Celebrating Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-born artist, poet, writer


Celebrating Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-born artist, poet, writer

"I believe that there is goodness inside of every single one of us, and artists like Kahlil Gibran help us to discover and nurture that goodness in ourselves and in others." – Salma Hayek-Pinault, Foreword to Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders

Eighty-six years ago today, Kahlil Gibran died in New York City at the age of 48. His body was buried at the Mar Sarkis Monastery in Lebanon. Next to his grave are the words "a word I want to see written on my grave: I am alive like you, and I am standing beside you. Close your eyes and look around, you will see me in front of you."

Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-born artist, poet, writer and polymath who emigrated to America as a young man in the 1890s, where he became a successful artist and prose poet. As a poor 13-year-old in Boston, Gibran became a model for photographer Fred Holland Day, who then made him his pupil and assistant, introducing him to the literature of the nineteenth century, the Romantic and then Symbolist poets. The themes of suffering, prophecy and love provided Gibran with what would become the basis of much of his work. 

"But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls." – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

His most famous work, The Prophet, is a series of twenty-six philosophical essays written in prose poetry as a series of sermons given by a fictional poet. It has been translated into more than fifty languages, sold 30 million copies and never been out of print since it was first published in 1923. Influenced by the power of religion to unite people, his work offers a dogma-free universal spiritualism which counters the more rigid orthodoxy and moralism of traditional religion. 

"You are my brother and I love you. I love you when you prostrate yourself in your mosque, and kneel in your church and pray in your synagogue. You and I are sons of one faith—the Spirit." – Kahlil Gibran, A Tear and a Smile

Beyond The Prophet and Gibran’s other works, Gibran’s life itself is an inspirational story, mainly because Kahlil Gibran loved life. What he evokes and describes in his poetry and prose is a love affair with life—in both life’s joy and its challenges. And sharing and spreading this kind of love for life may be a key to ultimately helping save the world from its problems.” – Salma Hayek-Pinault, Foreword to Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders

Jean Gibran's Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders is comprehensive illustrated biography of Kahlil Gibran. It is now available in hardback and ebook.