I had intended today’s post to be a typical Other Author Thursday (#OAT) lauding the talented group of writers featured in the 2015 edition of Flights literary journal which was released online Monday. I’m honored to be among them with my personal essay “Popcorn Memories,” a piece about losing my grandparents and only in retrospect realizing the tremendous value of our time together.
But as life would have it, yesterday the world lost an eminent scholar and gentleman whose death slammed that lesson home again. I was fortunate to work on two books and a few smaller projects with Professor Suheil Bushrui over the past two years, and I came away from each meeting astounded at his knowledge and insight. His manners and language were charming and courtly, yet his thoughts – while beautifully stated – were pointed and perceptive enough at times to make listeners squirm.
I knew Professor Bushrui in his capacity with The George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland. Our first project together was editing an international collection of papers delivered at the Second International Conference on Kahlil Gibran: “Reading Gibran in an Age of Globalization and Conflict” in 2012. Before working on The Enduring Legacy of Kahlil Gibran, I knew Gibran only from The Prophet; after, I knew him as an erudite scholar in his own right, with so much wisdom to share with the world, if only we would listen.
Much like Professor Bushrui.
Now that time has taken the Professor’s personal life story from us before it could be recorded (our final project together, which was in the early planning stages), humanity has lost a champion.
I will miss him.