Renowned Poet Said Akl Passes Away at 102

Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl passed away at the age of 102, the National News Agency reported on Friday.

The funeral processions will be held on Tuesday at 11:30 am at the Saint George Cathedral in Downtown Beirut.

Akl was born in 1912 in the Bekaa town of Zahle.

He is considered one of the most important modern Lebanese poets. He was a staunch advocate of Lebanese identity and nationalism and the Lebanese language, designing a Latin-based "Lebanese alphabet" made up of 37 letters which he used to publish Yara (poetry) and Loubnan (newspaper).

He set up a prize in his name for outstanding talents. He has written many works on theology, patriotism, politics, philosophy, poetry and arts in general.

His poetical works include Rindala, Ajmalou Minki? La (More Beautiful than You? No), Ajrass Al Yasameen (The Jasmine Bells), Kitabou Al Ward (The Book of Roses), Doulza, Qassa'ed min Daftariha (Poems from Her Notebook), Kama Al A'mida (Like Pillars), Nahtoun fi Al Daw' (Carving in Light), Sharar (Sparks).

He has written three plays in poetic form: The Daughter of Jephthah, The Magdalena and Cadmus.

His published prose includes Loubnan in Haka (If Lebanon were to Speak).

He has also published a number of lectures and articles.

In July 2014 the Beirut Municipality named a street in one of its neighborhoods after Akl.

The memorial plaque read: "Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, honest nationalism.”

Source: Agence France Presse, Naharnet

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