al-Rayhânî, Amîn(1876–1940) poet; born in Lebanon. He went with his family to New York City (1888) and worked for a time with them as a peddler. He toured with a theater company and turned to poetry. He wrote Myrtle and Myrrh (1905) and The Book of Khalid (1911), and was often referred to as the "father of prose poetry in Arabic." Always conscious of his position as an ambassador between East and West, he wrote, "Neither Crescent nor Cross we adore/Nor Buddha nor Christ we implore/Nor Muslim nor Jew we abhor/We are free."
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.