CULTURE | Let's Put Kahlil Gibran on a Postage Stamp!
In honor of bestselling author and philosopher Khalil Gibran’s 130th birthday, the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee (ADC) has created a petition to feature the author of such classics as The Prophet and The Eye of the Prophet on a US postage stamp.
Here’s the full release from the ADC website:
ADC proudly announces its new Kahlil Gibran Appreciation Initiative to honor the great philosopher, poet, artist, and writer. His work is among the most lyrical and expressive in all literature. He wrote principally of love, life, death, and homeland. A Lebanese-born immigrant to the United States, he belonged to the world. Known to all for his imaginative works and seemingly never-ending wisdom, Gibran is truly deserving of commemoration.
Born in 1883 in Bcharre, Lebanon, Gibran immigrated to the United States in 1894 with his family, settling in Boston. In 1912, he traveled to and settled in New York where he remained until his death in 1931. The written works of this illustrious man were completed in English and later translated into Arabic among many other languages.
Gibran is best known for his masterpiece, The Prophet, first published in 1923. It has been reprinted over 107 times with over 100 million copies sold. His works were all self-illustrated and are an expressive fusion of art and poetry. Intolerant of tyranny and oppression, he taught of the supreme healing power of love and the unity of man. His meager beginnings and life trials taught him the meaning of pain, hardship, and the agony of failure which all contributed to the resounding success of his works decades after his death.
The mission of the Kahlil Gibran Appreciation Initiative is to gain a more far-reaching appreciation for the cherished works of Gibran. As a non-sectarian, non-partisan organization welcoming members of all ethnicities and religions, and dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and preserving the rich heritage of the Arab American community in the United States, ADC feels it is uniquely poised to initiate such a campaign to ensure that Gibran, who truly bridged the two worlds — Arab and American, is recognized and appreciated for the profound effect he has had on the world as a whole.
ADC will launch this initiative with the submission of a petition to the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee with the hope that it will accept and recognize Gibran for his contributions in the form of a United States stamp. Further, the initiative will be contacting the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee to discuss the possibility of developing a commemorative US coin or medal to honor Gibran. This initiative will be dedicated to finding ways to further the legacy of Gibran. As Gibran wrote, “A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” ADC will utilize Gibran’s contributions to show he is deserving of recognition as one of the greatest artists and writers of all time. We are excited to announce this new initiative that will require your support in the coming months.
In a true sense, Gibran belongs neither to Lebanon nor America, but to all peoples, in all places, at all times. Like Lebanon, he was a mixture of the old and new, the East and the West.
The ADC hopes to receive at least 10,000 signatures. Read more about this petition on the ADC website.
The Eye of the Prophet is a luminous collection of Gibran’s writings translated from Arabic into French and now into English. Here the author is the poetic, philosophical moralist, grounded in Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, seeking the best in people, refusing to separate humankind from the natural world. Ordinary work and life, he says, has the potential to be inherently noble, if we can learn to enact our affairs with the sublimity of nature’s creations.
Gibran’s descriptions celebrate the dignity and freedom of animals, birds, the seasons, oceans, clouds. His is a poet’s eye; he abhors the “tentacles of government” and calls on citizens to question all ideologies. In this book he writes about life’s great moments and passages (The First Kiss, The First Glance, The Mystery of Love, Youth); eternal essences (Earth, The Nature of Woman, Marriage, Love, Truth, Poetry), and grapples with nationalism, religion, and spiritual growth. The Eye of the Prophet blends Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist ideals into a great spiritual tapestry that transcends all cultural divisions. With its vibrant, rhythmic language, it speaks to our challenging times as a worthy companion to The Prophet.