Born 1891 in Shuwayfat, Mount Lebanon; died Mar. 13, 1969, in Beirut. Lebanese public figure and writer.
Hanna, an obstetrician by profession, graduated from the medical school of American University in Beirut in 1912 and also studied in Paris. He began writing works of sociopolitical and literary criticism in the 1940’s, continuing the traditions of the antifascist movement in Syria and Lebanon (seeFAKHURI, UMAR). Hanna was one of the leaders of the National Congress, which in the 1940’s and 1950’s united most Lebanese nationalist parties, trade unions, and youth organizations, defending the national interests of the Lebanese people and opposing Lebanese participation in pacts of aggression. Hanna’s first publicist work, From Occupation to Independence (1944), was banned by the French occupational authorities. Other books by Hanna, such as I Have Returned From Moscow (1947) and Second Time in Moscow (1955), deal with the USSR and its achievements and peace-loving foreign policy. Hanna came to the defense of the Arab people of Palestine in such works as Path of Deliverance (1948) and the novella The Refugee (1953). His novella Priests of the Temple (1952; Russian translation, 1955) was the first work in Arabic literature to depict the organized struggle of the working class in Lebanon. Hanna also wrote a book of memoirs, Before Leaving (1963).
Hanna, a member of the World Peace Council, helped found the Lebanese-Soviet Friendship Society and served as chairman of the society from 1957 to 1969.
M. S. KIKTEV