6 Facts about Lebanese Translator and Feminist Anbara Salam Khalidi
It’s great to see Google shed light on one of Lebanon’s most remarkable women from the past.
On what would have been her 121st birthday, late Lebanese translator and feminist is being honored today on Google’s homepage.
Below are 6 facts about this great Lebanese woman:
1- Anbara Salam Khalidi (1897-1986) was a translator, author and influential feminist who left her mark and contributed immensely to the emancipation of Arab women. As the majority of the Lebanese people, Anbara Salam Khalidi learned both French and English in school. She went to the Anglican Syrian College in Ras Beirut, which is the predecessor of the American University of Beirut. She later traveled to the UK to pursue her education from 1925 to 1927.
2- Anbara Salam was born into an eminent family of politicians. She was the daughter of Salim Ali Salam, a deputy in the Ottoman parliament and a merchant. Her brother was former Lebanese prime minister Saeb Salam. In fact, two of her brothers served as cabinet ministers of Lebanon. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam is her nephew.
3- After going back home, Anbara Salam Khalidi joined the women’s movement in Lebanon, becoming the first Lebanese woman who publicly abandoned the veil in 1927 during a lecture at the American University of Beirut.
4- She was the first person who translated Homer’s Odyssey into Arabic. She was also the first person to translate Virgil’s Aeneid into Arabic.
5- Anbara Salam married Palestinian educator Ahmad Samih Al Khalidi (died 1951) in 1929. Al Khalidi was the principal of the Arab College in Jerusalem in Palestine. The couple settled in Jerusalem and then in Beirut.
6- In 1978, her memoir was published with the title جولة في الذكريات بين لبنان وفلسطين (English translation: A Tour of Memories of Lebanon and Palestine). In 2013, the memoir was translated into English and given the title Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist. In her memoir, Anbara Salam highlights the negative effects of Ottoman ruler of Syria Jamal Pasha’s activities on her family and her childhood, dedicating an entire chapter for him, titled “Jamal Pasha and his Crimes”.
Anbara Salam died in Beirut in May 1986.