Mohamed Ali Eltaher
 

Biography

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Page 24

BEIRUT

Since leaving Damascus under duress in 1957, Eltaher lived in Beirut amid much respect and consideration from all the Lebanese, Christians, Muslims and Druze, irrespective of their religious choices, i.e. very much like his relations with the various communities he had befriended during the half century he spent in Egypt, or before that, in Palestine. He resumed publishing articles about the state of the Arab World in a number of Lebanese newspapers, as well as in various countries of immigration, as he had done earlier in Cairo.

He also revived another activity he had in Cairo, where he used to hold a daily “salon” at his office “Dar Ashoura”, by organizing a ‘salon’ every Sunday morning in his apartment on Jeanne d’Arc Street across from the American University of Beirut .

1949 - President Camille Shamoun

Eltaher and his young son Hassan with Camille Chamoun, the future President of Lebanon
Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo 1950

The salon was commonly referred to as “The Academy” (Al-Acadimiyya). He also held another salon every Monday evening at the same location, but this one was referred to as “The Forum” (Al-Nadwa). These assemblies attracted poets, writers, diplomats, political leaders, academicians, journalists and jurists from Lebanon and many other countries.

Beirut in the 1960’s was the hub of almost all airlines coming to, leaving or transiting through the Middle East. Anyone who had reason to travel made it a point to do so via Beirut for numerous reasons beside tourism. The central location of this unique city and the dynamism of the Lebanese people rendered visits by his many friends and fans quite convenient even for a few hours while in transit through Beirut International Airport.

1960 - President Chehab
With Lebanese President General Fouad Chehab at the Presidential Palace at Sarba, near Beirut in 1960. From right to left: Minister Dr. Elias El-Khouri, Eltaher, President Chéhab, Druze notable Aref El-Nakadi and lawyer Mohsen Slim, President of the Committee for the defence of public liberties
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