Gibran in Nigeria: His Vision of Peace in a Thriving New Society
The Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace is pleased to announce news of the establishment of a notable non-governmental organization in Gombe, Nigeria. The Gibran Books and Values Society of Nigeria, or The Gibran Society, is an NGO that aims to promote literacy, reading & ethics, guided by the universal message of peace, tolerance, and understanding enshrined in Kahlil Gibran's work.
The objective of the Gibran Society is “promoting the values enshrined in the work of Kahlil Gibran,” according to Professor Aliyu Yakubu Abdul, president and founder of the Society who wrote to the Gibran Chair in January. He continued to say, “we aim to emphasize reading and literacy as engines of individual and communal growth, especially among youths. In addition, we shall explore means of executing projects that shall foster education in general, peace, women's and girls' rights, environmental protection, children's safety, and positive value systems in institutions.”
Peace, diversity, and bridging the gap between nations is at the core of this NGO. In his correspondence, Professor Abdul also wrote, “given Nigeria's diversity and its security challenges- which often result from failure to tolerate religious and cultural differences, we hope that the Organisation shall play a pivotal role in bringing Gibran's message of peace to our society." The Gibran Society aims to promote the examples of Lebanon in hopes of expanding the understanding of Nigerian society in regards to the Middle East. Professor Abdul states that "besides religion, the Middle East has a rich cultural dimension that can inspire progress in our own society.
On the role this Chair has had in the establishment of this NGO, Professor Abdul wrote, “I must stress that Director Rihani’s work at the Chair, and the very warm encouragement she has provided, has played a key role in inspiring us to get here. It is my hope that the Society shall be able to partner with the Chair, that we may continue to benefit from your expertise, experience, and overall passion for Gibran's work as a vehicle for world progress.” The NGO gained formal certification from Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission in December 2017.
A notable ongoing project of the Gibran Society is a literacy Initiative that uses theatre to propagate literacy and education. The Society is working in Gombe State in northeast Nigeria in the Local Government Areas of Yamaltu-Deba and Dukku, regions that have the lowest literacy rates in the country, and are home to the highest numbers of out-of-school children. The theatrical performances are stage adaptations of Gibran's The Prophet.
Rehearsals for a theatrical performance of 'The Prophet' at Gombe State University.
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