Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

An Intellectual Biography of a Twentieth-Century Lebanese "Young Phoenician"

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

An Intellectual Biography of a Twentieth-Century Lebanese "Young Phoenician"

Article excerpt

Charles Corm: An Intelle ctual Biography of a Tw entieth-Century Lebanese "Young Phoenician." By Franck Salameh. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2015. 282 pp. $85.

Salameh of Boston College provides an eloquent and profound biography of Charles Corm, Lebanese writer, industrialist, and philanthropist. Corm's story is a breath of fresh air for a region torn by morbid impulses and for a Middle East that has forgotten about a home-grown humanism that once tried to flourish as an ideology for coexistence, culture, and liberal democracy. Born in 1894 in cosmopolitan Beirut, Corm was the doyen of Phoenicianism, an ideology for those aspiring to build a new country deserving of its past. Corm believed in the glory and contribution of Phoenicia to Western civilization-not least, the invention of the alphabet-and became the messenger of the movement that sought a separate, nonArab identity as a foundational basis for Greater Lebanon. Phoenicianism for Corm was the fount out of which humanism first emerged. …

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