Model Role Details

Khalil Baidas

Khalil Baidas

Sector : Cultural Figures , Writers

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1874
  • Age : 142
  • Curriculum vitae :

Information

Khalil Beidas (1874–1949) was a Palestinian Christian scholar, educator, translator and novelist. Beidas was the father of Palestinian Lebanese banker Yousef Beidas and was a cousin of Edward Said's father.
 
Alongside contemporaries such as Khalil al-Sakakini, Muhammad Izzat Darwazeh and Najib Nassar, Beidas was one of Palestine's foremost intellectuals in the early twentieth century during the Al-Nahda cultural renaissance. Beidas was the pioneer of the modern Levantine short-story and novel. He was also a prolific translator—as early as 1898, he had translated some of the works of Tolstoy and Pushkin into Arabic. In addition, he established a magazine, "al-Nafā'is al-'asriyyah", which acquired a good name in literary circles both in the Ottoman vilayet of Syria (broadly corresponding to today's Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) and the Palestinian Diaspora. Beidas is also known as Raʾid al-qissa al-filastiniyya (the pioneer of Palestinian history). He and his wife, Adele, had 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Beidas was born in Nazareth in 1874 and studied at the Russian Orthodox al-Muskubīya (presently, according to Edward Said, a detention and interrogation centre predominantly for Palestinians) and the Russian Teachers' Training Centre in Nazareth (now an Israeli police station), which had be founded in that town in 1886. There were no tuition fees for Palestinian students, and though teaching was in Arabic, high importance was placed on studying Russian. In his recollections, Beidas stated that:'In those days, Russian schools in Palestine were, without doubt, the best.' He graduated in 1892. Beidas' education was on a basis of classical Arab culture, and, though a Christian, Beidas achieved renown as a hafiz. In his early twenties, Beidas was appointed headmaster of Russian missionary schools in many parts of Syria and Palestine. Later, he became the senior Arabic teacher at Anglican-run St. George's School in Jerusalem.
 
Beidas travelled in Russia after his graduation in 1892 as a ward of the Russian Orthodox Church, and during his sojourn there came under the influence of ideas of Nikolai Berdyaev, of late 19th century Russian cultural nationalists like Dostoevsky and by writers like Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy. On returning to Palestine, Beidas became a prolific translator, and a dominant figure in introducing the major writers of Russian literature to the Arabic-speaking world. It was also through their Russian translations that he turned out many versions of major English, French, German and Italian writers. These innovative translations had a wide impact, not only in Palestine where he was a pioneer in the development of a modern literature, but more broadly throughout the Arab world, influencing authors as various as the Iraqi Ma’rūf al Rusāfī(1875–1945), the Lebanese Halīm Dammūs (1888–1957) and Wadī’ al-Bustānī (1888–1945), Syrian authors like Qistākī al-Himsī (1858–1931). His technique in translation was distinctive—he translated freely, a creative 'arabization' that embroidered or curtailed the origins until he achieved what he considered to be the basic aim of the novel, that which is derived from everyday life and human nature.


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