Conference Celebrating the Centennial of Mikhail Naimy’s Al-Ghirbal (1923 – 2023) at Haigazian University

Conference Celebrating the Centennial of Mikhail Naimy’s Al-Ghirbal (1923 – 2023) at Haigazian University

Haigazian University in coordination with the Mikhail Naimy Mimasuna Association, celebrated the centennial of Mikhail Naimy’s book “Al Ghirbal” (1923-2023) with a one-day conference, which took place on December 15, 2023 at the Media Center of the University. This unique conference that hosted a capacity audience of 100 plus people was also streamed live via zoom to cater an even wider audience.

The conference also featured, in collaboration with “نادي لكل الناس”, the screening of the documentary “تسعون” (Ninety), directed by Maroun Baghdady (1978).

In parallel, an art exhibition brought together the artworks of five distinguished artists at the Matossian Gallery of the University. Artists Julie Bou Farah, Jacques Rizkallah, Rana Bissat, Spiridon Majdalani, and Rima Ghanem added a special spell with their paintings and sculptures inspired by Naimy’s Al Ghirbal.

Fourteen panelists composed of scholars, journalists, intellectuals and poets took part in the conference, which was divided into five themes/axes: Philosophy, Criticism, Renewal, Poetry, and Personal Experience in Mikhail Naimy’s Al-Ghirbal. 

After the greeting words of Haigazian University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian focusing mainly on the importance of critical thinking and spirituality, and Deputy President of the Mikhail Naimy Mimasuna Association, Dr. Rana Dbaissy, the first axis focusing on the “Philosophy in Al Ghirbal” kicked off with three panelists: Prof. Mohammad Shayya on “The Philosophy in Al-Ghirbal”, Prof. Adib Saab on “Al-Ghirbal and the Philosophy of Criticism”, and Prof. Rabiaa Abi Fadel on “Seven Critique Characteristics in Al-Ghirbal”.

Panelists next in line tackled the axis entitled “Criticism in Al-Ghirbal”: Prof. Sleiman Bakhti presented “The eloquence of Criticism in Al-Ghibal”, Prof. Maria Swanson (who asked Ms. Suha Haddad/Naimy to read her word) showcased “The Impact of Russian Literature on Al-Ghirbal Writing”, and Prof. Ghaleb focused on “Al-Ghirbal and the Language of Criticism: Tools of Science or Expressions of Literature?” 

In the axis of “Renewal in Al-Ghirbal”, Prof. Elham Kallab dealt with the topic of “Heritage and Modernity in Naimy’s Al-Ghirbal”, Prof. Jean Salmanian introduced “Gibran, As Described by Naimy in His Al-Ghirbal” and Prof. Mikhail Massoud elaborated on “The Impact of Al-Ghirbal on Lebanese Poets: Rashid Salim El-Koury and His Poetry Book Al-Qarawiyyat”.

The axis focusing on “Poetry in Al-Ghirbal”, hosted renowned Lebanese poet Henry Zgheib who naturally presented the side of “Poetry in Naimy’s Al-Ghirbal”, and for his part, Prof. Habib Younes who is another important figure in the world of poetry, recited his poem “Mikhail Naimy in Al-Ghirbal” about Naimy himself.  This was followed with the audience singing the unpublished poem of Mikhail Naimy titled “Sannine” to which Naimy had informally composed music to.

Sharing her personal experience, Suha Haddad/Naimy, the spiritual grand-daughter of Mikhail Naimy, who was raised by him, brought her part with a lecture titled: “Mikhail Naimy in My Life: Revolution and Renewal, Just Like His Al-Ghirbal”. 

The conference came to an end with a word by the Mikhail Naimy Mimasuna Association’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Ghanem, highlighting the importance of the Al-Ghirbal, wrapping up the conference and the topics of the panelists, sealing it all with his word “From the Colander to the Sieve”.

It is worth mentioning that most of the participants and the Mikhail Naimy Mimasuna Association members, along with friends, celebrated the success of the conference with a toast at the Mikhail Naimy Mimasuna home-museum in Mtayleb – El Metn, next day, on Saturday, December 16, 2023.


Mira Yardemian

Public Relations Director