(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Marking his 103rd birthday, the Beirut Municipality named a street after famed Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl. The ceremony at the Sioufi Garden in Achrafieh unveiled the street and memorial plaque that read, “Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, (and) honest nationalism.”
Born in 1911 in the Bekaa town of Zahle, Akl was a staunch advocate of Lebanese nationalism and the Lebanese language.
Akl wrote plays, epics, lyrics, and poems starting in 1935, after his first theatrical work was published in Arabic.
“Said Akl paved roads for poetry, which he took to a whole new level,” Culture Minister Raymond Areiji said during the event. “He prides himself with Lebanon, he adored Damascus, he is the resistant fighter who taught us how to belong to Jerusalem. A hundred and three years of love, glory and worship of Lebanon. A hundred and three years, and he still produces poetry and writing.”
Akl was unable to attend the ceremony, but recorded an audio message saying he hopes to see Lebanon “return to its glory.”
Areiji also thanked Notre Dame University-Louaize and the Beirut Municipality for taking the initiative to honor the poet.