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What Georges Tarabichi did not say!

Late Thursday night, Georges Tarabichi, an exceptional man and thinker, left our world

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

Late Thursday night, Georges Tarabichi, an exceptional man and thinker, left our world. He provided the Arab libraries with an enormous body of work – translations, literature, philosophy and other intellectual output that also dealt with arts and sciences. He has passed away but has left behind a legacy that is worth a lifetime of academic pursuit.

Tarabichi’s life was culturally rich. Everybody was aware of the headlines he made and the subjects over which he debated with his fellow thinkers, philosophers and researchers. He was forthright and honest in expressing his opinion and in taking sides. When he took up heritage research, he wanted to verify everything and not rush things. He observed all the relevant facts carefully and meticulously.

I had the opportunity to meet him and was also the last publisher to deal with him. I got to know him as a man before getting to know him as a thinker. He was traumatized by the Syrian crisis and was on the side of the people and their right to freedom.

However, he kept asking questions about the future of his country. He asked honest questions about democracy, the position of women and fundamentalism in the wake of all this chaos in Syria.

With Tarabichi’s demise, a major Arab institution has collapsed and we can now only find comfort in the legacy and his enormous contributions

Turki Al-Dakhil

Tarabichi wrote testimonies and not just political documents that could be forgotten. He did so to ensure that the next generation doesn’t accuse him of failure or of misleading them through an exaggerated dream after this painful crisis.

“Interpretation of the Qoran”

When he wrote his last article about his life and times, it was as if he was mourning. I called him and asked him to write his memoirs but I found that the project still looming in his 80-year-old mind was the “interpretation of the Qoran”.

This was a project that could not be completed. Its completion would have brought him together with his greatest rival, Mohammed Abed al-Jabri, who ended his career with a project about the Qoran and its interpretations.

With Tarabichi’s demise, a major Arab institution has collapsed and we can now only find comfort in the legacy and his enormous contributions. Goodbye Professor Georges and our sincere condolences to your friend, Professor Henriette Aboudy, your wife, loved ones, students and books.

This article was first published by Okaz on Mar. 20, 2016.
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Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.