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Khalil Gibran monument unveiled

June 14, 2009

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Canada’s first monument to Khalil Gibran, renowned Lebanese-American poet and philosopher, was unveiled at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus.

During the June 13 ceremony, SFU President Michael Stevenson paid tribute to Gibran as poet, philosopher, painter, sculptor, and humanist.

And Stevenson noted Gibran’s influence on the “counterculture” movement in North America in the 1960s.

The SFU president recalled that as a student himself, about to embark on a university teaching career, he had been struck by this quote from Gibran:

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

Following the unveiling ceremony, Lebanon’s ambassador to Canada, Massoud Maalouf, took part in a ceremony to plant on the campus a Lebanon Cedar brought to SFU from that country.

The event was attended by members of Lebanese communities from Canada, Brazil, the U.S., Australia and others. It was hosted by SFU’s Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (CCSMSC) and its director, historian Derryl MacLean.

Lesley Cormack, SFU’s dean of Arts and Social Science, spoke of hopes for further SFU collaboration and partnerships with the Lebanese community.

The CCSMSC hosts the new Middle East and Islamic Consortium of BC, MEICON-BC, a collaborative project of SFU, the University of Victoria, and the University of BC. It provides a basis for communication and cooperation among BC academics interested in the study of the Middle East and Muslim societies and cultures.

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