Event Recap: The Fingerprints of Kahlil Gibran on Contemporary Arts

Last week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) held the first Arabesque Lecture Series event of 2013, “The Fingerprints of Kahlil Gibran on Contemporary Arts.”

January’s Arabesque was dedicated as a celebration of the 130th anniversary of the birth of the literary giant and the submission of ADC’s request for a Kahlil Gibran commemorative stamp. The event was a major success as both new and familiar faces packed the Langston Room at Busboys and Poets to capacity and beyond. The guests enjoyed the wonderful contemporary atmosphere and dining experience at Busboys while learning about Gibran and his lasting impact on facets of art in today’s contemporary age. The evening began with American University Center for Global Peace Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies, Dr. Edmund Ghareeb. Dr. Ghareeb gave the audience an overview of Gibran’s life and his place as one of the most influential artists and poets. To conclude his informational and interesting discussion, Dr. Ghareeb read selections from Gibran’s original poetry that his own father had worked with Gibran to translate from Arabic into English. The evening’s second speaker, media specialist and filmmaker, Walid Jawad, discussed his documentary, “Tracing the Footsteps of Gibran.”Jawad undertook filming the piece to discover the Arab American identity by following the times and trials of Gibran’s life. He explained Gibran’s influence on his own life and recounted the thought and process behind filming the documentary. The evening’s final presenter was Los Angeles-based Arab American artistKinda Hibrawi. Hibrawi joined the session remotely to discuss Gibran’s influence on her work as an Arab American artist, and her “Dear Mr. Gibran” painting collection in particular. She explained the impetus behind her decision to produce a collection dedicated to Gibran and explained to the audience a few select pieces from the collection. Read more about the presenters and the artwork of Kinda Hibrawi here.

The evening was capped off by wonderful poetry and spoken word performances celebrating Gibran. ADC intern’s Celine Toubia and Norhan Basuni performed, as did ADC supporter Samer Badawi. Toubia did a lovely reading of Gibran’s “Beauty.” Basuni read Gibran’s “Let These Be Your Desires” and then performed an original spoken-word response to the work. Badawi performed a beautiful poem written by a young Palestinian girl from Gaza.

ADC thanks Busboys and Poets for their support of our programs and initiatives. We would also like to thank each person that attended and supported the Gibran Stamp Campaign in any way! Your support is greatly appreciated and we hope to see you at future Gibran events and Arabesque lectures.

Download the event handout