File:Khalil Gibran.jpg

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Kahlil Gibran, Photograph, al-Funun 1, no. 1 (April 1913)

Kahlil Gibran was born in 1883 in Bisharri, Lebanon. He emigrated to the United States with his mother Kamilah and siblings, Butrus, Maryana and Sultana in 1895. They resided in Boston’s Chinatown for three years before Gibran returned to Lebanon to study Arabic at the College de la Sagesse in Beirut. He visited Paris and New York City on his return, meeting Amin al-Rihani on this trip.

After his return to Boston in 1903, Gibran faced a series of personal misfortunes as a result of losing his half-brother Butrus, his mother Kamilah, and his sister Sultanah to illness.

He began his literary career in 1904 publishing material in Mir’at al-Gharb (Mirror of the West), the newspaper owned by Najib Diyab. By 1913, he was a well-known writer within the Arab-American community.

The journal al-Funun provided Gibran, as it did for the other Arab-American writers of his day, a vehicle in which he could publish all of his literary and artistic works. He took advantage of this and contributed many of his original literary works, in addition to many of his sketches to al-Funun. Gibran, Amin al-Rihani and Mikhail Naimy were al-Funun’s main contributers.

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