Ibrahim Yaziji Quotes
Ibrahim Yaziji (Arabic: إبراهيم اليازجي) (1847 – 1906) A scholar of literature and language, his family originated from Homs. One of his ancestors migrated to Lebanon, Ibrahim Yajizi was born and raised in Beirut. His father, Nasif Yaziji and his sister, Warda Yaziji were also accomplished writers. It was at a meeting of the Syrian Scientific Association in 1878 that Ibrahim Yaziji recited an ode that would become a slogan for Arab nationalism, the cultural roots of which were beginning to take hold. It was never printed but “Arise, ye Arabs and Awake”, which praised Arabs and called for their unity, was passed along orally and gained widespread fame. Ibrahim al-Yaziji taught at the Ecole Patriarchale and the National School in Beirut. A linguist, he called for and contributed to the revival of the Arabic language. His interests included poetry, with which he began his literary career, art and astronomy. He was also considered to be one of the best calligraphers of his generation. He was the editor of Al-Najah newspaper in 1872, and was commissioned by the Jesuit missionaries to work on the reform of the translation of the Holy Scriptures and other books for them. At the Paris exposition of 1878, his Arabic translation of the Jesuit Bible won a gold medal. One of Yaziji’s most significant innovations was the creation of a greatly simplified Arab font. By reducing Arabic character forms from 300 to 60 he simplified the symbols so that they more closely resembled Latin characters. It was a process that contributed to the creation of the Arabic typewriter. Ibrahim Yaziji fled to Egypt to avoid Ottoman repression. He died in exile in Cairo, and was buried in Beirut.
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