Dār Al-‘Ilm Library (House of Knowledge)

Tripoli was known, in the time of "bani ‘ammār" people, by the abundance of public and private libraries, especially Dār El-‘Ilm library whose celebrity exceeded Islamic world’s Library’s one. Wealthy people from the city used to buy books and establish libraries that they conferred to the Dār El-‘Ilm library. Historians did not agree with each other concerning the approximate number of books in Dār Al-‘Ilm library or in all Tripoli’s libraries; some estimated them by 100 thousands, some by 300 thousands, and others by 3 millions. No wonder to have these numbers of books in Tripoli’s libraries, because people were interested to have books, and the government was able to promote for the general cultural movement and to send messengers to get in the books to Dār Al-‘Ilm library, in addition to many editors who were interested in editing books. The factor that helped this movement is the presence of paper industries in El-Mina, inciting so researchers and writers to compose, sell and publish books. Thus, Dār Al-‘Ilm was considered one of the most important libraries which Tripoli was proud to have. This fact incited scientists and writers to come from abroad, which contributed to this library’s success among the Arab kings’ ones in Spain. Unfortunately, this unique library was destroyed by the Europeans after they had occupied Tripoli in 502 hijri /1108 C.E.
Public Municipal Library

The library is:

·          established in 1968.

·          located in Port-Saïd Street near El-Mina’s garden and Al-Sabbagh clock.

·          directed by the secretary Nassiba Al-Saadi.

·          available daily from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m., except for Sundays.

The library:

·          contains televisions, videos and over head projector.

·          organizes a set of cultural activities.

·          organizes discussions, expression workshops, puppet plays, stories hours and book festivals.

·          contains thousands of indexed books available to readers.

·          receives regularly readers, most of them are youth people who read continuously in order to get more information.

organizes with schools visiting appointments for students in order to access the library books (references and sources are available for readers and scholars).

Celebrities from El-Mina city

This chapter is based on what was published in historical books. Everyone having information about any celebrities from El-Mina is kindly requested to inform us by sending them by email. Thank you in advance. Names are listed in alphabetical order according to the family name.

- A -

Antoun, Farah – dead in 1924

·          Born in El-Mina in 1874, he studied in its primary schools and continued his studies in the internal school in Bkeftine, which was established by the patriarch Gregorios Haddad, and he got its high degree diplomas.

·          He was read and studying alone until he improved his French language skills.

·          He was the director of the orthodox school in El-Mina, founded by the community, but he his tendencies were oriented to writing.

·          He used to send articles to the Egyptian newspaper "al-ahrām" (Pyramids) and to sign them under the name of "salāma" (Safety).

·          Readers were fascinated by these articles, the fact that pushes the newspaper’s owner, Béchera Takla, to assign him as editor in chef.

·          He left Tripoli and traveled to Alexandria where he lived all his years.

·          He worked in "al-ahrām" newspaper for a short time, and then he founded his own newspaper, because he preferred to be independent, under the title of "al-jāmi’a al-‘oŧmāniyya" (Ottoman University – published later in the United States of America), removing later "‘oŧmāniyya" (Ottoman) and keeping only "al-jāmi’a" (University).

·          He prepared many theater pieces for the Egyptian theater group.

·          His bibliography included: "al-jāmi’a" (University) newspaper, the translation of "History of Jesus" for Renan, the translation of "The Indian Hut" for Saint-Pierre, the translation of "nahd ̨ at al-asad" ("The King’s Renaissance" for Alexandre Dumas), many stories such as "orašalīm al-jadīda" ("The New Jerusalem"), "al-waĥš al-waĥš, al-waĥš" (The Monster), "siyaĥa fi arz lubnān" (Tourism in the Cedars of Lebanon).

Abs, Mehyeddine (Cheikh) – dead in 1945

·          Born in El-Mina, he was taught by Sheikh Hussein Al-Jisr.

·          He taught in El-Mina and memorized all the Koran.

·          He left a collection of poems lost after his death.

·          He was religious and occupied a position of Imam and a speaker for a long period at Dakiz Mosque in El-Mina.

Afif, Afif (Dr.) – dead in 1916 

·          Born in El Mina, he studied in this city and continued his studies in the Faculty of Medicine in the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ).

·          He came back to Tripoli and practiced his profession.

·          He wrote a book on the Cholera.

Arabi, Mohammad Adib – dead in 1371 hijri

·          Born in El-Mina, he was a muezzin in Ghazi Mosque, with a deep voice.

·          He invented more then 1000 pages of poems ready to become songs for celebrations, birthdays and commemorations, and he was able to collect a large library.

He was infected by an irremediable disease, obliging him to stay in bed.

- B -

Bacili, Asaad – dead in 1943

·          Born in El-Mina in 1880, he studied in the primary schools of Tripoli then in Bkeftine School – El-Koura.

·          He wrote articles to the journals of Cairo as "al-ahrām" (Pyramids) "al-moqţaţaf" (The Extract) and "al-hilāl" (The Crescent).

·          In addition, he worked in wood trading with his father.

·          He immigrated to Alexandria with his friend Farah Antoun where they established the magazine "al-jāmi a al-‘oŧmāniyya" (Ottoman University), but he preferred wood trading with his brother Antonios.

·          He died in Alexandria.

Batach, Toufic – dead in 1958

·          Born in El-Mina, he studied in Collège des Frères and improved his French and English languages skills.

·          He immigrated to Greece and learned the Greek language.

·          He was a genius in the field of navy formalities, and one of the founders of Qadisha Company and the Company of Lebanese Cement.

He didn’t write any work but he had a high rank among the economists.

- D -

Darwich, Kamel – dead in 1993

·          Born in El-Mina, he was a teacher and a writer.

·          He taught in many schools in Lebanon and in Syria in 1946.

·          In 1960, he directed the Faculty of National Cooperation in Tripoli, and the studies held in the House of Islamic Education and Teaching.

·          After publishing many academic works, he published many books named: "funūn wa a‘lām" (Arts and Celebrities), a poetic collection and a piece of theater "al-ĥarīq" (The Fire).

Deguise, Abdelkader – dead in 1925

·          Born in El-Mina, he wrote many poems but they still not founded.

Dibo, Michael – dead in 1932

·          Born in El-Mina, he taught in the American School by Youssef Abi Diab who was blind.

·          After his father had sent him to Batroun, he stayed with the poet Khalil Fattouh, where he started writing poems.

·          In 1958, he went to Beirut where he met Sheikh Nassif El-Yaziji.

·          He returned to Tripoli where he was assigned the consul of Persia and he worked in books trading.

·          He established in El-Mina a bookstore to sell and lend books, and stayed in this profession until he died, with a humoristic character.

Its works: A collection of poems and pieces of theaters: "Daoud and Chaoul", "The Extravagances of Love", "The Martyr of Chastity", "Aïda". In addition, he directed by himself these pieces performed by young people of El-Mina on Tripoli and El-Mina's scenes.

- F -

Fakhoury, Choukri – dead in 1923

·          Born in Saïda, he studied in the American University and obtained a Bachelor of Sciences.

·          Dr. Haris called him to work in the American hospital of El-Mina in 1890; then Fakhoury became an assistant doctor.

·          Being characterized with an excellent diagnostic, he became excellent in surgery and pharmacology.

He was assassinated during a religious speech in the Protestants church.

- H -

Haddad, Abdelkader – dead in 1920

·          Born in El-Mina, he studied in its schools, improved his linguistics skills, and consecrated his life later to teach in Ghazi Mosque.

·          He was a good reference concerning legal affairs, and he left many tribunal speeches.

Haddad, Sobhi Abdelkader – dead in 1957

·          Born in El-Mina in 1880, he was taught by his father, Sheikh Abdulkader Haddad, and then he studied at the school founded by the Minister Mezhar Pasha.

·          He was the only one among El-Mina citizens to get deep in the Turkish language.

·          The Ottoman government assigned him the director of the school he had studied at, and then he retired and worked in trading field.

·          At the end of his life, he was infected by kidney stones that no medicine was able to cure.

Hakim, Noaman – dead in 1900

·          Born in El-Mina, he studied in Bkeftine and tended to poem writing.

·          He did not have the occasion to enjoy his tendencies; he died in early age.

Hindi, Adel Abdelwahab – dead in 1966

·          He is the brother of Khaireddine Abdelwahab. He studied in the American School.

·          He immigrated to Brazil for a long time, and then he came back to Tripoli and worked in trading with his brother.

·          He was generous and a helpful man.

Hwalla, Mostafa (El-Hajj) – dead in 1917

He was one of the most benefactors in El-Mina during the World War I; he was buying big quantities of flour in order to make bread and in addition to vegetables in order to distribute them to El-Mina citizens.

- K -

Kabbara, Aref (El-Hajj) – dead in 1920

·          First legal pharmacist in El-Mina, and a physician at the same time, he left many researches in the field of pharmacy that he studied in Istanbul.

Khawli, Michel (Dr.) – dead in 1950

·          He is the son of Dr. Ibrahim Khawli, and he studied in Collège des Frères.

·          He continued his medical studies in Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) then in Paris where he made specialized studies in medical analyses.

·          He taught in Collège des Frères in Tripoli, was specialized in analyses and he was the only one during this age.

·          He worked in politics and wrote many articles concerning different political affairs in Paris newspapers.

·          He died single.

Khawli, Jerjesse Moussa - dead in 1916

·          Born in El- Mina, he studied in the Orthodox School and improved his French and Turkish language skills.

·          He worked in commerce during his youth.

·                      He wrote books such as "al-jumāna al-‘oŧmāniyya" (The Ottoman Pearl), "al-dalīl aššarqi" (The Oriemtal Guide – dealing with researches in religions and beliefs).

He had also literary controversies with Jerjesse Naoum and Michael Dibo.

- M -

Malek (Al), Mounir (Cheikh) – dead in 1947

·          He was an orator and a teacher in Ghazi Mosque.

·          He published a comic and satirical journal "al-mudallal" (The Pampered).

·          He stopped publishing the journal at the beginning of the World War I and he was assigned in the Legislative Court in Akkar.

·          Later on, he consecrated himself to the religion and teaching in the big Mosque in El-Mina and he left some speeches.

            Mourad, Abdelhalim – dead in 1927

·          He emigrated to Cairo and published, with his collaborate Sheikh Rashid Rida, the magazine "al-manār”, then the newspaper "‘abdul-huda".

·          He came back to Tripoli, and he became the director of the individual and familial registers in Beirut, then an employee in the customs in Tripoli.

·          At the end of his life, he consecrated himself for reading.

            Mourad, Mohamed (Cheikh) – dead in 1945

·          He was instructed by Sheikh Mohamed Al-Jisr and he was an orator in the Mosques of El-Mina.

            Mourad, Salah Abdelhalim – dead in 1913

·          Born in El-Mina, he worked in journalism and joined the Party of Union and Advancement.

·          He published a satiric newspaper under the name of "karakōz" (The Clown).

            Moussa, Daoud – dead in 1925

·          Born in El-Mina, he studied in its schools and he was excellent in the linguistics.

·          He was an Arabic Language professor in Collège des Frères in Tripoli.

·          He founded a school in El-Mina during the World War I.

Murr (Al), Metri

·          Born in El-Mina, he died since around 25 years.

·          He made specialized studies in church music and excelled in it.

·          He became a musician in the Antiochian Church and to the Byzantine melodies.

·          He left many musical pieces.

Murr (Al), Zakaria Elias – dead in 1913

·          A well Known poet in El-Mina, he studied in its schools and was interested in poems.

·          He was an Arabic language professor in Homs.

·          He died at early age in 1913, due to a sickness that killed him in several days.

His bibliography: a poems’ collection, the book of the humble women in the arsenic dispositions where he translated some of La Fontaine’s poems.

- N -

      Naoum, Amine – dead in 1945

·          He studied in Tripoli with his brother Yaacoub Naoum, and excelled in the French language.

·          He tended to French writing and he wrote articles in French media.

Naoum, Jerjesse – born in 1844 and dead in 1895

·          He became blind when he was 3 years old, but he was very intelligent and had a very good memory.

·          He preferred to study Arabic Language and Literature.

·          He wrote theater pieces such as "al-murū’a wal wafā’" (Bravery and Fidelity) and a collection of many poems.

Naoum, Yaacoub – born in 1877 and dead in 1922

·          Born in El-Mina and brother of Amine Naoum, he studied in Collège des Frères then in the Ayntoura School.

·          He improved his Arabic and French language skills.

·          He travelled to Odessa in Russia where he opened a trading store associating with his two brothers Amine and Salim.

During the Bolshevik revolution, he came back with his brother Amine to Tripoli where he was infected by an irremediable disease that killed him after several days.

- S -

     Safadi (Al), Abdelhalim (Sheikh) – dead in 1884

·          He studied in Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo and came back to El-Mina in order to teach and give speeches in the mosques.

·          He left legist explications but they were lost after his death.

Safadi (Al), Abdellatif (Sheikh) – dead in 1881

·          Born in el-Mina, he studied in Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo and returned to El-Mina to become the judiciary responsible.

·          He left a poems’ collection and some explications and commentaries about certain religious books.

      Safadi (Al), Hassan (Sheikh) – dead in 1928

·          Born in El-Mina, he was specialized in the study of Fatwas and the law.

·          He was an orator and a teacher in the Big Mosque in El-Mina, and then a judge in one of the Anatoly Cities then of Tripoli (Capital of Libya).

·          Due to his non-cooperation with the Italians, he became a judge of Baghdad, and due to his non-cooperation with the English, he returned to Tripoli and became a judge in Homs, until his death.

·          His bibliography: legist explications, commentaries and jurisprudences on Hanefite school but they were lost after his death.

       Safadi (Al), Mahmoud – dead in 1917

·          Born in El-Mina, he became a professional in religious functions, and he was an instructor and the Imam of Ghazi Mosque.

      Safadi (Al), Toufic – dead 1942

·          Born in El-Mina, he studied legist sciences and he was elected the mayor of El-Mina for his entire life.

·          He was specialized in genealogy, and wrote a book including all El-Mina’s families, but it was lost.

He consecrated his life for his home and the reading, and he collected a rich library, but it was lost after his death.

   - Q -

    Qoudem, Jamil Jebran – dead in??

·          Born in El-Mina, he immigrated to Alexandria and started writing and working in journalism.

He left many famous publications and articles.

   - Y -

     Yehya, Rashid – dead in 1925

·          He improved his Arabic and Turkish language skills.

·          He worked in many governmental posts but he preferred writing poems and theater pieces that were played in El-Mina and Tripoli.

·          He transformed Aïsha Al-Taymouriyah’s poem to a song.

His entire bibliography was lost after his death.

   - Z -

    Zein (Al), Abdul Kader Wajih – dead in 1898

·          Born around 1820, he liked poems.

·          He collected a rich bibliography and left some poems lost after his death.

    Zein (Al), Samih Wajih – born in 1904 dead in 1975

·          He obtained the French baccalaureate from Institut des Frères.

·          He worked in Banco di Roma, and later on, he was an agent delegated in Homs then in Tripoli and Beirut.

·          He returned to Tripoli and worked as a director of the Comptroller’s Department.

·          He studied in the Institute of Law, and then he preferred the journalism and obtained his Diploma in this field from Cairo.

·          He worked in "jarīdat al-jarīda" (newspaper of the newspaper).

·          He was a translator of both languages: the French and the Italian.

·          He wrote many stories such as "The Story of May 6" and "Lamiaa or Ahmad Jamal Pasha". The most important work is "Tripoli, between the past and the present" of 620 pages.

     Zein (Al), Wajih Abdelkader –born in 1877 and dead in 1961

·          He collected many poems that were religious canticles.