Mr. Amin Maalouf: Happy Birthday!

Mr. Amine Maalouf’s picture was taken from L’Express

Born in Beirut on February 25 (1949), Mr. Amin Maalouf is a Franco-Lebanese writer ( who received the prestigious Prix Goncourt (1993) for his “Le Rocher de Tanios” and was later (2011) elected to the French Academy. What a pride for both Lebanon and France!

Like readers around the world, Bambi is a fan of Mr. Maalouf. Thus, using his own words, her post is a tribute to his incredible talent. The selected citations found online are filled with a much needed wisdom in today’s society, which seems to be too obsessed with identity characteristics (skin colour, gender, religion, etc.). The original French citations appear first, followed by an English translation in bold characters.

To conclude, Bambi will allow herself to offer this inspiring writer Mr. Yves Duteil’s famous song about the beauty of the French language, as spoken all the way from France to North America, in addition to a musical performance of Happy Birthday.

Thank you, dear Mr. Maalouf, for your productivity. Happy Birthday! Joyeux Anniversaire à vous! “Akbel el Mieh” in your and in Bambi’s mother tongue!

“Moitié français, donc, et moitié libanais ? Pas du tout! L’identité ne se compartimente pas, elle ne se répartit ni par moitiés, ni par tiers, ni par plages cloisonnées. Je n’ai pas plusieurs identités, j’en ai une seule, faite de tous les éléments qui l’ont façonnée, selon un ‘dosage’ particulier qui n’est jamais le même d’une personne à l’autre”.

“Half French, then, and half Lebanese? No way! Identity is not compartmentalized, it is not divided into halves, thirds, or partitioned areas. I don’t have several identities, I only have one, made up of all the elements that have shaped it, according to a particular ‘dosage’ that is never the same from one person to another.

“L’identité n’est pas donnée une fois pour toutes, elle se construit et se transforme tout au long de l’existence”.

“Identity is not given once and for all, it is constructed and transformed throughout life”.

“N’hésitez jamais à partir loin, au-delà de toutes les mers, toutes les frontières, tous les pays, toutes les croyances”.

“Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs”.

“Le fait d’être à la fois arabe et chrétien est une situation fort spécifique, très minoritaire, et pas toujours facile à assumer.”

“The fact of being both Arab and Christian is a very specific situation, very minority, and not always easy to assume.”

“Les médias reflètent ce que disent les gens, les gens reflètent ce que disent les médias. Ne va-t-on jamais se lasser de cet abrutissant jeu de miroirs ?”

“The media reflects what people say, people reflect what the media says. Are we ever going to get tired of this mind-numbing game of mirrors?”

“C’est notre regard qui enferme souvent les autres dans leurs plus étroites appartenances, et c’est notre regard aussi qui peut les libérer.”

“It is our gaze that often locks others into their narrowest affiliations, and it is our gaze that can also liberate them”.

«L’amour se nourrit de patience autant que de désir».

“Love feeds on patience as much as on desire”.

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