Ameen Rihani Organization
"With Ameen Rihani the matter is diametrically opposite to Alois Musil’s Arabian Desert, in purpose, in point of view and, above all, in personal psychology... I have considerable admiration for Mr. Rihani as a writer, an authentic poet and a philosopher..."
William B. Seabrook, 1931
.: News & Events

The Centennial World Events of Rihani’s The Book of Khalid




The year 2011 commemorates the centennial of Ameen Rihani’s The Book of Khalid, his masterpiece novel in English first published in 1911, New York. It is the inaugurating literary work of Arab-American literature in the twentieth century. American writers and world media showed real interest in this literary work as Helen Johnson Keyes wrote about khalid saying, “he has the value and charm of a penetrating mind and a vivid heart and he fitfully illuminates many dark corners in our civilization. He is a citizen neither of the Occident nor of the Orient, but is a pact singing to the universe and to the Superman”. The Boston Herald states that “With this book the eastern element makes its place in the rich and inclusive body of English letters”. According to the American Journal “Rihani thinks nobly of life and writes with ease and grace. His hero, Khalid, explores many creeds and customs, seeking to find a way through the labyrinth of human thought. The reader will find our multiform America reflected in this strange book of symbol and prophecy”.

The Book of Khalid is translated into Arabic, French and Russian. Extracts from the book are translated into Armenian, Chinese, German, Greek, Italian, Persian, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. The Book was the subject of theses and dissertations in universities in Lebanon, the Arab world, Europe and America.

Celebrations will take place around the world in the form of international conferences, symposiums, panels, exhibitions, book publishing, and other related cultural activities. The international centennial program includes:

  • January 19, 2011
    In between two centennials: A Symposium on the Centennial of Ar-Rihaniyyaat (2010) and the Centennial of The Book of Khalid (2011) organized by the Lebanese American University (LAU). Scholars from LAU, Notre Dame University, and the University of Sydney in Australia, will participate.
  • January 25, 2011
    Introducing the Centennial of The Book of Khalid: Todd Fine, Director of Project Khalid, gives a presentation on The Book of Khalid at Yale University followed by a panel with the faculty members of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.
  • February 2011
    100 Years of writings on The Book of Khalid edited with an Introduction by Paul Jahshan, Washington, DC, Platform International. This book is a collection of articles on The Book of Khalid from American magazines and newspapers of the time, and of other articles from around the world written between 1911 and 2010.
  • February - June, 2011
    A series of lectures given at universities in the United States including Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown, New York University, the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Michigan University and others on Rihani and The Book of Khalid, the 20th century pioneer of Arab American literature.
  • March 2011
    The Arabic Centennial Edition of The Book of Khalid: Kitab Khalid. The translation is by Dr. Assa’ad Razzouq, Beirut, The Arab Institute for Research and Publication.
  • March 28-29, 2011
    The Library of Congress official inauguration of the Centennial: Symposium of Ameen Rihani’s The Book of Khalid, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, U.S.A. This event launches all the centennial activities that will take place in the USA and around the world during the year 2011.
  • April 13, 2011
    Panel celebrating Khalid’s Centennial: The American University in Washington, DC is organizing a panel on Khalid’s centennial with scholars from the Washington metropolitan area.
  • April 2011
    Publishing of Rihani’s manuscript entitled Juhan. A short novel (novelette) that Rihani wrote a few years after The Book of Khalid. This fiction is a love story between a Turkish young lady and a German Officer during World War I. This novelette will be published by Dar An-Nahar and Notre Dame University Press in Lebanon.
  • April 28-30, 2011
    The Rihani International Conference: Rihani from Romanticism to Postmodernism, Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Scholars from Australia, the Republic of Georgia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia, UK, USA, and other countries will participate.
  • April 2011
    Rihani and the Weighty Prophecy, a recent study by Dr. Amina Ghosn; published by Dar Al-Farabi, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • April 25-29 2011
    Rihani Book Exhibition at Notre Dame University. This exhibition will include most of the recent publications from Rihani’s English manuscripts and other books related to Rihani’s works.
  • May 1 - August 30, 2011
    Kahlil Gibran illustrations of The Book of Khalid and Gibran's drawings of Rihani. This will be an exhibition held at the Ameen Rihani Museum, Freike, Lebanon.
  • May 12-14, 2011
    Ameen Rihani: Poet and Diplomat, Prof. Miles L. Bradbury and Prof. Suheil B. Bashrui, International History Colloquium, Paris, La Corneuve, France. This event is sponsored by the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, the Institut Universitaire de France, and the Universities of Strasbourg, Paris-Sorbonne, Paris-Ouest, and French Polynesia.
  • May 24, 2011
    The Women's National Republican Club holds a dinner function in New York entitled a Lebanese Evening to celebrate The 100th Anniversary of the First Lebanese-American Novel, Ameen Rihani’s “The Book of Khalid”.
  • Last week of July 2011
    The Municipality of Deek el-Mihdi, Deir Tameesh erects Rihani’s statue at the entrance of Mid-Metn on the main highway to Bikfaya.
  • August 2011
    The Essential Ameen Rihani, compiled and with an introduction by Prof. Suheil B. Bushrui. This collection draws on a wide range of poetry, prose, essays, letters, parables to capture the essence of Rihani’s style, thought, and message.
  • September 2011
    The University of Syracuse erects Rihani’s Bust on campus in celebration of the centennial.
  • October 2011
    The Ameen Rihani Annual Lecture Series, University of Maryland. Rihani and The Book of Khalid: A pioneering novel inaugurating Arab American Literature.
  • November 24, 2011
    Planting a Cedar tree in the Rihani Residence gardens, in Freike, Lebanon, celebrating the 135th birthday of Rihani.
  • December 2011
    An analytical edition of The Book of Khalid. A committee of scholars will be working on this edition which will be published in New York by Syracuse University Press in December 2011.
  • December 2011
    The Proceedings of Ameen Rihani from Romanticism to Post Modernism, Rihani International Conference, Notre Dame University, Department of English, Translation, and Education, April 2011. This publication will be issued in December 2011.
  • December 2011
    The Proceedings of Ameen Rihani: A Century of Engaging Humanism, Rihani International Conference, Sydney University, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, November 2010. This publication will be issued in December 2011.
  • December 2011
    Launching Project Khalid in the United States. This project aims at publishing a special edition of The Book of Khalid designed and edited specifically for American high school students and undergraduate college students. The project intends to introduce Rihani’s outstanding literary work to the new American generation as part of their program in studying modern English literature and as a sample of contemporary world literature.
Scholars from several countries will participate in these conferences and events particularly from Australia, Italy, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia, Syria, United Kingdom, United States and others.

The Daily Telegraph of West Virginia mentioned that the year 2011 commemorates three world cultural centennials: 400 years on King James version of the Bible; 100 years on the Royal Shakespeare Company; and 100 years on Ameen Rihani’s The Book of Khalid.