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Born January 6, 1883, into a Lebanese Christian family Gibran Khalil Gibran went on to write some of the most beautiful New Thought prose hitherto scribed.
Links to Khalil Gibran's Works:
Lebanon was as divided then as it is today which was encouraged by the Ottoman Turks who occupied Lebanon as part of its province of "Greater Syria".
Constant conflicts between Chrislamic sects fostered an ongoing series of atrocities between these intimately related spiritual groups. Gibran was inspired to heal the rifts between these groups. Sadly today, even though one can genetically test these groups and find they are in fact related by blood, they prefer to kill each each other over the minor differences in their Chrislamic beliefs.
Gibran, a thoughtful and insightful child, was deeply influenced by the beauty of the nature which surrounded him. These informed his writings which were inspired by the cedars of Lebanon and the natural beauty. His family was too poor to enable him to receive formal education. In this way Lebanon was much like England or the United States today in which education is restricted to the wealthy. He was fortunate, God smiled and through the kindness of a local Christian priest he was able to learn to read and write through studying the bible and other texts the minister had. Naturally one of his great strengths was his ability to speak several languages including Syriac, Arabic, Turkish and later English.
His mother Kamila Rahmeh was thirty when Gibran was born. He was the son of her her third husband. Gibran was close to his siblings, in particular his two younger sisters, Mariana and Sultana.
Khalil's family had deep roots in a prestigious religious background, which provided the uneducated Kamila with a strong motivation to ensure the safety and success of her family.
At the time of her immigration, the U.S. was a prosperous 1st world country attracting people from around the world. Her choice was to have lasting effects upon the positive growth of consciousness throughout the world.
At the age of eight, Gibran's father, was accused of tax evasion then sent to prison as the Turkish authorities confiscated the Gibrans' property leaving them homeless. The family was forced to live with relatives for a while prior to Kamila's decision to immigrate following in suit to Gibran's uncle who immigrated to the United States earlier. In 1894, the father was released his Arabic roots and the tenuous nature of his marriage to Kamila made him feel uncertain about immigration so he remained in Lebanon.
At the age of ten, Gibran fell off a cliff, injuring his left shoulder, which seemed to remain weak for the rest of his life. The method of healing was quite interesting: His dislocated shoulder was strapped to a cross for 40 days apprently in symbolic method of healing combining Christ's wanderings in the wilderness and his torment upon the cross. This incident was naturally deeply ingrained into Gibran's consciousness.
On June 25, 1895, the Gibrans embarked by ship to Ellis Island in New York.
The Gibrans settled in the second largest Syrian community in the U.S. which was located in Boston's South End. Like many immigrant communities, they settled among people who spoke their dominant language of Lebanon. South End was filled with Arab speakers who shared Arab customs which did not include suicide bombers at that time as the majority of the community were Christians which is the less militant part of the Chrislamic faith.
Gibran was blessed through exposure to the cultural side of Boston. The dearth of cultural opportunities in the Turkish and Arabic societies had previously not allowed him to be exposed to the rich world of the theatre, opera and art. One must keep in mind that the more radical traditions of the Chrislamic middle east forbid the depiction of the human form.
Thus from the roots of the Cedars of Lebanon, the wonderful New Thought teacher Khalil Gibran grew into a wonderful mystic who produced essays, novels, poems and art.
In 1904 Gibran had his first art exhibition in Boston. From 1908 to 1910 he studied art in Paris with August Rodin. In 1912 he settled in New York, a cultural mecca during the 20th Century.
Gibran's early works were written in Arabic, before his mastery of English. Beginning in 1918 he published mostly in English. Hoping to encourage the development of an appreciation for the arts within the Arab communities of the world, Gibran founded a society for Arab writers, Mahgar (al-Mahgar) in 1920.
Gibran died in New York on April 10, 1931. His best-known work is The Prophet, a book of 26 poetic essays, which has been translated into over 20 languages. The Prophet has supported the spiritual growth of millions around the world with its profound message of compassion.