Who are the best writers from Lebanon

Lebanese literature / poetry

Literature / poetry from Lebanon and about Lebanon

Reading tips

Every now and then I am asked which literature I can recommend from Lebanon - well Book tips. Well, that is difficult to answer because there are many good writers and poets from Lebanon. At the moment only a tiny excerpt from the rich spectrum of Lebanese literature and poetry, randomly selected on my website www.derLibanon.de, has been compiled. They are books that I have read and would be happy to recommend.
Unfortunately, not all of the books presented are available in bookstores, but you can find them in libraries or libraries, second hand or on the Internet. It is worthwhile to go in search of these literary treasures.

I hope you enjoy browsing and browsing.




Books (partly at Amazon)


“Lately, one has been popping up on Amazon books Publisher called "Books LLC", Published by a" books group ". This is a bogus company that glues freely accessible Wikipedia articles together to form a book and sells them (which, by the way, is completely legal). This “publisher” seems to be extremely active. According to Amazon, there are no fewer than 5,227 (!) Such titles from him. [...] As I said: this is legal, anyone can use Wikipedia articles for anything. So only one thing helps: hands off! "

See these two eye-opening German-language websites:



Prose literature from / about Lebanon

Khalil Gibran (Gibran Khalil Gibran)

Khalil Gibran (born in Bsharré, Lebanon 1883 - died 1931 in New York City)
Lebanese poet, philosopher and painter - also known outside of Lebanon.

  • Khalil Gibran: All works in 5 volumes (also the Prophet in volume 4, which has been translated into over 40 languages)
    were translated skillfully and linguistically sensitive by Ursula Nowak Assaf and her Lebanese husband and poet Simon Yussuf Assaf. Patmos Verlag (ISBN: 978-3-8436-0569-4)

  • the Prophet
    Translated by Ursula Assaf, designed by Janne Holzmüller, 1st edition 2013, Patmos Verlag
    ISBN: 978-3-8436-0435-2
    It has been translated into German by many translators. A translator who lives in Lebanon and who knows the Lebanese, their everyday life and Lebanese and German literature is, in my opinion, better than a translator who has not experienced Lebanon himself. A translator who lives in Lebanon and is married to a Lebanese (Simon Yousuf Assaf) is Ursula Assaf.

    The Prophet (English original) has been translated into over 40 languages. It is often quoted from, among other things, weddings.
    A German passenger told me on the train that he is giving the thin book, which contains so much wisdom, to everyone he knows for a birthday. In the Lebanese Abitur it is on the list of literature as required reading and examination text.

  • The Prophet (full title Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet) - Cartoon (2014)
    Khalil Gibran's book The Prophet served as the basis for this cartoon. Salma Hayek Jiménez de Pinault, known as Salma Hayek from Mexico produced the film. Your father is from Lebanon.


Pierre Jarawan

Pierre Jarawan, born 1985 in Amman. His father is Lebanese, his mother German. Pierre is a German writer and slam poet. He lives in Munich.

  • Pierre Jarawan: In the end the cedar remains. novel
    Berlin / Munich, Berlin Verlag, 2016

    This novel, also available as MP3, depicts very impressively and touchingly a Lebanese refugee family from the point of view of their son Samir, who fled to Munich from the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). After the father disappeared without a trace one day, the traumatized son, as an adult, embarks on an adventurous journey to Lebanon in the hope of finding his father there. The story comes to an unexpected end, actually a happy ending. In the novel there are also some incidents where German and Lebanese culture and way of thinking collide and this sometimes leads to misunderstandings. I know them all too well and often had to smile while reading them.


Mansour Labaky

  • Mansour Labaky: Kfar Sama. The village of heaven
    1st edition, Rosenheim, Horizonte-Verlag, 1988. 122 pages.
    German: only second hand ..., the publisher no longer exists.
    English: Kfar Sama: A Village in Lebanon
    French: Kfar sama ou les enfants de l'aurore

    Anyone with a heart or who wants to get it back should read this book.
    Although it also takes place in the Lebanese Civil War, it is no war book, but a Book about pure charity. A book that you have to read - especially in our time.
    A Book of peacethat beautifully describes how love can be stronger than war - even in war. Pure selfless love is lived in a mountain village in Lebanon by all residents: It is not an anti-war book, but a Peace book, that shows how you can easily live together in love and be there for others. A brand new book, especially in today's time of the wave of refugees.
    Example: The residents of the village always put an extra place setting on the table: It could be that a stranger or acquaintance comes by with a question or needs accommodation. So he doesn't feel like someone who disturbs or comes in an inconvenient way, but rather feels welcome, because he is already expected in love .... When the civil war also reached the small village, a little girl gave an old man his warming blanket in the cold room because it saw that he was freezing ...
    Unfortunately the book is out of print and can only be obtained second-hand (online). This book is timeless and therefore it is essential to have it reissued - preferably in all languages. Who would like to help us?

Amin Rihani

  • The donkey driver and the priest, by Amin Rihani
    (translated by Ursula Assaf and Simon Yussuf Assaf), Patmos Verlag, 2nd revised. Edition 2011.
    Wonderful thin book to read in which a Maronite priest is held up by the donkey driver with a mirror, so that he fled from the donkey driver completely dissolved ... and returns to himself (unfortunately out of print, no new edition).


Literature on Lebanon by non-Lebanese

Ursula Assaf-Nowak and Simon Yussuf Assaf

  • Fairy tales from Lebanon by Ursula Assaf-Nowak and Simon Yussuf Assaf
    ISBN: 3424006114, Düsseldorf, Diederichs, 1978. 264 pages. Unfortunately out of print, but can be found in libraries or (online) in second-hand bookshops.
    They are more like fairy tales for adults that were recited in cafés at the time.

Friederike Weltzien

Friederike Weltzien, pastor, and her husband led the German-speaking Evangelical Congregation in Beirut from 1999 to 2008.

  • Why did you have to die, Fidaa? God's Service and Honor Killing - A Report from Beirut, Friederike Weltzien, Herder 2008
    Friederike Weltzien reports in an interesting way about her life with her family and the fate of many Lebanese or German-Lebanese. It gives an impressive impression of life and survival in Lebanon.

    But thank God there are also many positive and beautiful sides and situations in Lebanon, in which intercultural Lebanese families live in harmony with one another, sometimes more, sometimes less - as in every other country….


Gary Witherall

Gary Witherall, American, was murdered in Lebanon in 2002. Her husband managed in deep faith to forgive her murderer.

  • Given the best by Gary Witherall, OM Books
    The deeply religious American Gary Witherall writes very sensitively about himself and his wife, including how they got to know and love each other as well as their positive but also negative experiences and their work in Lebanon. Gary also describes the tragic death of his beloved wife Bonnie (November 21, 2002) and how, with God's help, he managed to forgive his wife's murderers.

Seal from Lebanon

Simon Yussuf Assaf

Simon Yussuf Assaf (born December 16, 1938 in Yahchouch, Lebanon, † December 29, 2013 in Jounieh, Lebanon) was a Lebanese priest and poet. He was married to Ursula Nowak-Assaf.

  • Simon Yussuf Assaf: Sow love, reap happiness. Poems.
    Würzburg, real publishing house. 2017
    Translated from the Arabic by Ursula Assaf-Nowak.
    Epilogue: Michael Kleeberg



  • The Abou Abed Joke Book, Sabina Mahfoud. Illustrated by Patrick Sfeir. Turning Point 2008
    Lebanese jokes in Lebanese (in Arabic script) with English translation. In Lebanon everyone knows the character Abou Abed. You can compare her to Till Eulenspiegel.

  • The Abou Abed Joke Book 2, Sabina Mahfoud. Illustrated by Daniel Georges. Turning Point 2009.
    After the great success of the first book, this is now the second book with more jokes by Abou Abed.