Gibran Kahlil Gibran
“I Believe in You”
Condensed from Kahlil Gibran’s article published in the first edition of The Syrian World Magazine, New York, July 1926, addressing “Young Americans of Syrian Origin
I believe in you, and I believe in your destiny.
I believe that you are contributors to this new civilization.
I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an ancient dream, a song, a prophecy, which you can proudly lay as a gift of gratitude upon the lap of America.
I believe you can say to the founders of this great nation, “Here I am, a youth, a young tree whose roots were plucked from the hills of Lebanon, yet I am deeply rooted here, and I would be fruitful.”
I believe that even as your fathers come to this land to produce riches, you were born here to produce riches by intelligence, by labor.
And I believe that it is in you to be good citizens.
And what is it to be a good citizen?
It is to acknowledge the other person’s rights before asserting your own, but always to be conscious of your own.
It is to be free in thought and deed, but it is also to know that your freedom is subject to the other person’s freedom.
It is to create the useful and beautiful with your own hands, and to admire what others have created in love and with faith.
It is to produce wealth with labor and only by labor, and to spend less than you have produced that your children may not be dependent on the state for support when you are no more.
It is to stand before the towers of New York, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco, saying in your heart, “I am the descendant of a people that builded Damascus, and Biblus, and Tyre and Sidon, and Antioch, and now I am here to build with you, and with a will.”
It is to be proud of being an American, but it is also to be proud that your fathers and mothers came from a land upon which God laid his gracious hand and raised His messengers.
Young Americans of Syrian origin, I believe in you.
Read more about Kahlil Gibran in the Arab American Almanac, 6th Edition.
“I believe that even as your fathers come to this land to produce riches, you were born here to produce riches by intelligence, by labor.”
Read more from Kahlil Gibran’s article published in the first edition of The Syrian World Magazine, New York, July 1926, addressing “Young Americans of Syrian Origin”