Rihani, Amin Al-

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rihani, Amin Al-


(Ameen Fares Rihani). Born October 1876 in Fureika, Lebanon; died 1940. Lebanese author writing in Arabic.

Rihani emigrated to America in 1888. He studied at Columbia University’s School of Law. Inspired by Voltaire, J.-J. Rousseau, T. Carlyle, and Nietzsche, Rihani began his literary career with anticlerical works. After returning to his homeland in 1904 he advocated individual self-improvement as well as a synthesis of the civilizations of East and West. His ethical and philosophic views are expressed in the collection al-Rĭhānĭyāt (vols. 1–4, 1922–23), whose essays, articles, speeches, and poems in prose are chiefly autobiographical in nature. These works advocate the brotherhood of man, describe the difficult life of Arabs abroad, and criticize bourgeois American life. Rihani’s glorification of Lebanon’s natural beauty is suggestive of pantheism (Heart of Lebanon, 1924). His travels through the Arab countries provided material for the books Arab Rulers (1924), The Modern History of Nejd (1927), and The Heart of Iraq (1935), all of which influenced publicist works in the Arab countries. Rihani also wrote the novels Lily of the Valley (1915) and Outside the Harem (1917).


In Russian translation:
In the collections A rabskaia proza. Moscow, 1958.
In the collection Rasskazy pisatelei Livana. Moscow, 1958.


Krachkovskii, I. Iu. Izbr. soch., vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956. Pages 139–47.
Levin, Z. I. Filosofiz Fureiki. Moscow, 1965.
Al-Fahuri, H. Istoriia arabskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1961. Pages 454–58.
Brockelmann, K. Geschichte der arabischen Literatur, vol. 2. Leiden, 1938.


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