Etel Adnan, Lebanese-American author and artist, dies at 96

Etel Adnan was born on February 24, 1925 in Beirut, Lebanon. His father, Assaf Kadri, a Syrian born in Damascus, was a retired senior of...


Etel Adnan was born on February 24, 1925 in Beirut, Lebanon. His father, Assaf Kadri, a Syrian born in Damascus, was a retired senior official in the Ottoman army and a former classmate of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey. Her mother, Rosa Kadri, grew up in the city of Smyrna (now the Turkish city of Izmir), which was largely destroyed by fire in 1922.

Her father changed the family’s last name to Adnan, which was her father’s first name, in 1932. Mrs. Adnan said that her father was “an unemployed man” at the age of 40 and that she grew up “with people who were defeated when they were still young”.

She left Lebanon in 1949 to study philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris thanks to a scholarship.. A few years later, she moved to the United States for postgraduate studies in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard before settling in California. There she began teaching, including a class on the philosophy of art at the Dominican College of San Rafael (now the Dominican University of California).

Ms Adnan said she was moved to start writing verses as an act of opposition to the Vietnam War, becoming, in her words, “an American poet.”

Years earlier, backwards, it was her teaching that propelled her onto the web.

“The head of the art department wondered how I could teach such a course without practicing painting,” she said. told the Paris Review Daily. “She gave me pencils and scraps of paper, and I started doing odd jobs, and she said I didn’t need any training, that I was a painter. So I continued. “

She was 34 when she began painting in 1959.

Ms. Adnan returned to Lebanon in 1972 and soon after met Ms. Fattal, an artist, in Beirut. Ms. Adnan spent the next few years working as a cultural editor for two of the city’s dailies.

After the outbreak of civil war in 1975, she fled with Ms. Fattal to Paris. It was there that she wrote “Sitt Marie Rose,” which was originally published in French, the language she knew best. (Like many Lebanese, she attended a French school as a child and could be punished for speaking Arabic, she said.) The novel was not available in Lebanese bookstores for many years because its Political connotations were deemed too controversial.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Etel Adnan, Lebanese-American author and artist, dies at 96
Etel Adnan, Lebanese-American author and artist, dies at 96
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