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Said Akl.

Said Akl ( , also transliterated Said Aql and Saeed Akl; born July 4, 1912) is a prominent Lebanesemarker poet, writer and ideologue. He was born in Zahlemarker, Lebanon, and is considered one of the most important modern Lebanese poets.

He was known for his radical Lebanese Nationalistic sentiments; in 1972, he helped to found the “Lebanese Renewal Party” which was proposed by May Murr, the renowned historian of ancient Lebanon. This party was a non-sectarian party that adhered to Lebanese Nationalism. During the Lebanese Civil War, Akl served as the spiritual leader of the radical Lebanese Nationalist movement Guardians of the Cedars, which was led by Étienne Saqr.

Early life

Said Akl was born to a Maronite Catholic family in the city of Zahle. After losing his father at the age of 15, he had to drop school and to work as a teacher and then as a journalist, but later he studied Theology, Literature and Islamic History and became a university instructor lecturing in many Lebanese universities and institutions.


During his early years, Said Akl was an adherent of the Syrian Social Nationalist party led by Antun Saadeh but he was then expelled by the later because of ideological disputes between the two.

Said Akl adopted a powerful doctrine of the authentic millennial character of Lebanon resonating with an exalted sense of Lebanese dignity. His admiration to the Lebanese history and culture was marked by strong enmity towards the Arab language and culture according to Aharon Amir, Said Akl once said “I would cut off my right hand just not to be an Arab”. .And, in 1968 he stated that literary Arabic would vanish from Lebanon.

For him Lebanon was the cradle of culture and the inheritance of the Oriental civilization well before the arrival of the Arabs on the historical stage.

He emphasized on the Phoenicianmarker legacy of the Lebanese people and promoted the usage of the Lebanese dialect written in a modified Latin alphabet, that had been influenced by the Phoenician alphabet, rather than the Arabic one.

In a magazine he published during the 70’s in Beirutmarker, he offered a prize in each issue, to whoever would write the best essay in Lebanese Arabic and since then the Said Akl awards had been granted to many Lebanese intellectuals and artists.

During the Lebanese Civil War, his Lebanese Nationalist ideology had become the ideological basis for the Guardians of the Cedars party led by Étienne Saqr .


Said Akl has tens of writings constituting of theatrical plays, epics and poetry his first published work was released in 1935 which was a theatrical play written in Arabic, his other writings are written in either Lebanese Arabic, literary Arabic, or French.

See also

Further reading

  • Plonka Arkadiusz, L’idée de langue libanaise d’après Sa‘īd ‘Aql, Paris, Geuthner, 2004 (French), ISBN 2-7053-3739-3.
  • Plonka Arkadiusz, "Le nationalisme linguistique au Liban autour de Sa‘īd ‘Aql et l’idée de langue libanaise dans la revue «Lebnaan» en nouvel alphabet", Arabica, 53 (4), 2006, pp. 423-471. (French).


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