BEIRUT: Beirut Municipality Saturday celebrated naming a street in one of its neighborhoods after Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl, to mark his 103rd birthday.
At the Sioufi Garden in Ashrafieh, the ceremony unveiled the newly named street and the memorial plaque that read: “Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, honest nationalism.”
Akl, who was unable to attend the ceremony, recorded an audio message about his hopes of seeing Lebanon “return to its glory.”
Born in 1911 in the Bekaa town of Zahle, Akl, a staunch advocate of Lebanese nationalism and the Lebanese language, is the most prominent modern Lebanese poet.
After publishing his first theatrical work in Arabic in 1935, Akl wrote plays, epics, song lyrics and poetry.
“Said Akl paved roads for poetry, which he took to a whole new level,” Culture Minister Raymond Areiji said during the ceremony.
“He prides himself with Lebanon, he adored Damascus, he is the resistant fighter who taught us how to belong to Jerusalem.”
“A hundred and three years of love, glory and worship of Lebanon. A hundred and three years, and he still produces poetry and writing,” Areiji said, thanking Notre Dame University-Louaize and the Beirut Municipality for taking the initiative to honor the poet.