Khalil Mutran

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mutran, Khalil


Born 1872, in Baalbek, Lebanon; died there 1949. Arabic humanist poet.

Mutran studied at the college in Zahle and at a Catholic boarding school in Beirut. From 1890 to 1892 he lived in Paris and later in Egypt, which became his second homeland. In 1900 he founded the independent journal al-Majallah al-Misriyah (The Egyptian Review) and the newspaper al-Jawaib al-Misriyah. In 1935, Mutran became the director of the national dramatic company of Egypt. Not satisfied with traditional Arabic poetical forms, he turned to Western European poetry for models. An enemy of Turkey, Mutran used historical themes to criticize despotism and oppression by a foreign power, as in his qasidas “Nero” and “The Athenian Elder.”

Many of Mutran’s works are descriptions of nature and historical monuments, such as his “Monuments of Baalbek.” His poetical works were collected in The Divan of Khalil and The Weeping Lion. Among his prose works, the best known is the Mirror of Days, a brief exposition of world history. Mutran also translated several plays of Shakespeare and Corneille into Arabic.


Jamal al-Din, Najib. Khalil Mutran: Sha’ir al-’asr, qaddama lahu alsha’ir Salah al-Lababidi Abu Laila. Cairo, 1949.
Dayf, Shawqi. al-Adab al-’Arabi al-mu’asir fi Misr. Cairo, 1957.
al-Ramadi, Muhammad Jamal al Din. Khalil Mutran: Sha’ir al-aqtar al-’Arabiyah. Cairo, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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