran's father from prison in 1894, but the family had by then lost their home. With only what she could carry, Gibran's mother, Kamilah, emigrated with her children to the United States where her brother lived.

The twelve-year-old Gibran left with his mother, his younger sisters Mariana and Sultana, and his half-brother Peter, for New York on June 25, 1895. The family moved to Boston’s South End, a large Lebanese immigrant community. Gibran started formal school for the first time September 30, 1895, in special classes for immigrants to learn English - the first step in those days to become a citizen of the United States. By 1898, three years after arriving in the United States, Gibran’s art works were being used as illustrations for book covers, and he had his first art exhibition in 1904 at the age of 21. He later left for Paris and studied art with Auguste Rodin.

When he was young most of Gibran’s writings were in Syriac or Arabic, but after 1918 the bulk of his work was in English.

He considered himself an American Lebanese writer, as a member of the New York Pen League.

Gibran said that he thought of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the divine leader of the Bahá'í Faith in his lifetime, all the way through writing The Prophet. `Abdu'l-Bahá's personage also influenced Jesus, The Son of Man, another book by Gibran.

Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931.

Literary Works of Gibran Kahlil Gibran
In Arabic:
* Ara'is al-Muruj (Nymphs of the Valley, also translated as Spirit Brides, 1906)
* al-Arwah al-Mutamarrida (Spirits Rebellious, 1908)
* al-Ajniha al-Mutakassira (Broken Wings, 1912)
* Dam'a wa Ibtisama (A Tear and A Smile, 1914)
* The Madman (1918)
* al-Mawakib (The Processions, 1919)
* al-‘Awāsif (The Tempests, 1920)
* The Forerunner (1920)
* al-Bada'i' waal-Tara'if (The New and the Marvellous,1923)

In English:

* The Prophet, (1923)
* Sand and Foam (1926)
* The Son of Man (1928)
* The Earth Gods (1929)
* The Wanderer (1932)
* The Garden of The Prophet (1933)
* Beloved Prophet, The love letters of Kahlil Gibran and Mary Haskell, and her private journal (1972, edited by Virginia Hilu)
* The Sea


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