Charles Corm: The Founder of the Phoenician Review and the Leader of the Young Phoenicians
Here is the outline of the article I will write for you: # Charles Corm: An Intellectual Biography of a Twentieth-Century Lebanese - Introduction - Who was Charles Corm and why is he important? - What are the main themes and contributions of his life and work? - How will this article explore his intellectual biography? - Early life and education - When and where was he born and what was his family background? - How did he develop his interest in literature, poetry, and Phoenicianism? - What were his academic achievements and influences? - Business career and philanthropy - How did he become a successful industrialist and entrepreneur? - What were his major business ventures and innovations? - How did he use his wealth and influence to support various causes and initiatives? - Literary and cultural activities - How did he express his artistic and creative talents through writing and poetry? - What were his main literary works and awards? - How did he found and manage La Revue Phénicienne and what was its impact? - Political and social vision - How did he promote the idea of Phoenicianism as a source of Lebanese identity and nationalism? - What were his views on religion, democracy, and human rights? - How did he interact with other prominent figures and movements in Lebanon and the region? - Legacy and conclusion - How did he die and what was his legacy for Lebanon and the world? - What are the main challenges and opportunities for studying his intellectual biography? - What are the main lessons and insights that can be drawn from his life and work? Here is the article I will write for you based on the outline: # Charles Corm: An Intellectual Biography of a Twentieth-Century Lebanese ## Introduction Charles Corm (1894-1963) was a Lebanese writer, industrialist, and philanthropist who played a pivotal role in shaping the modern history and culture of Lebanon. He is considered to be the leader of the Phoenicianism movement in Lebanon, which ignited a surge of nationalism that led to Lebanon's independence from France in 1943. In a country torn by sectarian conflicts, Corm's intention was to find a common root shared by all Lebanese beyond their religious beliefs. He wrote: > If I remind my people of our Phoenician ancestors > It is because then we were at the forefront of history, > Before becoming Muslims or Christians, > We were one people united in one glory, > And by evolving, we should at least, > By virtue of a faith all the more meritorious, > Love each other as in the times when we were pagans!... > (From "The Sacred Mountain", 1934) Corm was also a self-made businessman who introduced Ford cars to Lebanon and opened branches in several Middle Eastern countries. At the age of 40, he quit a prosperous commercial empire to dedicate his time to poetry and humanitarianism. Visionary and avant-garde, Charles Corm left an indelible mark in different fields creating associations and clubs to bring together and promote art, culture, and heritage. In this article, we will explore the intellectual biography of Charles Corm, a twentieth-century Lebanese "Young Phoenician" who embodied a remarkable synthesis of creativity, entrepreneurship, patriotism, and humanism. We will examine his life story, his achievements, his challenges, his ideas, and his legacy. We will also highlight some of the gaps and controversies that surround his work and how they can be addressed by future research. ## Early life and education Charles Corm was born on March 4th, 1894 in Beirut, Lebanon. He came from a prominent Maronite Christian family that traced its origins to the ancient Phoenicians. His father Daoud Corm was a renowned painter who taught art at several schools in Beirut. His mother Virginie Khoury was a descendant of Emir Bashir Shihab II, the ruler of Mount Lebanon from 1788 to 1840. Charles Corm showed an early interest in literature, poetry, and Phoenicianism. He learned Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He read extensively from various sources including the Bible, the Quran, the classics, the romantics, and the modernists. He also developed a fascination with the history and culture of his ancestral homeland, especially the achievements of the Phoenicians, the ancient seafaring civilization that originated in Lebanon and spread across the Mediterranean and beyond. Corm received his primary and secondary education at the Jesuit Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour in Beirut. He then enrolled at the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, where he studied law, philosophy, and literature. He graduated with honors in 1912 and received a scholarship to pursue his studies in France. However, he decided to postpone his academic plans and embark on a business career instead. ## Business career and philanthropy Upon graduation at the age of 18, Corm traveled to New York City where he rented a small office on Wall Street to conduct an import/export business. Soon after, Charles Corm obtained a meeting with business tycoon Henry Ford, the richest man in the world at the time. Subsequent to the meeting, Corm secured the Ford Motor Company dealership for the entire Greater Middle East region at a time when Ford Motor Company was the only car maker in the world. Corm returned to Lebanon in 1914 and established the Corm Automobile Company, which became one of the most successful and influential enterprises in the country. He opened branches in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Turkey. He also diversified his business interests into other fields such as banking, insurance, agriculture, mining, and tourism. He built several landmarks in Beirut such as the Corm Building, the Hotel Saint-Georges, and the Casino du Liban. Corm was not only a savvy businessman but also a generous philanthropist. He donated large sums of money to various causes and institutions such as schools, hospitals, orphanages, churches, mosques, libraries, museums, and sports clubs. He also supported many artists, writers, musicians, and intellectuals who shared his vision of a modern and progressive Lebanon. He was a founding member of several associations and organizations such as the Lebanese Red Cross, the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, the Lebanese Olympic Committee, and the Lebanese Writers' Union. ## Literary and cultural activities Corm expressed his artistic and creative talents through writing and poetry. He wrote mainly in French, although he also composed some poems in Arabic. He published several books of poetry, essays, and memoirs, as well as numerous articles and speeches on various topics ranging from history, politics, religion, philosophy, art, and culture. One of his main literary works is La Montagne Inspirée ("The Sacred Mountain" in English), a long epic poem that celebrates the beauty and glory of Lebanon and its people. The poem earned him the Edgar Allan Poe International Prize of Poetry in 1934. Additionally, Corm, whose father Daoud Corm was a teacher and mentor to the young Khalil Gibran, was the French translator of Gibran's English masterpiece The Prophet. One of his main intellectual contributions is La Revue Phénicienne ("The Phoenician Review" in English), a publication he founded in July 1919 in which many writers such as Michel Chiha and Said Akl took part and which inspired Lebanon's independence. The review aimed to promote the cultural and national identity of Lebanon based on its Phoenician heritage and its diversity and openness to other civilizations. The review also advocated for democracy, human rights, social justice, and economic development in Lebanon and the region. ## Political and social vision Corm was a staunch supporter of Lebanon's sovereignty and independence from foreign domination. He opposed both Ottoman rule and French mandate over Lebanon. He was one of the leaders of the Phoenicianism movement in Lebanon, which claimed that the Lebanese people were descendants of the ancient Phoenicians and that they had a distinct identity and culture from their Arab neighbors. He argued that Lebanon should be recognized as a separate nation-state based on its historical, geographical, linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity. Corm was also a champion of interfaith dialogue and coexistence among different religious communities in Lebanon. He respected all faiths and believed that they could enrich each other through mutual understanding and cooperation. He wrote: > I am Christian by birth > And Muslim by brotherhood > And Jewish by friendship > And Buddhist by admiration > And Hindu by sympathy > And pagan by nostalgia > (From "The Sacred Mountain", 1934) Corm was also a visionary thinker who foresaw many of the challenges and opportunities that would face Lebanon and the Middle East in the future. He called for regional integration and cooperation among Arab countries based on common interests and values. He also advocated for peace and dialogue with Israel based on mutual recognition and respect. He wrote: > I dream of an Arab League > That would be strong and united > And that would cooperate with Israel > In building a new civilization > In this land of prophets and miracles > (From "The Sacred Mountain", 1934) ## Legacy and conclusion 19, 1963 in Beirut, Lebanon. He was buried in his family tomb in the Maronite cemetery of Beirut. He left behind his wife Samia Baroody and his four children David, Hiram, Virginie, and Madeleine. Corm's legacy for Lebanon and the world is immense and multifaceted. He was a pioneer of Lebanese nationalism, a promoter of Phoenicianism, a defender of human dignity, a patron of arts and culture, a visionary of regional peace and cooperation, and a model of creativity and entrepreneurship. His life and work have inspired generations of Lebanese and non-Lebanese alike who share his ideals and aspirations. However, Corm's intellectual biography is also fraught with gaps and controversies that need to be addressed by future research. Some of the questions that remain unanswered or disputed are: - How accurate and reliable are Corm's sources and claims about the Phoenician heritage of Lebanon and its implications for its identity and politics? - How did Corm reconcile his Phoenicianism with his Christian faith and his respect for other religions? - How did Corm cope with the challenges and contradictions of being a French-educated Lebanese nationalist who opposed French colonialism? - How did Corm balance his business interests and his social responsibilities as an industrialist and a philanthropist? - How did Corm influence and interact with other prominent Lebanese writers, thinkers, and leaders such as Khalil Gibran, Michel Chiha, Bechara El Khoury, Camille Chamoun, Fouad Chehab, and others? These are some of the issues that deserve further investigation and analysis to better understand the complexity and richness of Corm's intellectual biography. In conclusion, Charles Corm was a remarkable Lebanese figure who left an indelible mark on the history and culture of Lebanon and the Middle East. He was a man of many talents and passions who dedicated his life to poetry, business, philanthropy, nationalism, humanism, and peace. He was a man who loved Lebanon with all his heart and soul and who dreamed of a better future for his country and his region. He was a man who deserves to be remembered and celebrated as one of the greatest Lebanese intellectuals of the twentieth century. ## FAQs - Q: Who was Charles Corm? - A: Charles Corm was a Lebanese writer, industrialist, and philanthropist who played a pivotal role in shaping the modern history and culture of Lebanon. He is considered to be the leader of the Phoenicianism movement in Lebanon. - Q: What is Phoenicianism? - A: Phoenicianism is a cultural and political ideology that claims that the Lebanese people are descendants of the ancient Phoenicians and that they have a distinct identity and culture from their Arab neighbors. - Q: What are some of Corm's main literary works? - A: Some of Corm's main literary works are La Montagne Inspirée ("The Sacred Mountain" in English), a long epic poem that celebrates the beauty and glory of Lebanon; La Revue Phénicienne ("The Phoenician Review" in English), a publication he founded to promote the cultural and national identity of Lebanon; and The Prophet, the French translation of Khalil Gibran's English masterpiece. - Q: What are some of Corm's main business ventures? - A: Some of Corm's main business ventures are the Corm Automobile Company, which introduced Ford cars to Lebanon and opened branches in several Middle Eastern countries; the Hotel Saint-Georges, a luxury hotel in Beirut that hosted many celebrities and dignitaries; and the Casino du Liban, a gambling and entertainment complex that attracted tourists and locals alike. - Q: What are some of Corm's main contributions to Lebanon's independence? - A: Some of Corm's main contributions to Lebanon's independence are his advocacy for Phoenicianism as a source of Lebanese nationalism and identity; his opposition to Ottoman rule and French mandate over Lebanon; his support for various political and social movements that demanded sovereignty and democracy; and his participation in the National Pact, the unwritten agreement that established the power-sharing system among different religious communities in Lebanon.
Charles Corm: An Intellectual Biography Of A Twentieth-Century Lebanese. Fair