Saturday, December 27, 2014

Khalil Sa`adah: the unknown voice of radical enlightenment

I argue that Khalil Sa`adah has not received the scholarly and "national" attention that he deserves in Lebanon and in academia. The reason is that his son (Antun) surpassed him in reputation and overshadowed him; 2) people writing about the Middle East were too influenced by the personalities covered in Albert Hourani's Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (which requires a radical reassessment); 3) the writer was too radical for people's taste. I received from the dear friend, Badr Al-Hajj, the new two volumes collection of writings by Khalil Sa`adah, "Syria" (edited by Badr Al-Hajj and Salim Muja`is) and it is remarkable that he opposed the French colonial rule over Syria even before it started and that his scathing critique of the role of the Maronite partiarchate were quite perceptive.