Poetic Travelogue By Khalid Imam | The Arts-Muse Fair

Mr. Khalid lmam, a Nigerian bilingual poet, playwright, essayist, and teacher just returned from Lebanon where he spent 10 days in the Middle eastern country under the auspices of Study Abroad In Lebanon (SAIL) program. The 10-day intensive program is designed to strengthen Lebanon - Nigeria relationship especially in the areas of culture, literature, religion and history as well as expose participants to the beauty of world history through the eyes of Lebanon.  

As one of the ten selected Nigerian writers nominated by The Wole Soyinka Foundation to attend  the SAIL/WSF 2017 Program which was co - hosted by Notre Dame University, Louaize, Lebanon and CEDARS Institute, Mr. Imam, who is the Vice Chairman of the Kano chapter of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) and a member of the Board of Trustees of Poets In Nigeria (PIN), returned to Nigeria with a trove of memories of Lebanon and its people.

In this thrilling poetic travelogue, he brings alive the memories of the many fascinating places of historical significance he visited in Lebanon. We invite you to come into Lebanon through these vehicles of poems driven by a Nigerian poet. Enjoy the virtual trip.

SAIL fellows listening to Dr. Youssef Rahme's lecture: "What is Lebanon? What is the Middle East? Why is it important/" at Notre Dame University PR Room on Sept. 14, 2017.

Dr.Youssef Rahme, the President of Cedars Institute, Lebanon and Poet Khalid Imam sitting on the stone-built stairs leading to the Temple of Jupiter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site hosting the Roman ruins in Baalbek, Lebanon. 

(For Dr. Youssef G. Rahme)

Now l know
Joy is the memory
Our souls hold dear
Tears the secret our minds treasure

Now l know
A garden is not an orchard
Full with dangling fruits
A garden is the generosity in the heart of a tree that shares its apples

Now l know
The cedar tree
Is special not just
Its straight neck
And its wings of eagle,
It is very dear to us for its comforting shade

Prof. Edward Alam with Khalid Imam backing the Eastern part of mountain Lebanon where the natives plant apple trees on the foot of the mountain.

(For Professor Edward J. Alam)

Cascading valleys
Of diversities
Soaring range of hills
Fabulous civilizations
So rich,
So unique
So pristine as Adam

Plentiful trees
Dotting artistic
And stoic rocks
Dressed in green

Here is a valley
Where all opposites
Co-exist in peace
True, here is a haven
Where everyone
Wears a rose smile


Why is it
The hour of our hugging
Is the place for our parting
There, at the sea waiting
Is the ship of our sailing

The tears of our parting
Become the feathers of our regathering.
Since the plane of our parting
Could land at the airport of Facebooking

At the Khalil Gibran Museum, Khalid Imam selects from Khalil Gibran's collection of books on display at the bookstore. 


Beautifully curves
With stones as mighty as elephants
As if to define the present
And predict the future
High the wings of all its temples soar
Like the arch of Hadrian at Tyre,
Above the mountains
Of Lebanon its greatness
Still stands
Smiling to the merry sea
Astonishing stories
Of Heliopolis daring the roaring lions
No tale teller could tell
With the precision
Of Khalil Gibran's brush
Dug daily beneath
The modern cities we walk

Khalid Imam with Sheikh Judge Mohammed, the Chief Imam of the second largest mosque in Lebanon, the Baha'ul Din-Al-Hariri Juma'ah Mosque, Saida Town.  

Khalid Imam posing next to an ancient Syraic printing machine dating back to 1610 at a museum in the Monastery of St. Anthony of the Desert at Qozhaya, Lebanon.

PS: The cover photo shows Mr. Khalid Imam in the trunk of one of the oldest Cedar trees at the Cedar Tree Garden, just a little distance from the Cedars Institute near the Qadisha Valley in Lebanon.