The University Record, October 30, 1995

Campus, area groups unite to sponsor Gibran celebration

By Betsy Barlow
Center for Middle Eastern and
North African Studies

 In the summer of 1895 a young Arab boy arrived in New York City from his village in Lebanon. His name was Kahlil Gibran and he went on to a fabled career as a painter and writer. His best-known work, The Prophet, remains a best-selling book 63 years after his death.

The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS) is joining with faculty from the Flint and Dearborn campuses, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), ACCESS---an Arab community organization in Dearborn---and the Arab American community in Southeast Michigan in a series of even ts called "The Kahlil Gibran Centennial Celebration: One Hundred Years of Arab-American Contributions to the Arts."

Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 75 of Gibran's drawings, watercolors and oil paintings will be displayed at the Detroit Institute of Arts . Gibran meant for his art to be a visual interpretation of the ideas expressed in his writings, thus many of the works in this exhibition were reproduced as illustrations for his books.

The opening of the exhibition at the DIA will be celebrated Friday (Nov. 3) with an evening of poetry and music by a "fusion" band under the direction of Kenn Cox of Detroit and Ali Jihad of Los Angeles, combining Arab improvisational music and American jazz. The music and poetry are based on themes fro m Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. Nationally known and local poets include Hopwood Award winner Lawrence Joseph, Alise Alousi, Khaled Mattawa, Elmaz Abinader, Lisa Suheir Majaj and Haas Mroue.

Tickets, $25, are available from the DIA or CMENAS (764-0350). A reception at 6 p.m. will be followed by the concert and poetry readings at 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by CMENAS, the DIA, ACCESS and numerous other organizations.