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On New York's "Khalil Gibran International Academy"

Reader comment on item: On New York's "Khalil Gibran International Academy"

Submitted by John Abi-Habib (United States), Mar 16, 2007 at 23:01

Dear Mr. pipes,

My name is John Abi-Habib; from your comments on the blog, apparently you don't know much about me. My last name is Abi-Habib (not Ali-Habib, as you wrote in your blog).

The Abi-Habib family is one of the large families in Lebanon, from the Maronite Catholic Mountains of Lebanon. To enlighten you more, Christians in Lebanon speak Arabic.

So I guess your theory about every one that speaks Arabic is trying to convert people to Islam, is far fetched. Christianity was born in the Middle East, the birth of Jesus.

If you have done some research on the school name, you would have found that "Khalil Gibran" is a poet and a writer born in the Maronite Christian Mountains of Lebanon and migrated to USA in the turn of the 20th century (yes it is the 20th century).

"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them." -Khalil Gibran,

I guess I am not the one in denial, the ignorance of intelligent people with chattering knowledge is the problem in our Brooklyn society.

"I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art." -Khalil Gibran

I believe "Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood." -Khalil Gibran, "The Visit of Wisdom"

THE MISPERCEPTION ON THE SCHOOL:

The school will be teaching the vision of Kahlil Gibran, the Middle Eastern studies, therefore teaching the Arabic Language.

Our Government made it clear that the USA interest in the Middle East is vital and important and therefore we will be there for a long time. The USA has invested billions of dollars in Iraq and in partnerships with many (and most) states in the Middle East and the Gulf. We have lots of interests to be in that region and lots of building / business to accomplish in the years to come. Having the education, knowledge and expertise about the region, the people, the language and the culture will help each individual willing to work and build his future working in that part of the world. Therefore "Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do." -Khalil Gibran,

In conclusion, we agree on one strong point "My take on the school: In principle it is a great idea – the United States needs more Arabic-speakers", I am sure you don't mind quoting you.

To all Brooklynites, friends of Brooklyn and NYC, try to get the facts. We are here to build together a better education to our NYC children.

"I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit."

-Khalil Gibran, "The Voice of the Poet"

"If the grandfather of the grandfather of Jesus had known what was hidden within him, he would have stood humble and awe-struck before his soul."

-Khalil Gibran,

John Abi-Habib.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

The Sun misspelled your name and I simply copied its mistake. Your problem is with the Sun reporter, not with me.

I think I knew that not all Arabic-speakers are Muslims. See, for exmple, "Is Allah God?"

It's not a theory about "every one that speaks Arabic is trying to convert people to Islam," but it's a reflection of my personal experience in Cairo that learning Arabic is seen by many Muslims as a step toward conversion toward Islam. If you are a native speaker of Arabic, you presumably don't have such first-hand experience.

I am perfectly aware of Khalil Gibran's identity, but it is also perfectly irrelevant to the nature of the prospective school.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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