Just like their lives that are generally characterized by harmonies, calms, and sometimes problematic due to the nature of their work, a popular Lebanese poet Said Aql, whose work was loved by Arab readers but who hated Arabism so much that he invented a latinised version of the Lebanese dialect, has died peacefully on Friday. he was aged 102.
He it was that championed Lebanese nationalism, many times espousing different views on political situations in the Middle East.
In the 80s, while he celebrated the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, some good number of his lyrics paid homage to Mecca and Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
“Lebanon and all the Arabs today lost a giant of poetry, God rest your soul Said Aql,” former prime minister Saad Hariri wrote on Twitter..
A man whose affinity to cultural and political trends espoused by some Lebanese Christians from the beginning of the 20th century down to the out break of civil war of the 1975-1990, sought to emphasize specific Lebanese cultural traits as standing apart from the rest of the Arabs.
He was born in 1912 in an eastern Lebanese Christian village, he was a fierce defender of the idea of Lebanese specificity, classing the tiny Mediterranean country as strictly Phoenician, never Arab.
Most of his more refined poems, some of which follow the “ghazal” model that expresses love for a woman, are taught in Lebanese schools.
The renowned poet “died peacefully”, friends said at a press conference.