"And think not you can guide the course of love, for if love finds you worthy, shall guide your course"
by Rudy Rahme.
"Mine is an inner life... So-called big happenings are few."
In the face of the hubbub that accompanies every great man,
In the face of Gibran's international fame which is spreading over the whole world,
In the face of the big question: Who is this Lebanese whose name is whispered by some, in our generation, as a man with a message,
The visitor of his museum will undoubtedly want to learn at least the highlights of his life and of his work.
Bsharri, Lebanon (January 6, 1883 - June, 1895)
Childhood and contradictions.
Gibran, the eldest child of Khalil Gibran from Kamleh Rahmeh by her
third marriage, was born in Bsharri on January 6, 1883. His half brother,
Boutros (from Hanna Abdel Salam. Kamleh's first husbadd) was six years
Pampered in his childhood, Gibran joined Father Germanos's school, a dependency of the Mar Elisha monastery. There, he learned the fundamentals of the Syriac and Arabic languages. The dynamism of his childhood and youth opened his eyes on a society weighed down by contradictions. Religious principles and nature's astonishing beauty marked his soul deeply. The accounts of the heroic feats of the Gibran family, who stubbornly refused the regime of the Mutasarrafiah (governorship of Mount Lebanon) and the Ottoman citizenship, were rooted in his conscience. Many of the members of his family had joined, in the eighteen sixties, Youssef Karam's revolution against the Mutassarif (governor) Daoud Pasha and the Sublime Porte. This revolution left North Lebanon in poverty and neglect. Very early, Gibran knew the bitterness of his ancestors' defeat which led them, after the banishment of YoussefKaram, to emigrate to the Americas and Australia. He also learned that those of his family who stayed behind were subjected to all sorts of dangers and illtreatment. He was present when the ottoman soldiers attacked his father and a group of partisans in Wadi Ratl, in the plot of land which carries the name of one of his ancestors: Marjahin (Marj Hanna Saad Gibran), in the Raml district. Luckily, they were able to escape in the wilderness, as he indicates in an impromptu poem he composed for the occasion. Gibran was eight years old when his father was imprisoned and the troops of the Mutassarafiah confiscated the family house and property. Kamleh, Gibran, Boutros and her two daughters, Mañana (1885) and Sultaneh (1887), moved into a small house the family had given to Eid Gibran (Khalil's brother). Eid was a drunkard and the seeker of lewd pleasures.
When he was nine, Gibran fell of a cliff near the Mar Elisha monastery and broke his shoulder bones. He remained, in the home of his aunt, Leyla Bitar, tied to a cross for several months, awaiting his bones to set. In this position, he learned intimately the meaning of the Crucifixion which he had seen enacted in the rites of fasting and of the Passion of Christ. The accident left a weakness in his right arm which lasted all his life. This, by the way, is why he always carried a walking stick, as is seen in his pictures. The walking stick is exhibited in the Museum.
When he was eleven, his father was released from jail. Kamleh had by then sold everything she possessed. Poverty threatened the family with hunger. Thereupon, Kamleh decided to emigrate. Khalil remained undecided whether to join his family or await their return.
The family crossed the border of the Mutassarafiah and embarked on June 25, 1895 from the port of Beirut.
Gibran Status in front of his birth house
Boston (July 1895 - August 1898)
From the school for foreigners to the opening upon a pre-Renaissance.
The private school for foreigners, which Gibran first joined, accepted
him only one year because of his age. The teacher, Jessie Fremont Beale
discovered his talents at drawing. In her letter to Fred Holland Day,
the benevolent social assistant for foreign immigrants, who also happened
to be a pioneer in Boston's literary and artistic Renaissance, she shortened
his name to Khalil Gibran, and that is how he came to be known in America.
The meeting with Day which marked Gibran's future took place on January 9, 1896.
The family struggled hard for a living. Kamleh served as a housemaid and dressmaker, and Mariana followed in her steps. Boutros, assisted by his two sisters, owned a small shop. On another level, Gibran picked up his charcoal and colored pencils to draw the Bacchantes. He also read avidly everything Day gave him. Day, nicknamed the Rembrandt of the Camera, was fascinated by people having an eastern physiognomy; and found in the faces of the Gibran family attractive expressions of a sad limpidity, which he photographed many times. He also tried to promote the aptitudes of the young artist, and generously loaned him books of English poetry and dictionaries of mythology. He helped to introduce him to the Boston elite and awakened in his pens feelings capable to fathom the hidden secrets of the books he read, and to materialize them in drawings that brought him fame. He was on his way to success.
On March 8, 1898, at an exhibition of Day's photographs, in which the face of Gibran was a major subject, the 15 year old lad met Josephine Preston Peabody, a belle of Boston and a highly cultured poetess. Day encouraged him to draw her sparkling beauty after speaking to her. He did. She became an inspiring model for many of his works. This was the first step in a sentimental drama which lasted until 1906. It carried with it deep wounds and dreams and was empty of everything except boundless passion.
He opened himself up on everything with all his senses: love, drawing, extensive reading, meditation, change, conversion of his religious concepts towards mythology, comparison between societies, estrangement, his homeland, and living at the expense of his family... The nebulous poet grew in him, dragging behind him his limited, hard present. He had not yet started to write, and his painting instruments were not brushes but bashful colored pencils. In vain did he try to bring forth what was inside him; His mother read his inward struggle. Day discovered it. Together, they encouraged him to travel to Lebanon in order to learn Arabic.
Outside view of the Museum
Summer in Bsharri, winter in Beirut (September 1898- April 1902)
A voice of change cries in the unfortunate East... Hunger for the word.
Between the Sagesse College in the Vilayat (district) of Beirut and Bsharri in the Mutasarrafiah with his father, Gibran discovered the. wound of his homeland and the boundaries within his country. The adversity of a humiliated nationalism gripped him and grew into revolt and violence.
In the Sagesse College, his Arabic teacher, Father Yousef Haddad, discovered in him "an ear which captures what it wants, a loving but controlled heart, an impetuous soul, a rebellious mind, an eye mocking everything it sees."
At school, he frequented an elite who became forerunners in poetry, painting, sculpture and politics. They included Bechara Khoury and Youssef Howayek. He addressed himself for painting to Habib Srour, a painter in the style of Michaelangelo. Josephine Peabody corresponded with him after she received from Day the commemorative painting he had made of her, and a romance began to throb in Gibran's heart. He also showed gratitude to Day, his friend and first mentor1 who collected for him the royalties from his drawings printed on book covers and sent them to him. He thus became, in the eyes of his friends, an artist who had already acquired fame in Boston.
The Renaissance movements, which remained sterile, the sectarian strife without a religious scope, the servility towards the Ottoman authorities, the secret political organizations which only roused superficial sections of the Easterners and penetrated deep into society's dark alleys, the desire to revolt against the Bloody Sultan, which remained without implementation…all these were subjects he recorded in his notes. They include passages from A Book to Reform the World. And despite its innocent childishness, the book reveals the presence of a perfect model, which matured with his growing wisdom, but did not change with his idealistic inclination.
Amidst this inner struggle - nourished by all sorts of notions, and spreading in every direction -the news of the death of his sister, Sultana, reached him in 1902 and carried him back to Boston.
Back in Boston (April 1902 - June 1908)
A well of pain... Successive deaths in the family... Desire
The death of Sultana was a dark prelude. Gibran also read the marks
of death in the face of his brother Boutros, the mainstay of the family,
who was carried away by tuberculosis at the age of twenty seven, and cancer
was painfully gnawing away at his mother. Within fourteen months, April
1902 to June 1903, fate obstinately set upon Gibran and almost overwhelmed
him. His imagination was filled with ghosts of death and coffins. Would
he be defeated? Would he return to Lebanon with his only surviving sister,
and join his bereaved and lonely father who was waiting for them? An obscure
challenge took hold of his conscience. Genius, perhaps, arises from a
strong conception it ignores, but which, nevertheless, strengthens its
man. Pain and the struggle against fate form the vital contest which a
genius needs to discover his raison d'être, the motive of his existence.
Josephine Peabody and Day consoled him. But with Josephine sprang up another tragic love which turned his sentimentality into a new prison. It was a loge which betrays poverty and uncovers the extent of infatuation. Josephine took umbrage when he sought love and marriage
through the bonds of poetry and friendship. He then realized that beauty, kindness, poetry, youth... are not love. He also realized that he had to find the man, in the sentimental Gibran. This was the introduction to the series of articles entitled A Tear and a Smile.
He was supported in his first exhibit, which Day pressed him to mount in his studio- by all his friends, including Josephine. Her lover, Lionel Marks, a physics professor at Harvard, insisted upon his old friend, Mary Haskell, to visit the exhibition. Her meeting with Gibran was the greatest event the exhibition afforded. It was the first word in a story which was to last until 1926; it took a different turn after that date and even after his death. She recorded the details of the encounter and eventually, filled thousands of pages with her memoires and articles.
His sensitivity to the flute, 'to the ringing notes of his brother, Boutros's oud (oriental lute) the wagnarian music to which Day initiated him.., are the factors that inspired his booklet Music, which was published in 1905. Many copies were distributed as gifts. Articles and short stories followed at a rapid pace. They were published in 1906 under the title the brijdes of the prairies. It was followed in 1908 by the Rebellious Souls.
Between June21, 1906, the day Josephine Peabody married Lionel Marks and the end of June 1908, Gibran, the man, was being shaped. He began to appreciate his father's fortitude. He also realized that stoicism could transform sentimentalism and indolent love into a source of strength, endurance, and stamina that lead to greatness. He began to overcome obstacles and adversities with courage and determination: he refused to shut himself up and realized that death is part and parcel of life; he squarely faced the vicissitudes of life, and faced iniquity and tyranny without hesitation. He said: "Criticism nurtures principles." Realizing himself became an aim and a claim.
Gibran's Studio in New York
Paris (end of June 1908 - end of October 1910)
Antagonism of creators in rival schools... and self-discovery.
He went to Paris, confident in himself and in his art, to search for
a technique he hadn't yet acquired and to seek new dimensions in shape,
lines and colors. He struggled to reach down to the hidden roots of art.
Everything in Pads was for him a cause of delight. Every street, every monument, every museum, every genius... were voices calling him. Self-knowledge leads to the knowledge of every creative being. He ran after creativity, which, in Pads, reached a glorious peak. It was a rare opportunity.
In London, during July, 1909, accompanied by his friend Amin Rihani, he visited every museum, beautiful site, monument, and fine organization in which the British excel, and drew from each a new stature.
In 1910, Le Salon du Printemps was held as usual Gibran proposed several paintings but only one, Autumn, painted in 1909, was accepted. In it, he allied the lovely curves of Micheline (Emily Miche!) with the melancholy of autumn. On the upper left corner of the painting, he wrote M.H. (the initials of Mary Haskell) and declared, in a letter that, thanks to her, he had become an artist. His painting won him the silver medal.
He tore himself away from the capital of good taste, carrying with him a complete cultural heritage, the dreams of a painter who had acquired a personal technique and the manuscript of The Broken Wings. He was back I Boston after an absence of two years and four months.
In Boston for the third time
(Beginning of November 1910- end of April 1911)
Impediment to marriage... Rebellion... The great expanse.
Gibran and Mary, each had incentives and obstacles to their marriage.
Gibran faced the situation with great precaution. The rebuff he received from Josephine left him unscathed but wary. Ten years older than Gibran, Mary, aware of his ambition and his gratitude for the money she had given him, felt that her age was an impediment, and shed bitter tears. Gibran realized that he had to put for love a goal beyond his reach in order to liberate himself from the bonds of marriage. Perhaps he came to understand the requisites of genius: dedication, freedom and total estrangement from everything else. Their love and affection resulted in writing down their lives in a wonderful love story, strewn with poems and thoughts spread (including Mary's diary) over seven thousand pages.
Mary wanted Gibran to stay in Boston, where together they would find a suitable studio for the artist, poet and writer whose fame had by now won the elite of society.
But an inner voice was calling him to New York, America's center of thought, of eastern ideological struggles, of artistic life, where the Lebanese and Syrians could play an active part in the liberation of Lebanon, Syria and the adjoining countries.
Between this inner call and his presence in Boston, he realized that the Golden Links Society was the most important among the clubs, societies and liberation movements resisting Turkey after the Revolution of the Young Turks in 1908. He lectured there many times, expounded the philosophy of its existence and stressed the importance of maintaining an eastern spiritualism. The Society was the movement which completed the ideology of the party despite the divergence of ideas between Gibran and his comrades in Paris, Boston and New' York, concerning the form of national government. He shunned conferences arid lectures and devoted himself for many months to the Golden Links in order to promote radicalism in independence and liberty, whereas his comrades were content in begging independence from the powers who held the decision. His tenacity in these doctrines was a new incentive to intensity the revolt and resistance in him, and at the same time it clarified in his mind the concept of force and the dimensions of man. This led to the birth of the subject matter of Tempests and other books. They were first published in the form of articles in newspapers, and later compiled in book form, Even after Gibran's death and up to this day, scholars and experts are studying these publications and periodicals. All these factors tore him away from Boston where death had claimed all his family except Mariana. All he had left was her, the below Mary, the school and the memories of sad meetings and evenings. He left for the universality of New York, and an opening on the world of thought and great contests.
New York (end of April 1911 -April 10, 1931)
Widespread contradictions... Deeper and more comprehensive dimensions... The harmony of the message.
In this period, the Gibran of the past crystallizes into a new Gibran. It is therefore necessary to study him in successive stages.
* After many attempts at finding a suitable studio spacious enough to house his spreading wings (1911 - 1914), Gibran finally settled in a building reserved for artists at 51, Tenth Street West.
* In order to complete the plunge into the consciousness humanity had attained through its geniuses, he set upon drawing the great personalities of his time: Charles Russell, Richard Le Gallienne, Balesco, William Butler Yeats, Abdul Baha', Alice Bradley, Carl Gustav Jung, Sarah Bernhardt, Ruth Saint Denis. Bergson and Edison
escaped his charcoal pencils. His relationship with General Garibaldi was beyond painting, since he was trying to convince him to back the people of the Middle East against the Turks.
*The modem art schools did not appreciate Gibran's technique in charcoal drawing and oil painting. He was criticized harshly and superficially. He reacted by rebelling against them and forecasting their downfall. Insisting upon exhibiting his new works, Mary Haskell shared with him the effort of preparing and conducting the exhibit in the Gallery Montross in February 1914. He imposed himself as an artist, but regretted his previous exhibitions. He had the same attitude towards his literary works. A major transformation created in him a new, rebellious and tough giant who said: "He who is moderate in revealing truth, reveals only half of it."
In The Broke!? Wings, Gibran left Salma Karameh and her child to die. Her society begets only death, and the passion of youth which he reincarnated in the story bruised his heart.
Thereupon, at the insistence of his friend Nasib Arida, hereluctantly allowed the publishing of the articles of A Tear and a Smile. He was intransigent over the annotations and the titles published in his Brown Notebooks. Perhaps the harsh criticisms that poured in from East and West against his Broken Wings, steeled his principles even against himself, and spread his kbellion to everything. At this stage, Nietzsche's Zarathustra was not a mere marginal inspiration. In the meantime, theosophy gave his intellect a comprehensive opening on the culture and spirituality of India, China, the whole Far East, and indeed on humanity's spiritualism in general.
*Mary Haskell encouraged him to write in English. He started by translating the first articles of the Madman. His revolutionary, but creative rebellion was a living nourishment to the hunger of many peoples, especially the Easterners. Similarly, the magazines and periodicals: Mira 'at A l-Gharb, Al-Bark, Al-filial, Al-Funun... welcomed his fiery words, and enflamed him even more. He was indeed a volcano active in every direction.
Vision changes the outlook on existence and it became necessary to create in him a different man. Each sky-line, each face, each painting, opened a new subject. His correspondence with the thinkers and editors of the East became more intense. He began a correspondence with Ziadeh, which lasted until 1926. It included thirty-six letters from him, which were published under The title Blue Torch, and thirty three from her whose fate is unknown.
* Gibran prepares for the publication of The Prophet with a series of readings in the literary salons. The most important of which was perhaps the one held in the salon of Corinne Douglas, President Roosevelt's sister. The Tour-1st newspaper covered the meeting in its April 6, 1923 edition. The list of guests included the elite of society. Pierre De Lanux, the representative of the French Government to the United States, and translator of The Madman was quoted as saying: "Thank God we were given to know him alive."
The countries of the Middle East were proud of Gibran and found in his thought and art a compensation for their chronic frustration. Their newspapers and periodicals were eager to translate his English works to Arabic and to publish his articles and, later, to print them in book form.
*In the eight last years of his life, 1923 - 1931, Gibran's fame reached, in America, a summit which none of his contemporaries reached.
He published The Prophet and it found its way even to the churches. Passages of the book were read in St. Mark's church. It was translated to German and French two years later, On May 10, 1927, he wrote to Carlos Verhuksi, owner of the Mirananda, an Amsterdam publishing firm, a letter to thank him for printing the book in both deluxe and standard editions. He also promised to send him The Forerunner Two years later, The Prophet was translated to Hebrew and the year he passed away, to Chinese. And ever since, The Prophet is conquering new horizons.
In New York, writers, artists, the habitués of libraries... examined thoroughly the effect Aimoustafa left in their hearts (Plate XX, chapter V). They also discussed at length the visions which represented most of the passages of the book. One of the persons the book won to Gibran, was the poetess Barba?a Young. She remained close to him until his death.. Mary Haskell and Mariana Gibran entrusted her with the conservation of his studio. Later, in 1939, Barbara Young came to Gibran's homeland in order to discover the intricate details which led to his formation in Bsharri and the Sagesse College. She examined once more his paintings in order to write her book: This Man Is From Lebanon.
* The Prophet's counsels regarding matters affecting the Orphalese community established Gibran on a level superior to that of a writer, or a painter or a sage. He became a spiritual teacher who simplifies life and brings it back to its natural purity; and his studio became the mecca of countless people who yearn to free themselves from the bonds of society.1 The mysterious illness confined him to bed. He tried to lead a secluded life in his studio, but failed. He then went to his sister in Boston, hoping to find rest in nature, where his Orphalesian entourage would be unified with his natural disposition and inclination to find in nature a remedy to his illness.
In this internal harmony, he found that his paintings, which por tray nothing but nudity and natdte, are the real incentive to bring people back to their simple, essential selves.
*In his struggle with pain, Gibran completed his message. The Words of Gibran KhaIil Gibran, Member of the Pen Club, published in the Tourist, were translated into English. Mary Haskell revised its CA pressions and drew from them a book of maxims, which he entitled Staid and Foam. Knopf published it on May 9, 1926. A critical question was posed to him: if The Prophet teaches the message of Almustafa, and Gibran endeavours to live up to the ideals found in this book, then what human being living in this world could be at once the ideal and the real Almustafa?
The answer, which illness delayed, was given after eighteen months of a spiritual retreat jn his studio to produce Jesus the Son of Man. It was published by Knopf in October 1928.
In this period, 1925 - 1928, Gibran, urged by the Indian-American publisher Siyud Hussein, participated in the founding, in 1925, ofthe periodical The]Vew Fast. This helped to extend the circles of his relations with world famous personalities, including: Petcr?enner, Claudq Bragdon, Annie Besant, Ananda Comaraswany, Bertrand Russel... and, above all Ghandi, whom Gibran regarded as "one of the greatest men alive."
* Very early, he expected that his life would be short and his present ill health confirmed his expectation. Rich in his own worlds, he needed to live every instant rather than think of it. He finished The Garden of the Prophet, but left it without revision: he had something more urgent to do. He got out from his drawers the introduction to the Earth Gods and dictated to Barbara the disproportionate dialogue of the gods. Each word had to express the infinite dimensions of life's successive horizons from its genesis to the advent of the Twelfth Aeon, then to the Winged Spirit, to reach Conscience and its stages in the comprehension of Time which is still conffised, and Power, which alone is desperate, and Reason which creates an equilibrium between Force and Knowledge, giving the latter hope, and Love which regenerates Force through Reason, and Reason through Art, Love, Spirit and Harmony. But this Love is still new, young; and life needs another depth if Love is to continue its action and its unification to transcend. The book was on the stands one month before Gibran's death.
The Earth Gods is a compendium that follows the trilogy of the prophet. It is the deepest, the widest in scope and the most comprehensive. In insisting upon writing it, despite his suffering, Gibran probably meant to crystallize in it the fundamental facts of life. It is the basis of his philosophy upon which he could build an unlimited production. And whoever wonders whether Gibran is capable of creating anything superior to The Prophet, is not properly acquainted with this book, which, in view of its depth and intricacy, has not received the care and study it deserves.
*The honoring ceremonies were another incentive placing Gibran before new worlds he felt the need to create. His relations spread indefinitely both in the East and in the West, and his polyvalent conscience and knowledge attracted researchers. This conscience engendered change, and created a balance between renovation and wisdom and the intensification of the ego... There is a luminosity he believes must be realized and that Verity will return him to expound it. But why postpone it in time? Isn't the reason for a return the need of self-realization n verity? And life, does it have any other meaning? Pain, sickness, the collapse of the body... are now faced in the light of this new creed. He took up to painting in watercolors. He is the "creator of forms", to use his own words.
He also had to determine the fate of his body after death. He spoke increasingly of his wish to have the cavern of Mar Sarkis as his burial place. His friends acceded to his wish, and his sister set out to purchase the monastery, the cavern and the small oak forest.
His health declined slowly, but his mind still urged him to revise a book, finish a painting, plan a new work, hold a press conference, guide anyone who felt lost, establish a truth.
Knowing that his illness was beyond remedy, he scorned the admonitions of his doctors. As he was leaving for the last time his hermitage-studio, he said: "These hands still have work to do on these paintings, before they leave."
On the morning of Friday, April 10, 1931, he was forcibly taken to the St. Vincent Hospital, 7th Avenue, and 11th Street. At two in the afternoon, he fell into a coma. Early in the evening, the doctors gave him only a few hours to live.
Mariana Gibran, Barbara Young, Mikhael Nouaymeh, Father Francis Wakim, rector of the Saint Joseph Maronite church of New York and other friends, watched him dwindle away. The fighter ceased to fight at 11 p.m. The autopsy revealed that he had cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis had begun to attack one lung.
A death mask, recording his features for posterity, was made of his face. His body was summarily embalmed, enough to prevent rapid decay.
This was an end, and a beginning.
*Gibran's body laid instate in America from April 10 to August 22, 1931.
In the funeral parlor of Lexington Avenue, flowers, which seemed like Adonis's words, covered the body on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the body, accompanied by members of the Pen League, left New York on its way to Boston The Lebanese and Syrians, headed by Gibran's close friend, Monsignor Estephan Dwaihi, rector of the church of Our Lady of the Cedars, walked behind the coffin which was covered with the Lebanese flag towards the Syrian Ladies Aid Society, op 44, West Newton Street. In the evening, Mary Haskell, Mariana and Gibran's friends broke bread and drank coffee, saying it was their last supper with Gibran. A guard of honor composed of young Lebanese men stood around the coffin, motionless, except for tears running down their cheeks.
The funeral rites were held on Tuesday in the church of Our Lady of the Cedars, on Syriac tunes and psalms, the same tunes and psalms upon which Gibran's young poetic soul grew. The requiem mass revived the ancient spirituality of the East which nurtured successive generations since the Aramaic times of Jesus.
The coffin was temporarily placed in the Mount Benedict cemetery, overlooking an incline and surmounted by impressive hills.
The return to Bsharri, the "homeland of his heart" was drawing near
On July 23, under a drizzling rain, the body was taken from Boston to Providence, where seven hundred Lebanese joined in making a wreath which was placed at the root of the coffin on board of the ship Sinaia... On the tunes of the Funeral March, Asa's Death and Nearer to Thee, the ship sailed eastward.., and the "two blues" - the sea and the sky: Gibran's two worlds on canvas and in words-, accompanied him, exchanging silence and joy, to his hometown, Bsharri. The beginnings of the Fighter embraced his end. The ship reached Beirut on August 21. With military honors, the French High Commissioner greeted the coffin and read in French a note from the French Consul in America sealed with red wax on the four corners: C 'est Ie cercueil de Gibran Khalil Gibran. Le corps est embaumé. The funeral, assisted by all the officials and countless admirers, was held, without protocol, in the Maronite cathedral of Beirut.
The correspondent of The Christian Century covering the coffin's arrival to Bsharri, wrote: Gibran's funeral procession appeared more like a triumphal entry than a funeral. The ringing of the church bells and the general atmosphere of pride emphasized this. A!! the way from Bahsas to Bsharri, the coffin was accompanied by a procession of cars and horsemen, and the arms of the villagers dwelling on the cedar covered slopes, reached out to raise the coffin higher.. The flowers of Astarte kissed the sun and stooped down under its rays to cover the coffin of her returning Adonis, this time as Almustafa. The hermitage of Mar Sarkis thrilled with a new spirit in the eremitic heritage of the Valley of Qadisha.. From 1931 onward, the tomb became a beacon of light drawing the world towards it in a silent presence and an inward homage.