Free Lebanon and Eternity

By: Dr. Charles Malik

From Charles Malik’s book “ Lebanon In Itself “ Translated from Arabic by Dr. George Sabra and Revised by Kenneth Mortimer (The Murex Series By Notre Dame University, Louaize, Lebanon.)

When Lebanon labored in the United Nations to establish the dignity, rights and basic freedoms of the human being in the unique and magnificent formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the depths of Lebanese being spoke through the mouths of its representatives. The story of that labor has not yet been written; in its existential hidden aspects and secrets it will never be written.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins as follows: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…”

And Article One states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

The truth is that without that dignity and those rights, without that freedom and brotherhood, without that reason and conscience, Lebanon would not have been, and it would not have been able to live and endure in defiance of the ages and epochs.

That is what we have many times said, declared and recorded before the whole world, and what we have, finally, worked to incorporate in those texts. I assure you that the annual world celebration on December 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a celebration of Lebanon Day. The whole world knows Lebanon’s contribution; it testifies to it on that day, but, alas, we have not yet put it at the forefront of our official national holidays!
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Gibran Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”

Gibran Kahlil Gibran’s, 1883 – 1931, “The Prophet”

The coming of the ship
Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn onto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.
And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld the ship coming with the mist.

Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache
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