“These are the children of Lebanon; they are the lamps that cannot be snuffed by the wind and the salt which remains unspoiled through the ages.”
The above quote is from Khalil Gibran‘s passionate ode to the country of his birth, “You Have Your Lebanon And I Have My Lebanon,” written after the First World War in the 1920s. Being of the same heritage and understanding how these words illuminate the strength of my mother’s family, I used this quote for my “Lebanon Forever” limited edition hat (you can see it under the brim and also on the inside):
Gibran, the celebrated artist, poet and writer, is a literary hero amongst his people so it’s no surprise that Salma Hayek-Pinault (whose father is Lebanese) has turned his most famous work, The Prophet, into a beautifully animated feature film.
According to Variety, the film has distilled the 26 poems in Gibran’s 1923 classic book into a collection of eight animated films from eight directors.
“This is one of the most personal projects I have ever done and I am extremely proud of it,” Hayek-Pinault says.
“We are thrilled to be working with Salma and the entire creative team to bring this stunning and deeply moving film to theaters. The film’s message about freedom and the power of human expression could not be more relevant and timely,” GKIDS president Eric Beckman said in a statement (his Oscar-nominated company recently acquired the movie’s North American rights).
The third best-selling poet of all time, Gibran’s romantic style of writing about all areas of life was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature. He has directly influenced creatives all over the world, including very famous ones like 2Pac. When I interviewed Afeni Shakur for my Urban Hitz magazine in 2004, we reflected on this:
I remember reading that the works of philosopher Kahlil Gibran have helped you through so many situations, which struck a chord in me because Gibran was of Lebanese background like myself and his words hold meaning to me also. Was Tupac a fan of his?
Afeni: “Let me tell you something. The basis of Tupac’s understanding of anything comes from The Prophet being in his life. My own understanding of life and especially of children comes from Kahlil Gibran’s views on children. So there is literally no way to separate who Tupac is from what Kahlil Gibran left for us. You cannot talk about Tupac in reality and not talk about the effect of Kahlil Gibran on his upbringing and it’s as simple as that.”
Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet is set for a Summer 2015 release.