Bcharre, the home of Gibran

Sculpture of Gibran at Museum entrance

The mountains of Bcharre are known for being the land of red-roofed houses and Samir Geagea. It is also the birthplace of one of Lebanon’s greatest writers, Khalil Gibran. Bcharre, located near Ehden right below the Cedars, is a small town about a 2 hour drive north of Beirut.

If you continue on the main road of the town, you will come across an incline to the Gibran Museum. It’s a quaint little museum that seems to be built within the actual mountain. The elevation and enclosed space makes it a bit hard to breathe inside but the size ensures that you will get out before you faint. A collection of Gibran’s paintings, sketches and setups of his rooms/books are displayed in connected rooms that go in a circle. It’s a fun adventure that costs 5,000 L.L. (a bit more than $3) and it concludes with the tomb of the writer. Oddly enough, his bedroom is set up right outside his coffin.
The epitaph is inscribed on a slab of cedar wood:

“I am alive like you
And I now stand beside you
Close your eyes and look
Around you will see me
In front of you”

To which my little sister whispered: “but where? I don’t see him.”

View from Gibran Museum, Bcharre

The view from the museum is beautiful, overlooking the town of Bcharre and the Qadisha Valley. There is a woman who sells cedar souvenirs outside the museum – and, as usual, you can “carve” (burn) your name or whatever you like on whatever you like. There is a cafeteria with Flintstone-like architecture and a small giftshop at the end of the museum featuring small prints, cards and books of Gibran’s work. Whatever you buy is stamped much like Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, France.

Shakespeare & Company – Paris, France
Gibran Museum stamp
Shakespeare & Company stamp

Gibran’s love letters to May Ziadeh are the Lebanese equivalent to Lord Beethoven’s. May Ziadeh was a writer of Arabic Literature who later became the owner and editor-in-chief of her father’s Egyptian newspaper, Al Mahrousah. An excerpt from Gibran’s letter to May on June 11th, 1919:

“I ignored all the other letters awaiting my return to my desk, in order to spend my day listening to your utterances, which alternate between sweetness and reprimand – I say reprimand because I found in your second letter some observations which, had I allowed them to, would have saddened my happy self. But how could I let myself dwell on a seeming cloud in an otherwise clear and starry sky? And how could I turn my eyes away from a blossoming tree to the merest shadow from one of her branches? And how could I object to a gentle stab from a perfumed hand full of precious stones?”

Bambi Spotted! (Gibran Museum)

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2 thoughts on “Bcharre, the home of Gibran

  1. Pingback: Time to Crash a Wedding | Bambi's Soapbox

  2. Pingback: What to Pack for a Design Internship Abroad | Bambi's Soapbox

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